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Ezra Nawi - Ezra Nawi

Israeli human rights activist

Ezra Yitzhak Nawi (Hebrew: עזרא יצחק נאווי; 1951 - January 9, 2021) was an Israeli Mizrahi Jew, leftist, human rights activist, and pacifist. He was particularly active among the Bedouin herdsmen and farmers of the South Hebron Hills and against the establishment of Israeli settlements there, what Uri Avnery described as the settlers' protracted efforts to clear the area of ​​the Arab villagers, in whose prevention he played a key role. He was called "Ta'ayush nudnik (Harassment) "and" a liberal gay version of Joe the Plumber of the working class ".

He was viewed by some as an extreme left activist and troublemaker. He has been charged with numerous violations of the law, with convictions ranging from legal rape, illegal use of weapons and possession of drugs to assaulting two police officers. He also served several short sentences due to his activism. Defense attorneys alleged that many of the law enforcement actions were politically motivated.

David Shulman viewed him as a major obstacle to the theft of Palestinian land and as an Israeli representative of Gandhi's civil disobedience. Nawi once said that if attacked, he would strike back. He gained international fame after he was convicted in 2007 of participating in a riot and assaulting two police officers in connection with the demolition of Bedouin houses in the West Bank by Israeli border police. His trial and imprisonment spurred a wilder protest against his treatment that drew 20,000 signatures.

In 2008, Nissim Mossek produced a private and public film about his life that received mixed reviews.

In 2015, an undercover pro-settler group announced that he had identified Palestinian land brokers willing to sell land to Israeli or Jewish brokers to the PA security services. Such sales are a capital crime under Palestinian law, and Nawi claimed they were tortured and killed. The case sparked a political backlash in Israel, and England and France were asked to stop foreign funding from two Israeli civil rights NGOs, Ta'ayush and B'Tselem, whose members were implicated in the incident. Nawi and two others were arrested and then released and exiled from the West Bank for two weeks.


Ezra Nawi was born in Jerusalem, one of five siblings, to a Mizrahi Jewish Iraqi family originally from Basra who had made Aliyah from Kurdistan shortly before his birth. His mother gave birth to him when he was 14 years old. He was raised by a grandmother who spoke to him in Iraqi Arabic, an accent he still maintains. When Nawi was a teenager, they lived next to Reuven Kaminer, a leading figure in the Communist Party of Israel, and Kaminer, as he recalled, influenced his activism. As a conscript in the IDF, he served in a combat engineering unit. After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which included laying mines along the Suez Canal, he went abroad, traveled widely to the United States and Europe, and spent time in both Britain and Ireland.

Nawi worked as a plumber. He was openly gay. He developed an interest in human rights, which he believes stems from his experience of "belonging to a despised minority" after meeting Irish university professor David Norris and establishing a relationship with him in Dublin when they met on Christmas 1975. Nawi insisted after meeting him at a party, he went home with Norris - it was mutual love at first sight - and Norris found his sterile home, full of all modern goods, but where only eggs and tea were the staples , suddenly transformed as Nawi's spicy Middle Eastern cuisine permeated his Edwardian home. Nawi considered emigrating to Ireland. Norris helped him buy a house in Ramot. Their partnership, predominantly a marriage as the physical side ended after three years, lasted ten years and eventually broke up after Nawi refused to commit after falling in love with an Israeli athlete whom he fell in love with Lived for decade. The three stayed on the best of terms.

Nawi suffered his first stroke shortly after the Uvda show was released. Close friends attributed him to the severe harassment he had experienced. In the summer of 2020, he suffered another stroke, and while he was in hospital, doctors discovered that he had a brain tumor. Later that year, in the fall, he had recurring minor strokes. He died in Jerusalem on January 9, 2021 at the age of 69. Shortly before his death, he said to his friend David Shulman: "I have done something good with my life" and to Amira Hass: "I could have done a lot more."

