Politics

Israeli politician Anastassia Michaeli throws water over Arab colleague in Knesset (VIDEO)

Anastassia Michaeli throws a glass of water over colleague Raleb Majadele during a Knesset Education Committee debate, Jan. 9, 2012.

Credit:

Knesset TV

Israeli politician Anastassia Michaeli threw water over her colleague Raleb Majadele in the Knesset today.

Michaeli, a member of the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, got into a heated row with Majadele (Labor) over the Education Ministry's reprimand of an Arab-Israeli school principal who took pupils on a human rights march in Tel Aviv last month, Haaretz reported.

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Michaeli and Majadele, both members of the Knesset Education Committee, disagreed about whether disciplinary action should be taken – but things really kicked off when Michaeli interrupted Majadele.

According to Haaretz:

"You are marching against the state," Michaeli shouted at Majadele, who answered back, "Shut up." He then added that, "She won't shut me up. This is not Yisrael Beiteinu. The issue of fascism won't stop here – I intend on taking this debate to other Muslims who will serve as an example for the State of Israel… Fascism will not be allowed to take over the house." Michaeli replied that "It is disrespectful to the status of women in the Knesset. We will discuss the matter in the Ethics Committee."

According to the Jerusalem Post, Majadele asked the chairman to discipline Michaeli for being "rude and disorderly," but he refused, prompting Majadele to exclaim: "No one will take away my independence. Military rule [over Israeli Arabs] ended in 1966."

Michaeli had in the meantime stood up and appeared to be making her way toward the exit, but instead headed over to Majadele, poured a glass of water and threw it over him. She then left the room, amid gasps and exclamations from her colleagues.

Knesset TV captured the moment (around 1 minute 30):

Majadele called Michaeli "crazy" and said he would take the matter to the Knesset Ethics Committee to "call her to order."

Meanwhile Michaeli told reporters she was surprised none of her male colleagues had intervened. "If no one comes to my defense, I'll do it myself," she said, threatening to file her own complaint with the Ethics Committee to teach Majadele "how to speak to women," Ynet News reported.

Michaeli, a Russian-born former model and TV presenter, has been reprimanded once before for a disturbance in the Knesset, Haaretz said. In June 2010, she had to be restrained by security guards after attempting to wrestle Arab Knesset member Hanin Zuabi from the podium during a heated debate over the aid flotilla that Israeli commandos prevented from reaching Gaza.

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