David told me not to feel guilty - former lover speaks out
Published 06/08/2011 | 05:00
SENATOR David Norris has told his former partner not to feel guilty over the collapse of his presidential campaign.
Human rights activist Ezra Yizhak Nawi (60) revealed yesterday Mr Norris has been in contact with him since revelations that led to the demise of his Aras dream.
Mr Norris's campaign sensationally collapsed after it emerged he sought clemency in 1997 when Nawi was facing prison for the statutory rape of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy.
Yesterday, Nawi, who served three months of a six-month prison term for the crime, revealed that the two men spoke after the campaign's collapse.
Nawi, who is in Sweden to take part in the Stockholm Pride gay festival, said Mr Norris was in deep turmoil over the controversy.
"He's just a storm of emotions and I cannot help him much. I was talking with him, but mostly just listening. He told me: 'Do not feel guilty'.
"But even though I know it's not my fault, I still feel I had some part in his downfall."
Nawi has repeatedly claimed that Israeli officials were responsible for disclosing details of his conviction, first secured in Jerusalem in 1992.
This claim has been strenuously denied by the Israeli embassy in Dublin.
"I think that some Israeli officials or embassy or somebody else is involved in this," Nawi said.
"There is no doubt about it. Maybe (there are) also other countries (involved)."
Nawi said that although the source of the revelations may not have come directly from the embassy in Dublin, it "definitely" came from Israeli sources.
He added that the revelation about his conviction was a "very juicy story" for those who opposed his political activism and opinions.
Nawi said that he had met the underage Palestinian teenager in 1990 and they agreed to sleep with each other.
"His parents reported this to the police and I admitted it was true immediately," he told 'Yediot Ahronot', one of Israel's biggest newspapers.
"I realised I had done something wrong. I paid the price and I went to jail, even though it was consensual.
"Norris knew about the story. He thought there was something wrong with me, because it was a terrible thing. But he was a true friend. He knew it was a one-off incident and kept in touch."
The authorities in Israel struggled from the outset to make a case against Nawi as the victim was reluctant to give evidence against him.
The passage of time between the offence and the appeals process also created difficulties for the Israeli authorities, according to a ruling issued by the Jerusalem High Court.