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Political Infighting

We all know that the Knesset can get rowdy, but it could always be worse.

In March this year, embattled Police Minister Andre Haermeyer asked a member of his Labor Party branch at Deer Park if she could provide him with a tape recording of a branch meeting held four months earlier.

For a minister fending off controversies on police corruption, faulty speed cameras, police files and gangland shootings, it was an odd request. But Mr Haermeyer had his reasons.

His wife, Tonya Stevens, was accused of punching a branch member and threatening to bomb another member’s house at the November 17 meeting, which erupted in vitriolic argument within minutes of convening.

Ms Stevens denies the claims and has sought legal advice. But branch vice-president Marion Martin maintained at a meeting in March that the “assault did take place” and that she was its victim.

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Branch member Jeff O’Donnell says that during the meeting, Ms Gardner, who is in Mr Haermeyer’s Labor Unity group, and Mrs Martin, from the opposing faction, were wrestling for the attendance book when Ms Stevens stormed in and punched Mrs Martin on the shoulder.

Mr O’Donnell says Ms Stevens yelled words like, “I’ll bomb your house, do you want your house bombed?” at another member, Robert Mammarella, who declined to comment to The Sunday Age.

And I doubt the Knesset could ever match this:

Within minutes, many of the 30 or so members present start arguing, screaming over the top of one another and swearing.

“You’re a branch stacker . . . you’re a branch stacker . . . Let’s move on, I’m going to stop it . . . stop . . . sit down, sit down . . . we’re having a branch meeting . . . I want f—ing answers, mate . . . you’re a dirty rotten mongrel . . . I’m not f—ing interested, mate . . . p*ss off . . . put the book down . . . you’re full of sh*t . . . you’re nothing but a dirty foul-mouthed mongrel.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Update: Another example of political infighting. But at least he left quietly, rather than threatening to bomb anyone’s house plane. And if he did threaten this, we know he’s good for it.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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