Nov 15 - Two rival Lebanese politicians exchange insults and almost come to blows during a tense argument over Syria aired live on Lebanese television. Nick Rowlands reports.
A heated debate between Lebanese politicians on live television turns nasty. The discussion got physical after former MP Mustafa Alloush - allied with the anti-Syrian movement headed by former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri - described Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a "liar." His opponent Fayez Shukor, leader of the Lebanon branch of the ruling Baath Party in Syria, responded by saying, "Your boss is a liar." On the streets of Beirut, there was shame and frustration at the exchange. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE NATIONAL: ''What we saw on TV yesterday was very shameful for Lebanese citizens and politicians because they are not rising to the level of cultural maturity where someone can express their opinion in a way that the dialogue accomodates all the opinions of the people.'' (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE NATIONAL: ''This is our political upbringing in Lebanon, they don't have nerves and both of them were tense. A word can irritate the other and if they had weapons, they would have shot each other. And I wish they did.'' Syria is historically influential in Lebanese politics and many fear the unfolding crisis there will have a direct effect on Lebanon, with the country divided sharply among those who support Assad's regime and those who are against it. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.