Political activism

His interest in human rights developed over several years when he shared his home in Jerusalem with a Palestinian from the West Bank, Fuad Mussa, who feared an honor killing because of his homosexuality. Nawi was convicted of allowing his partner to live with him illegally in Israel. The difficulties they encountered introduced him to the needs of Arab life and this was a turning point that led him to take on an activist role in the West Bank in the 1980s. Nawi's friends and clients raised £ 30,000 to save his companion when Fuad was arrested after restrictions were tightened during the Second Intifada. The President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, was asked for his release and was eventually given ex-gratia permission to allow the couple to live together in Jerusalem. By then, however, the relationship had broken up. Nawi had since joined the Jewish-Arab human rights organization Ta'ayush, where his fluent knowledge of Hebrew and Arabic enabled him to act as a liaison between local Palestinians in the Hebron region and Israeli activists. According to Amiel Vardi, a Hebrew University classic and co-founder of Ta'ayush, he has an instinctive sense of relationships with Palestinians that other activists, including many Jewish intellectuals, lack. He used excess proceeds from his plumbing business to subsidize his activities and was allegedly responsible for exorbitant billing for his services in order to make enough money to donate to the Fallāḥīn.

According to Ian Buruma, his activism is more practical than political. Nawi himself says of his work: "(T) This is not about ideology. It is about decency." According to Max Blumenthal, he is widely revered by young activists as a leader and mentor in the West Bank.

Nawi, one of several Israeli activists in the hills of South Hebron, is said to have adopted eighty to one hundred members of the Bedouin al-Hathalin families, according to David Shulman, the region's "real hero", who adopted the characteristic cave-dwelling Bedouins living in the area Clans, refugees from Tel Arad after the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, live in Umm al-Khair, a village south of Hebron, 30 meters from the Israeli settlement of Carmel, Har Hebron. This is one of the many khirbehs in the area. They make a rough living by grazing their goats and sheep on rocky land they bought from their Palestinian owners in the early 1950s. They are persistent farmers in barren hills where, according to Nawi, "no one else would try to grow anything", but where these Bedouins are often prevented from working the land. His attachment to these people and their biblical way of life arises from his first encounter with them. He believed that their distinctive lifestyle was subject to "existential peril" in the way their fields were burned, their pastures poisoned, their wells poisoned or demolished, their old age struck, and their land expropriated. He was attacked by settlers while helping Palestinians harvest olives from their own olive groves. Some who fear for their lives will not return to their fields unless Nawi accompanies them. He sleeps in their homes overnight to prevent IDF soldiers from throwing stones at homes after dark. He is active in many of their camps from Bi'r al-Id to Susia and Umm al-Kheir. His arrival at the scene when settlers attacked a Bedouin family near Twamin and stole 450 head of their cattle was enough, according to Rabbis for Human Rights, to persuade the settlers to perish and retreat.

Nawi and this small group of activists have been labeled an "independent aid organization": "Whatever money fell into their hands was immediately translated into solving the problems of the poorest in the country." For the past decade he has set up summer camps for Bedouin children, brought projectors to show them films, and taken them on trips to Jericho, where they can swim for the first time. He introduced computer technology to these communities, with the help of an Israeli engineer from COMET: ME installed solar panels and windmills to generate electricity for a Palestinian refugee camp. He helps ambulances clear roadblocks and distributes cash to the poor. He has organized Ta'ayush activities that bring children to school and protect them from settlers. After a Knesset committee grilled an IDF commander about the way children were prevented from attending school, the IDF set up armored personnel carriers to escort them. Such escorts do not apply to summer camps, however, and according to Nawi, one settler quipped that while the Geneva Convention guaranteed children the right to an education, it said nothing about their right to summer camps.

His role has been despised both by the military authorities, who have arrested him multiple times, and by local settlers who previously attacked him, who threw stones at his car at night and threatened to kill him if he intervened and from whom they were suspected of, the police intended to murder him. He has complained of various forms of harassment, from repeated fines for minor traffic accidents where enforcement is otherwise lax, to auditing his business and receiving a huge tax burden, to monitoring his phone and vicious homophobic taunt. Ironically, some refer to him as "the savior of the Arabs" whose concern for "unfortunate" Arabs extends to helping them "steal" what settlers consider to be state lands in the southern Hebron Hills and Gush Etzion.

Nawi said he would not give up soil if settlers attack, claiming he was repulsing instead of running away like other Israeli volunteers. In a 2005 interview he wrote: -

The settlers have got used to Israelis giving in and collapsing when beaten. I do not give in. If someone hits me, I hit them back. And I'm not exactly a squeak.

