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Jordanian TV debate on Syria descends into chaos as journalist picks up table and tries to use it as weapon

Two senior online journalists came to blows over one’s support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad
  • @adamwithnall

A TV debate between two senior Jordanian journalists has erupted spectacularly into an on-air fight after they came to a disagreement over the Syrian crisis.

The pair were separated by a long oval-shaped table – until, that is, one picked it up and started trying to use it as a weapon.

According to reports from Al Arabiya, the debate on Tuesday saw Shaker al-Jawhary (on the right), head of the Electronic Media Association in Jordan, furiously launch himself at Mohammad Sharif al-Jaiousy, the editor in chief of a prominent news website.

Al-Jawhary can be seen pushing the table towards his fellow speaker before, after he realises it has come apart, using the top surface as a sort of battering ram to push into Al-Jaiousy’s chest.

When that fails, Al-Jawhary runs around the set and aims a kick at his opponent, at which point the host and security staff are able to intervene.

The fight was reportedly sparked by Al-Jaiousy’s support for the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The format of the programme, featuring on Jordanian TV channel 7 Stars and entitled “Bayn Etijihayn” (Between Two Ways), appears designed to encourage a heated debate.

It is not the first time a Jordanian TV debate on Syria has erupted into violence. In 2012, former MP Mansour Murad took exception when MP Mohammad Shawabka alleged he was working as a spy for the Syrian regime.

They exchanged insults, before Shawabka threw a shoe at his debate opponent before pulling out a silver handgun and brandishing it in his direction.

And in the country’s Chamber of Deputies, where debates can often become heated, an MP made history in September last year when he opened fire on a colleague with an automatic weapon. No one was harmed in the incident.