One of the most prolific journalists, opinion makers, polemicists and left-wingers in Spain is María Antonia Iglesias, who often appears in television debates. On Saturday, April 24, 2010, she appeared in La Noria, a TV programme broadcasted by Spanish channel Telecinco. The programme usually focuses on matters pertaining to the private and public lives of famous people, but it also has a space for political debates.
Recently, Najwa Malha, a muslim girl living in Spain, was banned from attending high school wearing a hiyab. Her case, along with French and Belgian propositions to ban the burka, has resurrected the debate on the Islamic veil in Spain, which has been responded by La Noria with its own debate on the matter.
Among the debaters were two well know left-wingers: Pilar Rahola and María Antonia Iglesias (the aforementioned one). Both of them showed two different views: Pilar Rahola criticized the use of the Islamic veil and María Antonia Iglesias defended it. During the debate, Iglesias said about Rahola's position on the matter (translation between quotation marks, as accurate as possible):
"It would be very believable (and excuse this personal allusion, but the public has to know certain things) if you were not a convinced Zionist, a pro-Jewish militant."
Rahola's reaction (which didn't consist on denying her stance as a Zionist, which is well known) encountered this response by Iglesias, which was repeated four times: "What do you mean, you're not?" Then, Iglesias stated: "Of course the worst, those who practice military terrorism against the Palestinian people."
Seconds later, and trying to interrupt Rahola's statements: "You defend Israel's positions, they're military terrorists." Later, about Rahola's stance as a pro-Israeli activist: "... a purely ideological interpretation..., which I respect, but the people must know what to take into account, and why are you defending that position."
This was part of Rahola's response: "You have no fucking idea, María Antonia, no fucking idea!" Surprisingly for me, Rahola's statement encountered an effusive response by the public, which was followed by Iglesias' questions regarding Rahola's position about Israel and the Middle East. Rahola's answer was: "I'm in favour of peace... but today is not the debate [about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict]".
Then, she was replied by Iglesias with this statement (please pay attention): "Yes, of course, Jews' peace."
Should the debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be confused with that about the use of the Islamic veil? Why is not a Zionist perfectly able to judge about the Islamic veil? If Rahola had declared that a defender of the Palestinian cause is not able to debate about the issue, what would be Iglesias' response?
You can watch the video here (in Spanish).