Israeli academic David Shulman states that Nawi is nonviolent and recalls in a sworn testimony an incident that took place in Susya in 2005 when Nawi was subjected to such an attack:

“I've had many difficult moments with him - especially attacks by settlers - and I've never seen him react to violence with violence. Once in Susia, 2005, settlers broke a wooden stake over his head and he stood right up next to him and have seen it. I have seen cases like this many times. He is committed to non-violent protest in every fiber of his being. "

Nawi rejects such settler actions that he says "serve the interests of the state". "I'm here to change reality. The only Israelis these people know are settlers and soldiers. Through me, they know a different Israelis" and declares his belief that their actions "destroy Israel. We (Israelis) must Live side by side with the Palestinians as good neighbors, not as conquerors ". Mere presence could be a deterrent.

In one specific episode in January 2003, that of Shulman's eyewitness account in his book Dark Hope (2007), armed settlers wore skullcaps and zitzit fringes and came from a daughter settlement of Ma'on called Ma'on Farm ( Havat Ma '). on ), indicted on Twaneh farmers who sow their traditional fields while Nawi was present. As shots fired and stones rained down on the sowers, Shulman got the impression that Nawi seemed to be enjoying the moment he gathered those around him with the scream, "Don't be afraid. Stand on your ground." Joseph Dana takes a similar view. In an incident in Safa Village, Nawi reacted to Dana's fear of smiling, slapping him on the back and saying, "Quite an adventure you're about to have!" In the face of tear gas and live ammunition! His approach, Dana concluded, eased the tension in the air.

Shulman has recently argued that, alongside Abdallah Abu Rahmah and Ali Abu Awwad, he is one of three representatives of Gandhi's Satyagraha principle in the West Bank, with the difference that Nawi is Jewish and, unlike the former two, probably has never read a word of Gandhi's writings, but simply "reinvented Gandhian-style protest itself". According to Amira Hass, Nawi's activism has brought him to the brink of bankruptcy.


Nawi has been convicted on a number of charges, including illegally using a weapon and possession of drugs - he freely admits to having smoked hashish - for personal use.

Statutory rape conviction

In 1995, Nawi was convicted of the legal rape of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy after his relationship was reported to the Israeli police in 1992 by the boy's parents. The legal age for such relationships is 16 years under Israeli law. The legal rape case has been challenged twice. The prosecution's case was difficult because of the length of time between the crime and the appeal process and the reluctance of the victim to testify against Nawi, a year below the legal age of consent. After 5 years, the High Court upheld the conviction on the final appeal. The relationship was found to be amicable and sentenced to six months based on a plea of ​​which he served fewer than three. In 2011, it was revealed that David Norris, then front runner for the position of Irish President, had written a letter in support of Nawi on the letterhead of the Irish Parliament and sent it to the Israeli High Court. In the letter, Norris alleged that Nawi had been tricked into a bargain and requested a prison sentence. This revelation caused him to withdraw from the presidential race.

2004 arrest and trial

He has been charged several times with violations in the West Bank. In the first half of 2004, the Israeli prosecutor filed three lawsuits against him. The first concerned an incident that occurred after escorting a convoy to a harvest in Twaneh, where he was accompanied by Israeli writers Meir Shalev and David Grossman and presenter Haim Yavin. Nawi rushed to stand between the settlers and harvesters to protect them, and one settler filed a complaint with the police accusing Nawi of attacking him. He was also caught entering Area A, Prohibited to Israelis, while delivering a clothing package to people in Yatta. He was also arrested for driving back to the West Bank a Palestinian who had been living in Israel without a permit. and he was charged once on suspicion of preventing a settler from filming him while helping the Palestinians. In the final instance, his attorney questioned the plaintiff about the fact that he had filmed the event on the Sabbath, to which the settler replied that he had made a rabbinical ruling on halakha or Jewish law stating that the Sabbath could be profaned if the goal is to stop a goy who stole hay and straw, as well as the Palestinians in the area who belonged to the settlers. Nawi was convicted by the Magistrate Court and given probation and a fine of NIS 500. It turned out that the halachic judgment was drawn up by the plaintiff's father the day before the trial. On appeal, the conviction was overturned by a district court when his lawyer Lea Tsemel revealed that the land concerned was owned by Palestinians.

2007 arrest and trial

Umm al-Kheir, South Hebron Hill.

On February 14, 2007, Nawi went to help Palestinian families whose houses, several tin and canvas huts, were supposed to be demolished as illegal structures. According to Shulman, these Palestinians in Um al-Kheir, just a few meters from rows of red-roofed settler mansions in Carmel, need planning permission to build or expand their tents or huts. Such permits are almost impossible because in the Israel-administered area in the West Bank, Area C, on average only one per month is released by the Israeli civil administration for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents there. Palestinians and their large families regularly build without permission, and the occupation authorities regularly issue demolition orders, around 20 of which are carried out every month.

