If you type the name Ezra Nawi in the Guardian’s search engine, the first hit you get is a brief mention in a May 2015 article about Irish politician David Norris which noted that Nawi was once convicted of statutory rape. Prior to that, there are a few mentions of the “human rights activist”: a couple of op-eds defending Ezra in the context of another conviction, and a 2009 official Guardian Editorial titled ‘In Praise of Ezra Nawi“.
Tellingly, there has been no mention of Nawi in the Guardian since he was caught on film boasting that he would turn in Palestinians who ‘conspired’ to sell land to Jews, even if they would be tortured and killed by the PA.
The Guardian – and most of the UK media – continues to bury the story, likely because it undermines their tendency to uncritically cite the work of such “human rights” to buttress reports critical of Israel.
The op-ed is more of a diatribe than a reasoned polemic. Zonszein’s risible argument – that there’s a coordinated assault on human rights activists and “Jewish dissidents” in Israel – is without even the slightest nuance. Indeed, it reads more like what you expect to see at +972, Mondoweiss or even Electronic Intifada, than at a putatively serious British news site.
But, what most stands out is the lengths she goes to avoid mentioning the name Ezra Nawi, and the video in which the ‘champion of Palestinian rights’ seems indifferent to the lives of actual Palestinians.
Here’s the passage in question from Zonszein’s op-ed:
Two Israeli Jews active with Ta’ayush were arrested this month, initially barred from seeing their lawyers and held without any charges on shaky suspicions. As of now their arrests cannot be seen as anything but political persecution.
This is an important passage, because it’s used by Ms. Zonszein to back up her argument that ‘human rights activists’ are being targeted with ‘political persecution’ by the government. Yet, it seems impossible that Zonszein didn’t know that one of the ‘Israeli Jews she’s referring to is Ezra Nawi, and that he was arrested because of the video in question.
Even if she personally remains skeptical of the charges against him, to avoid misleading readers, Zonszein should have at least briefly noted the dramatic video.
Of course, the Guardian has the right to avoid covering the Ezra Nawi story if they chose.
However, Zonszein’s specific claim that “as of now their arrests cannot be seen as anything but political persecution”, without even briefly mentioning Nawi’s shocking boast about getting Palestinians killed, seems inconsistent with the accuracy clause of the editors’ code.
- Gaza stories the BBC chooses not to report (BBC Watch)