Nawi blames Israeli officials for leak


The former partner of David Norris has contended that Israeli officials were responsible for disclosing details of his 1997 conviction for statutory rape.

Ezra Nawi dismissed denials from the Israeli embassy in Dublin that it was responsible for leaking the information. He said while the embassy may not have been involved, he had no doubt Israel was the source of the information.

Mr Nawi, an Israeli Jew who has campaigned for Palestinian rights, was imprisoned for three months in 1997 for the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy in 1992.

The public disclosure of a letter of clemency written by Mr Norris on his behalf led to the Dublin University Senator ending his bid to stand in the presidential election later this year.

During the course of an interview with RTE Radio’s News at One, Mr Nawi accepted he was aware the boy was under the legal age of consent.

“I have not denied it. It happened. I regret it, and I have paid my debt to society,” he said. He added that as he was involved in politics, it was a “very juicy story” for those who opposed his views.

Mr Nawi said the conviction was used by Israel against him all the time because of his activities on behalf of the Palestinian cause. But he decried its use against his former partner during the campaign.

“I can’t imagine using it against David. And it’s a pity,” he said.

Giving his view on how the story appeared in the Irish media, he said: “I think that some Israeli officials or embassy or somebody else is involved in this. There is no doubt about it. Maybe [there are] also other countries.”

When it was put to him the Israeli embassy had denied it, he said: “Of course they will deny this. [The source was] not necessarily the embassy in Dublin but [it came] definitely from Israeli sources. There is no doubt about it.”