Nawi viewed such administrative measures as "acts of war" as these Bedouin families lived in the area before the State of Israel came into being. That day, Nawi ran into a clash with the border police, who had been sent to protect the bulldozers. Nawi threw himself in front of the bulldozers and had to be pulled from their path so that the demolition order could be carried out. Although much of the incident was videotaped, police later testified that after catching up with him in a half-ruined hut, he raised his hands to them and defied the arrest in about 8 to 20 seconds without being videotaped to be held. According to Ben Gurion University Professor Neve Gordon, in the video, Nawi is seen disarming a rock she had picked up a few minutes before the alleged attack. He was arrested, handcuffed and charged, although the later alleged attack was not included in the original police statements. The videotape shows that Nawi, handcuffed to a police car and mocked by the police for helping Arabs, told them, "I was a soldier too, but I didn't demolish any houses. The only thing left here is Hatred ".

During his trial on March 19, Judge Eilata Ziskind found on the basis of statements by the two police officers that he was guilty as a defendant: he had pushed the two police officers, incited people, behaved unruly and the police interrupted the performance of their duties.

The decision sparked a public outcry, with around 140,000 letters sent to Israeli officials, according to Nawi. Televised footage of the clash was broadcast on Israel's Channel 1. According to Neve Gordon, the verdict was passed despite "the very clear evidence" captured in the film. Arik Ascherman, the rabbis' executive director for human rights, urged people to meet with him in an appeals court.

The sentencing, which is expected to serve up to two years in prison, was originally scheduled for July 1, 2009, but was later postponed to September 21, 2009 after a petition was presented to the judge that resulted in an over The international campaign carried out on the Internet had been organized. In August 2009, the court heard several witnesses, including Shulman and Galit Hasan-Rokem, testify on behalf of Nawi at a preliminary sentencing hearing. Aside from these academics, Israel’s former Deputy Attorney General Yehudit Karp, who spoke as a character witness and former chairman of a committee dealing with law and order issues in the West Bank, wrote that the situation there was severely skewed in favor of the settlers, and that this justified the behavior of Nawi, whom she called a modern day Robin Hood, under conditions that she considered "surreal". She saw the process as the beginning of a dangerous process in which basic problems are not addressed and injustices perpetrated against Palestinians are not addressed through appropriate application of relevant laws.

According to Nawi, the judge ordered the court to find an interpreter who would translate the verdict in Nawi's favor as if he, a Mizrahi Jew who speaks fluent Hebrew, were actually a Palestinian Arab.

In his own defense, Nawi spoke in an article in The Nation about his eight years of activism in the region and rhetorically asked, "Was I the one who poisoned and destroyed Palestinian water wells? Was I the one who hit young Palestinian children? Did I hit the elderly? Did I poison the sheep of the Palestinian people "Have I demolished houses and destroyed tractors? Have I blocked roads and restricted movement? Was I the one who prevented people from connecting their homes to running water? And electricity? Did I forbid Palestinians from building houses?" described the relationship between the military, civil administration, judiciary, police and the Jewish settlers, whom he regards as commanders, as an "unholy alliance" in which the end of complete control over the Land of Israel justified any means. The Palestinians were dehumanized so that everything was allowed: land theft, house demolition, water robbery, arbitrary detention and the occasional murder. “In Hebrew,” he added, “we say Damam Mutar , it is permissible to take their blood. "Elsewhere, he argues that the function of violence is to" frighten the Palestinians, not move, or use their land for agriculture and farming "and that most Settlers are motivated by religious ideas that cannot be argued with and that Arabs have to go, "They want Palestine."

Nawi's case caught the attention of several prominent international figures, including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and Neve Gordon, who organized a campaign to protest his imprisonment. They called him "one of the bravest human rights activists in Israel" and his arrest, conviction and pending imprisonment "politically motivated". In addition, Yehudit Karp asked the court for pardon on the grounds that the state had failed to fulfill its obligations to enforce the law against Israeli settlers in the Palestinian territories and that Nawi's actions against the settlers should be seen in this context. The Jewish Voice for Peace group submitted a petition to the court, signed by 20,000 people, asking for mercy for Nawi.

On September 21, the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court sentenced him to a month's imprisonment and fined him NIS 750 (US $ 202). He asked him to pay an additional NIS 500 (US $ 135) to each officer found guilty of assault.

