This incident in the Knesset parliamentary committee on education today probably won’t make the mainstream media outside of Israel, or hasn’t yet. Will it be shown in America? Sometimes MSNBC’s nightly line-up needs some relief from talking heads on Mitt Romney, and they show parliaments from the Far East, or the Former Soviet Union, engaging in fist-fights. It’s cute, and it reminds us in America how far we are from that.
So we have a blond Russian settler in Israel, a gentile who became eligible to become a citizen of a modern state through religious conversion, and is now a member of the ultra-nationalist Russian Jewish party, Yisrael Beitienu, stand up, calmly pours a glass or water, and throws it an Palestinian Israeli knesset member, MK Raleb Majadele, a member of Labor, no less. There had been the usual heated words before that, as the Russian settler kept on interrupting the Palestinian Israeli’s sspeach, while the chairperson of the Parliamentary committee, a fellow Russian ultra-nationalist, Alex Miller, looked on.
Folks, this is Israel today. Were there to a two-state solution next week, were there to be a viable Palestinian state, were the problems of the Palestinian refugees solved, the fundamental problem of Israel would not be solved. And what is that problem?
Simply put – Israeli Zionism. A religio-ethnic-exclusivist doctrine that privileges ultra-Russian nationalist religious converts to Judaism over native Palestinians.
Ah, the beauty of Israeli democracy,,,the indigenous natives are given the vote, and the political power to have water thrown at them.
The news cycle for this story in Israel lasted a few hours. That’s all.
And yet…look at the dignity and restraint with which Majadale responds. Reminds me of another civil rights movement….but that wasn’t played out in the US House of Representatives.
Here’s some of the background, courtesy of Haaretz
MK ANASTASSIA MICHAELI (YISRAEL BEITEINU) POURED A CUP OF WATER ON HER COLLEAGUE MK RALEB MAJADELE (LABOR) DURING AN ARGUMENT THAT ENSUED BETWEEN THE TWO AT A HEATED KNESSET EDUCATION COMMITTEE DEBATE ON MONDAY MORNING.
At a certain point in the argument, as it appeared that Michaeli was about to leave the room to calm down, she poured a cup of water and threw the contents at Majadele. Following that, she left the room with fury.
Majadele turned to Committee Chairperson, MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu), and said, „That says it all. I’m sure you wouldn’t condone such wild and fascist behavior. I’m telling you, I’m excited. This is predictable.
We’ll take this matter to the Ethics Committee and we’ll call her to order.”