Who is Ezra Nawi?

9 May

According to Neve Gordon, author of Israel’s Occupation and lecturer of politics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, Jewish Israeli peace activist, Ezra Nawi will be imprisoned this July for trying to stop the military from bulldozing the homes of Palestinian Bedouins in Um El Hir, South Hebron.

The courageous story of Nawi has been documented in a film, ‘Citizen Nawi’ (which was shown in this year’s Sydney’s Mardi Gras Film Festival – I missed it!) portraying the police harassment and settlers threat amongst other challenges. Not just a peace activist, he is also a gay man whose relationship with a Palestinian, Fuad is fraught with difficulties. The latter was sent to prison numerous times while Nawi continues to visit his lover. They however broke up due to the harassments:

“Why did we break up?” says Ezra. “Why does anybody break up? But beyond the banal reasons, there’s no doubt that the pressure was getting to both of us. You can’t really have a relationship with the police cracking down on you a few times a week, being harassed endlessly, not being able to lead a normal life.”

His activities to protect the cave dwellers have continued unabated:

“The wrongs that you see there tear you apart,” says Ezra. “I was attached to this community from the moment I came in contact with it, living like people in biblical times, working the land with the most primitive tools. And all of a sudden, they are in existential danger, prosecuted, having their fields burned, their wells poisoned, their elderly beaten and their land taken away from them. You can’t just walk away.”

Visit http://www.supportezra.net/ and send letters to the Israeli embassy in your country appealing to the Israeli government to stop the imprisonment of Ezra Nawi.

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