A Biased BBC reader notes; 

“There has been a small and rather unedifying incident in the Knesset – the Parliament of Israel. Basically, an Israeli MK name of Anastasia Michaeli has thrown a plastic beaker of water over another Israeli MK called Raleb Majadele. She storms out. A security guard gets to his feet rather slowly, and does precisely nothing. Other MKs shout the Hebrew equivalent of “hey, that’s not on!”

Why is this story of any interest? Why would the BBC report it, somewhere on its website, it’s not a long story, a few lines and a link to the video, they’ve got plenty of room for it. ITN News has it.

The argument erupted after MK Danny Danon (Likud) called for the dismissal of the principal of a school in the Negev town of Arara, who took students on a human rights march held in Tel Aviv last month. The Knesset discussion was held following a Haaretz report that the Education Ministry reprimanded the Israeli-Arab high school. “You are marching against the state,” Michaeli shouted at Majadele, who answered back, “Shut up.” He then added, “She won’t shut me up.

The real interest is the different ethnic origin of these MKs. Anastasia – as her name reveals – is from Russia, a member of Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel our home) party. Anastasia was born a Christian in St Petersburg, married a Jew, they emigrated to Israel where she subsequently converted to Judaism. Mr Majadele is a Muslim Arab who used to be Minister of Culture and Sport, a member of the Labour party. As they bicker and argue in the Knesset, around them are seated a whole range of MK’s, men and women, Orthodox and secular. Arabs watching this on the BBC website, from Egypt, Tunisia and Syria, yearning for elections and democracy, would be gobsmacked – this is democracy, this is freedom, this is different people of different religions from different parties genuinely arguing, losing your temper??? No secret police rush in and drag you away to be tortured. The BBC could never afford to show ordinary Arabs this, or to explain it fully, their Arab advertisers on BBC Arabic TV would never stand for it.

The BBC would be terrified to reveal that Israel is ethnically mixed, it’s not all Jewish, that many Arabs and Muslims are MKs, members of 18 different political parties and, good gracious, even Ministers. Wouldn’t suit the BBC’s leftwing anti-Israel agenda at all, the only news fit to show from Israel is Israeli “soldiers”, ie school-leavers doing compulsory military service, against “Palestinians” ie people who happen to live on the West Bank. Forget any other news from Israel, far too educational. Uhhhh…. isn’t part of the BBC’s Charter something about “educate”??

They would also be revealing that Mr Majadele took his drenching with very good grace, didn’t seem to get annoyed at all. And now the Speaker of the Knesset has suspended Ms Michaeli for one month. And she has apologised. And personally, I would tend to agree with Mr Majadele’s point of view. But the great thing is they’re all free to argue about it, not like in Arab countries.”

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  1. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The BBC will report it once they figure out how to spin it asthe Israeli Government is trying to suppress poor Arabs trying to fight for their human rights.


  2. Span Ows says:

    God forbid they tell the truth of life in Israel…


  3. TooTrue says:

    Difficult one to spin, though. I saw it on Israeli TV. She’ a Jew suspended for a month – a bit harsh for the offense – and he’s an Arab Muslim, and he was looking quite relaxed and slightly amused at his treatment, post splash. Now he’s threatening to bring a charge of “assault” against her and if he does, given that Israel has many left wing, activist judges, he’ll probably win the case.

    I revise my initial take. This one is impossible for the BBC to spin.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The Education Ministry reprimanded the school for doing the march, though. Plus you get a nasty Jew MK attacking an innocent Arab who supported the school. The result of any charge against her for it is irrelevant.

      They can report the problem about the school’s march without even mentioning this. Have they already done that and I missed it, maybe?


  4. pounce_uk says:

    I watched the video elsewhere and on watching the bBC version noticed that it had been edited. Now I don’t condone what she did, But in the uncut version, they argue, she gets up, he rabbits on, she walks out, he continues to rabbit on. She then then walks back in , pours a glass of water and throws it over him. Watch his face. He is smug. He went out of his way in which to wind her up. Hey what she did was wrong, But he is just as much to blame.


  5. sue says:

    Slightly OT, but I caught the latter part of an interview on Women’s hour. Here’s the programme blurb:

    “This week a new magazine is launched aimed at critically examining various tenets of Islam. The people behind ‘Critical Muslim’ say it will have a strong Muslim identity, but will challenge all interpretations of the faith – be they fundamentalist or modernist. They say no area of discussion is out of bounds. So what will Critical Muslim be saying about women and Islam? Jenni speaks to the magazine’s Deputy Editor, Samia Rahman, and the writer and broadcaster Khola Hasan.”

    Here is a snippet from Samia Rahman’s blog from 2008:

    “But the times they are a-changing, and with a little enlightenment, Muslim women are discovering that Islam can afford them dignity and rights. The right to refuse forced marriage, to pursue a career, to enjoy an equal status in marriage. For many observers the physical manifestation of a woman’s journey to Islam is the adopting of the hijab. My heart sinks every time I am asked why these women are forced to hide their beauty. Try telling that to the fashion-conscious, hilarious and intelligent girls about town I know who wear it. “

    I fear her advocacy of reform is a tad superficial. She clings to certain fundamental areas of her religion at odds with western principles, but wishes to pick’n mix the bits that suit, for herself and fellow ‘have-it-all’ Muslim wimmin.

    When Jenni Murray asked what she’d like for her magazine, one of these ladies said they’d like to talk to the Chief Rabbi about, guess what. The brouhaha concerning the Charedi fanatics who are causing internal problems in Israel.

    This disgraceful situation is handing fistfuls of propaganda to Israel’s enemies who grab the opportunity to use this as evidence of moral equivalence between religious radicals. Without acknowledging the difference between what’s happening in Israel and the abundant Middle Eastern Islamic states and the current rise of radical Islam that is engulfing the world.

    As soon as they were invited to plug their magazine on the radio I bet they were just dying to have a dig at Israel.


  6. cjhartnett says:

    Martha Kearney rather thinks that Mossad are behind the “attacks on civilians in their home countries” killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist.
    Of course the Knesset MP she was asking would not confirm or deny it-how or why could he?-but Martha does worry so about the pensioners of Teheran being denied cheap energy…isn`t that what Ahmadinajadh is all about, you guys.
    Don`t know-don`t care…but God Bless Israel that have to live with the apocalpytic loon as a neighbour-and let`s hope the Iranian careers advisers are thinking twice now about jobs involved in driving a sovereign nation into the sea.
    Martha didn`t mention that…maybe we could give a £100 to charity for every nuclear enemy of Israel that loses terminal entropy!


  7. A MCDONALD says:

    New to this site – such true words, I find it hard here in Scotland to defend Israels position.  The accepted position is that of a racist apartheid state relentlessly oppressing the minority.  I always feel guily defending the only bastion of democracy in the Middle East which as you say is ironically a country most Arab people would have a great deal more freedom in if they lived there.  Great article