THE WORLDPOST
02/12/2013 02:48 pm ET

Syria Discussion Sparks Fight Between Guests During Live Show On Lebanon's Al-Manar TV (VIDEO)

"Talk of the Hour," a political talk show on Lebanon's Al-Manar TV, erupted in violence Friday, when two guests nearly came to blows while discussing Syria on Feb. 8.

According to a Huffington Post translation of the video clip (seen above), the argument between the two pundits mounted when Salem Zahrani, a supporter of the Syrian government and director of Lebanon-based media organization Media Focal Center, accused Asaad Bshara, an opponent of the Syrian regime, of collaborating with Israel. Zahrani then called Bshara an "idiot" before more insults were thrown.

The fight culminated when Zahrani threw two glasses of water onto Bshara. Talk show host Imad Mermel can be seen trying to mediate -- then physically block -- the escalating situation between the two men.

The Lebanese Forces, a prominent political party, and the Association of Reporters Against Violence both condemned the incident, criticizing Zahrani's actions, English-language Lebanese news outlet The Daily Star reports. However, the Association of Reporters Against Violence has also placed some blame on the show's host, who, the organization said, should have intervened earlier and booted Zahrani from the show.

Lebanon's Al-Manar TV is owned by Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Islamic militant group that the U.S. has branded a terrorist organization. Bulgaria's government recently linked Hezbollah to the 2012 Burgas bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists.

Demonstrating the deep divisions in Lebanon over neighboring Syria's government, the scuffle between Zahrani and Bshara is the latest fight over Syria between Lebanese politicos to erupt on live TV. In November, two prominent politicians brawled during a debate over Syrian President Bashar Assad's credibility.

Assad suffered another setback Tuesday, after Syrian opposition fighters captured a military airport in Aleppo, a key city near the northwestern border of Syria. According to Reuters, United Nations Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay said on Feb. 12 that the death toll of the nearly two-year-old civil war is approaching 70,000.

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