A Word On David Norris’s Book

I didn’t want to bring this up at first, because I thought all copies of A Kick Against The Pricks would end up pulped or remaindered by Christmas. Norris’s self-aggrandizing behavior, bitterness, and wishful thinking in relation to the sexuality of certain historical figures should have accomplished that better than any critic. I also simply wanted to leave the whole Presidential brouhaha of 2011 behind me. Yes, I am proud of playing a part in what many Irish people have told me was the most entertaining political spectacle ever seen in the country, though I may disagree on that point. That really hit home again when I visited Cork over the Christmas period. The final outcome may not have been ideal. Certainly, Gallagher was robbed of a victory only because Higgins was the media’s next favorite candidate. The effort to do good all seemed so futile.

Now, I am more convinced the country had a lucky escape.

One thing I respected Mr. Norris for at the height of the controversy was his condemnation of the nasty conspiracy theories that were floating about. He did this immediately after he made his exit on a Today FM interview, something which I told the people there I was most satisfied with. I made sure to mention to all journalists who asked that I thought he acted like a gentleman and I respected him for it. This was rarely reported of course, as the media would prefer a bitter conflict on matters like this. Norris made it clear he did not believe in the nonsense when he announced his re-entry to Ryan Tubridy (who referred to ‘dark forces’ rumored to be at work).

So, what a shame it was to open page 313 of A Kick Against The Pricks and see Norris blaming the whole affair on a conspiracy operating out of the Israeli embassy in Dublin. I don’t want to give this the dignity of a response, only to say that Norris provides no evidence for this point whatsoever.

My remaining respect for David Norris is gone entirely. He truly is a disgraceful tramp.

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Rejoice not at thine enemy’s fall – but don’t rush to pick him up either.

FF ends Presidential hopes of Dana, Ó Murchú and Norris (Irish Independent)

Time to get Irish politicians out of foreign courts

David Norris remarked yesterday, at the press conference outside his front door, that he has lobbied American courts and politicians to help inmates who have been given the death penalty.

Currently, controversy is brewing over Gay Mitchell’s decision to intervene on behalf of pro-life activist Paul Hill, who murdered two people in Florida: a doctor who carried out abortions and his bodyguard (also wounding the wife of one of the men).

I happen to strongly disagree with the behavior of Irish politicians in their attempts to influence foreign courts. Aside from the important separation of powers issue that applies domestically, Ireland does have a traditional policy of neutrality. It is my opinion that Ireland’s politicians, it’s elected representatives, are violating the spirit of this when they lobby for defendants in American courts, Israeli courts or courts in Timbuktu. The death penalty in America is an American issue. There are good arguments in all sides of the fierce debate, and Ireland should  not be so arrogant as to try and force its views on another legal system. I sincerely doubt Gay Mitchell has more insight on the matter than the American judiciary or the Governor of a state. A very important question must also be asked: what kind of criminals have Irish politicians like David Norris and Gay Mitchell been assisting? Would all those who elected them agree to the representation made partly in their names? I have deep issues with the death penalty, and I believe we are better of without it in most circumstances. However, I have met many people involved in the trial and capture of Adolf Eichmann, and this has had a strong affect on me to say the least. There are some crimes that can never be atoned for. Crimes where the accusers number thousands, even millions, of dead bodies that simply merit death.

But I digress.

If the Irish people want neutrality, they should have the nerve to make their politicians stand by that policy. Ireland has often demonstrated its commitment to neutrality is quite phony. The government of Jack Lynch even went so far as to train Egyptian Air Force pilots in 1978. Those who express commitment to Irish neutrality should follow the logical conclusions of their principles to demand the elimination of all foreign aid programs and the end of condemnations of the policies of other countries in the Oireachtas, whether that involves America, Israel, Cuba or Venezuela. There should be no selective condemnations or expressions of support for foreign leaders on the basis of sympathy with that leader’s ideology in a neutral nation. Advocates of neutrality must stop elected officials lobbying on behalf of foreign criminals in their name. Otherwise, Irish neutrality will mean nothing. And I happen to think it currently does mean nothing.

On ‘The Source’, and some thoughts about the Norris Affair.

Last night I had a conversation with an Irish friend, who happens to be a trade unionist. Yes readers, that friend. This conversation went lasted for over two hours.  Pursuant to this intense conversation I have decided to not give that person’s name to the media.  The reasons for my decision are:

1. My friend does not want to be named, and I respect that.

2. Its quite irrelevant. My friend contributed nothing to what I wrote in the blog, and never helped spread this story beyond inspiring me to do a little research on Ezra Nawi and David Norris. All my friend did was tell me that David Norris’s former lover (and I quote) has convictions ‘relevant to your interests’. My friend and I are on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum, we were playfully jibing each other as we often do at the time, and it just came out. My friend is adamant the convictions in question were for Nawi’s political activities in Judea and Samaria, not statutory rape, and I believe the person on that.

