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Israeli parliament debate turns ugly as politician throws water over colleague

The Guardian 01/11/2012 01:36
Israeli parliament debate turns ugly as politician throws water over colleague - Israel - politics - Middle East


An ultranationalist Israeli parliament member faced possible suspension from the Knesset on Monday for hurling a cup of water at an Arab colleague when he told her to "shut up" during exchanges over school students attending human rights rally.



Ghaleb Majadleh, an Israeli Arab member of the Labour party, had protested at an education panel meeting to reprimand an Arab school principal for letting pupils attend a human rights group rally. "You are inciting against the state," retorted Anastasia Michaeli, a member of the rightwing Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) party.

When Majadleh told her to "shut up" Michaeli rose from her seat, poured water into a plastic cup and threw it at Majadleh, hitting his face and jacket, before heading for the door.

The outburst was not unusual for Israel's raucous parliament but many see the violent nature of the argument as a sign of rising political tensions, spurred on by speculation that national elections may be held earlier than 2013.

Michaeli later told reporters Majadleh had been rude. "If there are no men in the Israeli Knesset willing to defend women, then I will defend myself, the honour of my party and of the Knesset," she said.


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