Judge Ziskind wrote in her judgment: "Even if there is an ultimate goal, it cannot be used as an excuse to commit crimes."

"Freedom of expression is not the freedom to take and take action that prevents or disrupts policing ... Freedom of expression does not allow civil unrest, incitement or violence. Democracy cannot allow this because when the law enforcement system breaks down there will be anarchy and Democracy and freedom of expression will no longer be ... The fact that a person is acting in the name of one ideology or another, however justified, is not an excuse, in the name of that ideology and in this matter there is no difference between left activists, right activists, religious, secular or other conflict groups. "

He was also tried for three years. If he insulted an officer, disrupted public order, or participated in an illegal protest, he was immediately sentenced to an additional six months in prison. The Yesha human rights organization, which took the perspective of the Yesha or the settlers, criticized the shortness of the one-month sentence, claiming that

"A month in jail is like mocking the poor and emphasizes the selectivity of the law enforcement system in Judea and Samaria. (The system) allows Nawi to run wild, collaborate with Hamas members and injure settlers, and remembers that Enforce law only if he injured police officers ".

Detained on Sunday May 23, 2010, he was serving his sentence in Dekel Prison, Emek Sarah, Beer-Sheva.

Following this process, revealed Haaretz that prosecutors used Nawi's previous conviction of legal rape as part of the evidence in their case. The story surfaced again in 2011 when Zionist and blogger John Connolly revealed that Irish Senator and presidential candidate David Norris, a former lover of Nawi, had written a letter to the Israeli court asking for mercy for Nawi.

2012 offensive language case

On June 10, 2012, Nawi was convicted of "insulting officials" by the Jerusalem District Court, presided over by Judge Cjana Lomp, after alleging that he had referred to an IDF deputy battalion commander as a "war criminal" during a clash at Susya in July 2009, when he and other activists tried to prevent Jewish settlers from setting up an outpost called Givat HaDegel (Flag Hill, alternatively Chisdi Hashem The grace of God) and thereby rob the Palestinians of their land.

Traffic case 2013

Following an incident involving a military jeep in the hills of South Hebron in March 2013, Nawi was accused of crossing a solid white line while overtaking. He was acquitted of charges by Judge Miriam Kaslassy, ​​who stated in her decision that "it is clear today that we are not talking about the accidental enforcement of a traffic violation" and that the police had persuaded Nawi to commit the crime. Nawi then sued the state and received compensation of 45,000 shekels. The Justice Department said the police officer and the army officer involved in the incident would be prosecuted for entrapment.

Traffic case 2014

In April 2014, Nawi was stopped by police along with Guy Butavia while driving from Jerusalem towards the hills of South Hebron. Police said Butavia wasn't wearing a seat belt, that Nawi's license was out of order, and that they suspected the two of them were hiding something. A tobacco pouch was confiscated on suspicion of containing drugs. The two were held in a police station for 8 hours and released under house arrest for three days. The day after, the order was canceled. Despite several allegations by the police, the case was dropped.

Both Nawi and Butavia sued the police for harassment and requested $ 28,125 in compensation. They also claim that the incident was directed against them for being human rights defenders and that the video recorded at the time contradicts the evidence presented by police. In June 2019, the Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruled in favor of Nawi and Butavia and ordered the police to pay them 7,500 shekels in damages and compensation.

Uvda examination

In January 2016 were Ilana Dayan as part of the investigation series Uvda ("Fact") aired hidden camera footage of Nawi on Israel's Channel 2. The report revealed that Nawi boasted of having passed the names of Palestinian land brokers willing to sell land to Jews to the Palestinian National Security Forces. In the recording, Nawi recounts how Palestinian real estate dealers thought he was a Jew who wanted to buy land and says, "I immediately give your pictures and phone numbers to preventive security. The Palestinian Authority catches them and kills them. But before that, it kills them, them are beaten a lot. "No reports have confirmed that Nawi's actions resulted in the execution of Palestinians, a practice that the PA long abandoned, according to Amira Hass. Mahmoud Abbas said the PA does not execute land vendors but condemns them to hard work. However, several unsolved murders in recent years have been viewed as being linked to such sales.

