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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bridges TV Collapses under pressure on Palestinian issue

Bridges TV Collapses (under pressure?)

(By Judy Andreas)

Dr. Hesham Tillawi is a Palestinian American who hosts a program called Current Issues TV. It is seen each Thursday night on Cox Cable in Lafayette, Lousiana. The show has become Internet success with thousands upon thousands of listeners tuning in each week.

Dr. Tillawi provides a place in which Palestinian, and other Middle Eastern concerns, can be discussed. His guests have spanned the spectrum from Congressmen Paul Findley, author of "They Dare To Speak Out" to Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear technician (and whistle blower) who spent many years in prison for divulging the extent of Israel's nuclear weapons' program to Alan Watt, whose "cutting through the matrix" is thought provoking on many levels. Dr. Tillawi has had a vast assortment of people pass through his Internet doors. Israel Shamir, talked freely about the racist politics of his native country, Israel. Dr. Norman Finkelstein, talked about his controversial book "The Holocaust Industry". The parade of guests has been lengthy and learned.

And yet, do not, for one minute, get the impression that Dr. Tillawi is anti-Jewish. His problem rests with Israel and its treatment of the Arabs and Muslims. This was demonstrated quite clearly recently, when he had a male and female on his show who made racist comments about ALL Jewish people. Dr. Tillawi was quick to defend Jewish people and show the hypocrisy of those guests.

Towards the close of 2005, Bridges TV, a Muslim owned channel, began airing Current Issues. It became a huge success and, by the end of May of 2006, Bridges was showing Current Issues five times a week.

"We were getting rave reviews", stated Dr. Tillawi. "Of course, for a program to be shown five times a week, it would have to be a resounding success".

Then, in May of 2006, the proverbial "other shoe" dropped. Dr. Tillawi was informed by Aasiya Zubair, the Director of Programming at Bridges TV, that some of the "Jewish cable operators" located in the areas of the country receiving Bridges, had complained to them about the program. She also told him that one of their editors had been fired for not editing some of Current Issues programs by removing certain material that they found "offensive to Jews." In addition, Dr. Tillawi was informed that viewers had been complaining about the contents of the show. He was incredulous.

"How could the majority of "Muslim customers" have changed their minds overnight?"

He had been getting nothing but positive feedback from the viewing audience. The show was presenting Arab and Muslim issues and was wildly popular.

When Dr. Tillawi questioned Bridges and asked for some proof of their allegations, they could produce nothing. He shook his head in disbelief.

"It's a shame that a channel claiming to be friendly to Muslims would remove the only show being broadcast nationwide that tells the truth about Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Islam, etc" Dr. Tillawi said sadly. "Bridges can only be built on truth and sometimes that truth is ugly".

A matter of concern to all Dr. Tillawi's viewers is the disturbing "coincidence" that occurred shortly before Bridges burned theirs with Dr. Tillawi. The Anti Defamation League added Dr. Hesham Tillawi's name to their list of most "notorious anti-Zionist, anti-Semites. This begs the question "Did Bridges get any pressure from the ADL to drop Current Issues TV?"

Dr. Tillawi has no plans of going "gently into that good night".

He was resolute. "Now the gloves are coming off and we are not going to worry about whose toes get stepped on when it comes to the truth".

Judy Andreas

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