3. My friend is not on Michael D. Higgins’s campaign team or assisting the Higgins race in any way, so the folks there are right to deny any involvement. My friend is from the West of Ireland, where he or she indeed canvassed for Higgins, but has lived in Dublin for over a decade, and is not a card-carrying member of the Labour Party (though that was true in the past).

I hope this will be the end of that particular matter.

On another note, a tweeter today named Eric Fitzgerald (Vice President of DIT Student’s Union, don’t you know) asked of me after Norris’s press conference: ”I hope you’re happy, you cunt”. I thanked him for his concern and responded in the positive. A popular Irish blog compared me to Anders Behring Breivik, suggesting I was heading down the same path as a mass murderer of teenagers.

This led me to ponder something. If people like them (perhaps constituting the majority of Irish bloggers and the elite media) were to come by the information I did, what do you think they would have done? Would they have done nothing about it? Perhaps these people would even try to actively bury the entire thing, all because of their fondness for David Norris?

What can one say about the mindset of people like this?

What needs to be known about my findings on Norris and Nawi

Due to the vile anti-Semitic bile coming out of many of David Norris’s defenders (and some people who are just deranged), I am compelled to make certain matters more clear on my original story on David Norris and Ezra Nawi, and the process that went into publicizing it. It should be known that the only contact I had with any Israelis, in posting the original piece on Monday, was getting some friends to help with the translation of Hebrew material. That is all. The Israeli Embassy obviously got wind of the story eventually (I posted it on their Facebook wall, after all) but many Irish journalists and personalities knew about this from me before they did. When the story broken here gained momentum, it was only a matter of time before evidence of Norris’s assistance to Nawi came out. Norris openly admitted years ago to helping Nawi and his Arab lover when they were in legal difficulties abroad (even in relation to matters like work permits). Unless he used self-destructing paper or smoke signals for secrecy, once the story went national the gritty details could never have been kept secret. I never had those papers, and never claimed to have them.

My views on many issues are very different from those held by David Norris, and not just on Israel. They are in fact very different from all those in the Irish Presidential race. That is why I am not supporting any candidate. I happen to think the battle of ideas is far more exciting than the fight for bums on seats in some parliament, and currently have no membership in any political party (though I have in the past). I would have thought my heterodox views would have been irrelevant given the important nature of the story. If I came by information like this on any person running for office, I would publish it in whatever way I could.

This is despite the motives of the person who inspired me to do the research in the first place. Here is something I have been emphatic about from the beginning: My friend is a trade unionist. That is what I meant by saying ‘labour movement’ when I spoke to the media. It does not necessarily mean Labour Party. However, recently it hit home that the person is fond of Michael D. Higgins and canvassed for him many elections ago. That has unnerved me a bit.

Nevertheless, I have absolutely no regrets about what has occurred. I am in fact quite glad about it, when I think David Norris could very well have been President before the relationship with Ezra Nawi became widely known. Can you imagine what the political and news climate would be like in Ireland and abroad if the information were to get out when David Norris could have been Ireland’s Head of State?

Some people have made an issue out of nothing on hearing I am going to Israeli sources for more information on Nawi and his relationship with Norris. Yes, indeed I am. It doesn’t mean Israeli sources were behind the original piece I wrote, like many are insinuating. I have been caught upon something big, and much like in the case of the Dude (a.k.a. Jeffrey Lebowski) it has been mostly unintentional. I want to converse directly with people on the ground, particularly the Jewish community of Judah and Shomron who have fought with Nawi for many years. This is for my own interest, but no doubt if I should publish what I learn it will be of interest to many readers.

Gazing upon the Wreckage of the Norris Campaign

Two milestones have been reached on this blog of late. One is the rather minor matter that this piece marks my fiftieth posting.

The other is that the story broke on this site on Sunday July 24th has since gone national. After gathering interest for a number of days on Politics.ie and among Facebook friends, including some journalists and politicians, on Friday evening David Norris’s director of communications, Jane Cregan, and director of elections, Derek Murphy, resigned from Mr Norris’s campaign team. More have joined them today. Murphy and Cregan did not specify why they resigned, but Stephen Collins left readers in no doubt on the today’s Irish Times that it was due to knowledge of Ezra Nawi’s conviction for sex with a male Palestinian minor in Israel getting to the Irish public. Little did I know innocently blogging on Sunday that Norris’s letter appealing for clemency in his lover’s sexual offence case would be leaked by today. The letter is worth reading for the arrogance on display alone. Norris drops the fact that he got a double-first at undergrad level, and claims he can give ‘expert evidence’ to the esteemed judges on the High Court of Jerusalem while talking at length about other irrelevant legal systems. To any decent person, Norris’s actions must rival much of what was revealed in the Cloyne and Ryan Reports in their evil. Unfortunately, classic anti-Semitic motifs among Norris supporters, that I care not to link to, are on display all over Ireland in depicting this as an Israeli conspiracy. No, people: I was the conspirator.