Itzik Goldway, an IDF reserve sergeant and distinguished veteran of Operation Protective Edge, is right-wing activist with the NGO along with his girlfriend Julia T. Ad Kan ("(I had it) this far"), an organization whose existence was unknown until the Uvda program aired. They managed to befriend Nawi by infiltrating Ta'ayush. With Nawi, they observed attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinians. Then they made the tapes that Ad Kan passed on to the Uvda. The quality of the video as an accurate report was questioned.

Nasser Nawaja, a Susya-based Palestinian who has defended his village from the threat of displacement all his life, and a field researcher for the Israeli human rights NGO B'Tselem, was also involved in one of the alleged operations in which the land agent was allegedly involved tried to sell Nawi, an Israeli land owned by Nawaja's own family. Nawi said he "feels shitty" for deceptively fingering these agents. Nawi responded to the report's allegation that it used containment measures by stating this

The opposite is true. He came to me and presented himself as a land broker. Assuming it was sent to frame me and tarnish my name in the Palestinian community, I had no choice but to report the incident to the Palestinian Authority lest I would be seen as a land buyer. I regret that the report is part of an effort to sabotage my activities and those of my friends alongside the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Penal Code, which inherits a principle from the former Jordanian legal system, imposes the death penalty on anyone convicted of selling land to Israelis or other sources to Jews. The law, defended by Palestinian officials to prevent settler takeovers, was never officially implemented.

The day after the program was broadcast, Ad Kan filed a complaint with the Israeli police against Nawi and two other Ta'ayush activists, as well as against B'Tselems Nasser Nawaja. On January 11, 2016, Nawi was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport after buying a plane ticket on suspicion of being a part of manslaughter, conspiring in an attempted murder, contacting a foreign agent or someone without permission to transport to Israel and take drugs. Subsequently, both Nasser Nawaja and a third activist, Guy Butavia, were arrested, denied a lawyer, and their cases were also gagged. Butavia was released on January 21 and Nawi was remanded until January 24. The immediate release of Nawaja was ordered by a judge in what his lawyer called a "false arrest" as Israel was not competent in the matter. The police took him to Ofer Prison in what B'Tselem described as a contempt for the court ruling. On January 24, a judge ordered Nawi's release from house arrest and criticized prosecutors for failing to clarify allegations that he was involved in the death of a Palestinian sales country. Nawi had advised relatives of a certain Abu Khalil that he was considering a land swap with an Israeli, Yonathan. His relatives would have been harmed by the sale. Some time later, Abu Khalil died. The police were unable to provide evidence of the cause of death. A police appeal against the Lower Court's decision ordering his release was rejected by the Jerusalem District Court on January 25. According to his lawyer, Eitan Peleg, the police could not determine whether the alleged victim was dead or not. On January 28, Judge David Shaul Gabai Richter overturned the grounds for arresting Butavia and Nawi, stating that the evidence contained nothing to support the police's central allegation. He turned down an appeal by the police to ban Nawi from the West Bank. He added that the case was part of a political controversy in which one side attacked the other. It is not the job of the court to deal with politics. A police appeal against the decision that a ban violated their freedom of occupation and expression was heard on January 31 and partially overturned Richter's decision. The police requested that the two activists be expelled from the West Bank for two months. This was partially accepted when Judge Moshe Bar-Am found reasonable suspicions and were to be denied entry to the West Bank for two weeks.


Both B'Tselem and Ta'ayush criticized the program for relying almost entirely on materials passed on to them by people who infiltrated Nawi's group. Human rights rabbis stopped working with Nawi pending hearings to clarify the situation. Veterans for Breaking the Silence refused to respond to Channel 2 inquiries, saying, "We don't work for the Stasi and we don't respond to Stasi inquiries. Whoever wants a Soviet bloc-style police state - good for them." . '

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the documentary "exposed radicals among us whose hatred of settlements has pushed them over the edge to the point of extraditing innocents for torture and execution. Those who promote murder cannot go any further behind the sanctimonious pretext." from hiding. " care for human rights. "Defense Secretary Moshe Ya'alon linked the incident with the BDS movement and said so-called" peace groups "were even killing Palestinians to destroy and cloud Israel. Naftali Bennett cited the case in an attack on the trustworthiness of the New Israel Fund and the European Union in funding Israeli human rights activists and called on the British and French ambassadors to stop funding Ta'ayush and B'Tselem.

Yuval Diskin said Nawi should be arrested quickly but warned that "the data show that there is no basis for comparing right-wing violence with left-wing violence." B'Tselem commented on its Facebook page that reporting Palestinians intending to sell Israeli-Palestinian land was "the only legitimate course of action" despite opposition to torture and executions. Lawyer Leah Tsemel, who defends Palestinian rights, said the complaint was not difficult to process. Criticizing Uvda's presentation, Gideon Levy wrote that she systematically ignored the crimes of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, noting that Nawi has been compared to the perpetrators of the Duma arson attack. Both Levy and Amira Hass wrote that the Uvda had failed to fulfill its mandate as a base for investigative journalism by uncritically lending its services to a right-wing organization that McCarthy called McCarthyist, about which nothing was known (Levy), or a "Puff piece for a" privatized, mini-shin bet "(hatred) They say no background research has been done on the sources or contexts. For David Shulman, Nawi's work is one of the main reasons why Palestinian civilians are in the Hills of South Hebron still maintains a precarious purchase of fragments of their historic land and the entire episode assembled by a shadow organization's "moles" for discrediting. He, he concludes, has the appearance of a stabbing operation to catch him and "deny." To legitimize theft of Palestinian land ".

Films about Nawi

Nawi's story was told in two documentaries. In 2005, Canadian-Jewish filmmaker Elle Flanders made a documentary entitled Zero Degree of Separation who intertwined the story of her family in Jerusalem, for whom Ezra Nawi once gardened, with the lives of two gay couples, one of whom was Nawi and his companion. In 2007 another film about Nawi's life and work, "Citizen Nawi" ( HaEzrach Nawi ) directed by Nissim Mossek, produced by Sharon Schaveet, premiered at the Jerusalem Film Festival and received a special mention by the jury. The film documents the plight of the Bedouins, the difficulties of Israeli-Palestinian relations and the difficulties of being gay. Made for more than five years on a shoe string - Household was judged a somewhat messy documentary by Variety Film critic Leslie Felperin, who thought of its director "to ask difficult questions even in love with your subject". Still, he added, he managed "to expose both Israeli and Arab bigotry and to have his heart in the right liberal place". Raya Morag essentially sees the film as deep-seated Israeli homophobia and racism. Dan DiLandro, who for Educational Media Reviews reviewed , wrote that the film had a number of obvious technical and narrative problems, but rated it as "an important piece of work that sheds light on many of the conflicts and dynamics in the region". Michael Fox, who for Jweekly writes , finds that "Citizen Nawi" is "a roughly hewn profile in courage that diligently drives up the cost of conscience" and writes of the "unpleasant power" of a "raw and at times gripping film" that stirs a " certain cognitive dissonance "emerges when one" sees Nawi being threatened and insulted in the grossest way by religious Jewish settlers and embraced as a trustworthy friend by a Palestinian family who lives in a tent ". For Fox, as the film follows Nawi's troubles with his lover, run-ins with the police, and fights with settlers, he suddenly pushes one out of the initial impression that Nawi's activism has liberal roots:

“It's just assumed that Nawi was always a liberal and that his wanderings to the West Bank reflected a longstanding empathy for the Palestinians was concerned about her daily needs until he turned to Fuad ".

Fox concludes that Nawi's instincts are those of the humanist, and director Mossek's bravest move was "to make a film that aims not to inspire us with platitudes but to shock us with the tough business, a path to build." Peace".

Nawi's example also influenced the Israeli filmmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz.

See also




  • Aderet, Ofer (January 9, 2021). "Left-wing activist Ezra Nawi dies at 69". Haaretz . Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  • Avnery, Uri (January 16, 2016). "The Widening Gap". Gush shalom . Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  • Baram, Daphna (November 29, 2004). "My plumber, my hero". The guard . London. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  • Blumenthal, Max (2013). Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel . Nation books. p. T199. ISBN.
  • Brennan, Michael (July 30, 2011). "Bloggers who lifted the lid on rape conviction 'flooded with hate mail'". Irish Independent . Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  • Bronner, Ethan (June 27, 2009). "Unlikely ally for West Bank residents". The New York Times . Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  • Bronner, Yigal (June 24, 2004). "Harassment of Ezra Nawi, Ta'ayush activist and AIC worker". Alternative information center . Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  • Browne, Luke (October 29, 2011). "Ezra Nawi: 'I'm just sorry my name caused David problems'". Irish time . Retrieved October 29, 2011.
  • B'Tselem (January 21, 2016). "Court unconditionally publishes B'Tselem field researcher, but Israeli authorities continue to hold him in custody." B'Tselem. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
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