After it all, I’m left pondering a few things. I was able to put damning evidence on Nawi and his relationship with Norris together in a few hours of searching Google and LexisNexis. What was wrong with the Irish media that the pieces were not put together years ago, or even after the Helen Lucy Burke Affair? Clearly if David Norris were an English politician this would never have been the case. Either the Irish media are more respectful of our private lives, or they are marred by timidity. This is a another triumph of the blogosphere, which has really come into its own after the financial crisis of 2008.

Then there are the people in the Norris campaign team, and Norris himself. I have no illusions that these people were not aware of the ticking bomb. The fact that Cregan and Murphy immediately resigned on the news coming out, rather than putting up some kind of fight, is telling. I am only reminded of John Edwards in the 2008 US Presidential election. How could a man continue campaigning knowing he could never keep the affair a secret, much less the resulting child, all behing the back of a dying wife? Was it arrogance? Delusions of grandeur and invincibility? Can we compare this with Norris?

When I get through all the hate mail, I might come back with an answer.

My Take on the Norris Campaign

Davis Norris is not affiliated with a political party. He is a Joycean scholar and preserver of historic buildings. To me, these things make him a much more appealing candidate for the office of President of the little Irish Republic than the other contenders. I’ve always thought it disappointing that the political parties have been the gateway to the Irish Presidency, considering the office is largely ceremonial. The President is meant to be a mostly apolitical figure and representative of Ireland to the outside world. Who could be better than the charismatic urbane intellectual man steeped in some of the best of Irish culture? Isn’t that the image Ireland wants?

Of course, embarrassing past interviews re-surfaced. We all know the story by now. It appeared in his infamous Helen Lucy Burke interview (Here, Here and Here) that Norris was advocating the abolition of the ‘age of consent’ though he claims he has been misunderstood and his words distorted.

That may be so.

It never seemed to affect his lead in the polls. My main problem with Norris in recent times has been his outspoken criticism of Israel. There is lots of that in Ireland (indeed, all of Europe). Yet Norris went much too far for my taste by inviting the Israeli Communist historian Ilan Pappé, a controversial and highly biased academic, to address the Oireachtas. The average Irish parliamentarian would simply have no idea where to begin in confronting the man. Pappé doesn’t fit my definition of a proper historian, and  therefore I do not want to waste my breath by attacking him. I will say that at least this fellow is quite open about his sympathies and political agenda (he ran for Knesset elections as a Communist in the 1990s, and claims Israel’s existence is a nuisance that gets in the way of solving larger problems, such as those relating to the environment).

And yet there are past associations of David Norris that are less explored that would seem very relevant. In light of the age of consent controversy it would be highly appropriate to bring up facts about his former long-time romantic partner, the Israeli Communist Ezra Nawi. Nawi is a plumber by profession but also a political agitator. Few are aware that Nawi was convicted of sodomizing an underage Palestinian Arab boy in 1992, as well as the illegal use of a firearm, growing narcotics and transporting Palestinian Arab workers who did not possess the proper permits into Israel. Nawi was given light sentences so as to not give him the status of a martyr among Israeli Anarchists and Communists. David Norris was certainly aware of Nawi’s history of intercourse with underage boys while they were a couple. Why has this been ignored in the public debates?

Ezra Nawi on a flamboyant display near Hebron

Nawi’s bizarre activities didn’t stop in 1992. For instance, the man seems to be fond of exposing himself in public.  In 2006 he was charged for displaying his genitals to a religious Jewish farmer’s wife near Hebron, who photographed him. In a separate incident, Nawi exposed his anus to an Israeli police officer. Norris was no longer involved romantically with Nawi at that stage. However, he continued to offer him the assistance an Irish Senator with strong Human Rights Industry connections could. The Senator admits to lobbying on behalf of  Nawi’s Arab partner, who was jailed for working without possessing proper documentation. When Nawi was in prison for supposedly assaulting an Israeli police officer, David Norris expressed solidarity with him in the Oireacthas. Nawi was quickly released due to foreign pressure and because the evidence against him was not so strong. In 2007, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and other Bishops of the Left also expressed solidarity with Nawi after an earlier assault and rioting incident. A fawning documentary was made by leftist filmmakers about him (it doesn’t mention young boys or firearms). Nawi was given a light 1-month prison sentence after that episode. There may indeed have been questions about Nawi’s most recent assault conviction, but he is certainly not some angelic character concerned solely with human rights. And he is certainly not the kind of man a politician embroiled in conflict over his views on pedophilia would want to be seen assisting.

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UPDATE (July 29th, 2011) : It is interesting that Ezra Nawi’s Hebrew Wikipedia page mentions the sodomy against a minor conviction, but the English one does not. Nor do any Nawi biographies on the websites of ‘human rights’ organisations. Here is the Hebrew Ha’aretz article used as a reference for the conviction on the Hebrew wiki. An English Ha’aretz report on Nawi’s 1-month prison sentence I have embedded in the post also refers to the 1992 conviction.