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Left-wing activist Ezra Nawi

On Thursday night, Channel 2 investigative show Uvda’s host Ilana Dayan exposed a left-wing activist named Ezra Nawi who sends to their certain death Arabs who plan to sell their land to Jews.

The laws on ownership of land under the Palestinian Authority (PA), originally enacted during the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria (1948–1967), prohibit Arabs from selling Arab-owned lands to “any man or judicial body corporation of Israeli citizenship, living in Israel or acting on its behalf.” According to several media sources, including the NY Times, Ha’aretz and Jerusalem Post, selling land to Jews is considered an act of treason by the Arabs because it threatens the future Palestinian state and leads to “the spread of moral, political and security corruption”. Arabs in the Palestinian Authority who sell land to Israelis may be sentenced to death. The interrogation by PA security forces of Arabs suspected of selling land to Jews involves severe torture.

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The Uvda report was initiated by a group of right-wing activists that penetrated Ta’ayush, a grassroots volunteer organization established in the fall of 2000 by PA Arabs and left wing Israelis. One of the activists taped Nawi’s bragging about how he turns in to the Palestinian Authority security forces Arabs who plan to sell land to Jews, with full awareness of their fate after they are caught. “I hand them directly to the Palestinian security service,” Nawi boasts on the tape.

When asked what happens once Palestinian Authority police lays its hands on the sellers, Nawi says, “It catches them, kills them.” He then added with a vicious smile, “First Zubur, then Gazanga.” Zubur is an Arabic word used in Hebrew to describe hazing—humiliation and physical torment. The Gazanga part is not a known word, but implies, in the context of the tape, the demise of the victim.

Ezra Nawi and his Arab associate, B’Tselem activist Nasser Nawaj’ah, from the village of Yatta, are left-wing stars, who have been part of the anti-settlement movement for decades. This is why the Israeli left, before and immediately following the broadcast Thursday night, began a campaign in their defense.

The left has praised Nawi and Nawaj’ah to high heaven over the years, including accolades from linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, logician, social critic, and political activist Noam Chomsky; author, social activist, and filmmaker Naomi Klein; Ben-Gurion University Prof. Niv Gordon; and Meretz Chairperson MK Zehava Galon. They will not allow for these two folk hero activists to gain a new renown as agents of death.

B’Tselem accused the show of legitimizing what was, essentially, a right-wing operation. In that sense, the fact that journalist Dayan described sending to their certain death Arabs whose only sin is wanting to sell land to Jews, appears from B’Tselem’s point of view like her embracing of the “occupation.” Gideon Levy told Dayan on air that “If that’s all that those plants discovered, it’s a badge of honor for the human rights organizations.”

The right in Israel has also joined the fray. Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) said on Thursday that “it has been proven once again that some human rights organizations are, in effect, stepping on human rights. I call on the legal authorities to apply to them the full extent of the law. Maybe now we’ll comprehend how important it is to pass the NGO [transparency] Law.”

Science Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) said the report was “yet another example of the dangerous escalation by the extreme left. This is one more proof of the process of extremism and anti-Israeli activity growing deeper in the left-wing NGOs.”

Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Betzalel Smotrich said “what we’ve watched tonight is the loss of a moral compass, a betrayal of the State of Israel and an injury to life under the guise of defending human rights. This phenomenon is not an invention of Ezra Nawi, unfortunately it is typical of many of the extremist left wing organizations which are concealing an extremist political agenda under the cover of human rights.”

The report’s editor, Ami Assenheim, told Makor Rishon about the process that preceded the screening: “Nawi is not alone,” he said. “You see a mix of left-wing activists from other places. Nawi collaborates with another Jewish activist in Ta’ayush. These are not the actions of a single individual in a single organization. You see people conspiring to turn in a land broker to the Preventive Security Force (PSF), knowing what would be the fate of people like him. They were very embarrassed when we called them up for a response. There were long silences and phone hang-ups.”

Nawi himself accused the report of being an effort to sabotage his heroic work on behalf of the Palestinian population in the southern Hebron Mountain. “I wasn’t the one trapping the land broker, the opposite is true,” he said. Nasser Nawaj’ah also denied his role as it was described in the report, but not quite with the same level of self-righteousness.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. the "left"'s response reminds of my friend (on the board of B'tselem) when i told him i thought al durah was a fake: "you're whitewashing the occupation!" in other words, al durah was too valuable as a weapon against the occupation to correct, no matter how much hatred it spread (or maybe because of it). #MoralDiscombobulation

  2. ISRAEL BORDERS ARE FROM THE JORDAN VALLEY TO THE MEDITARENEAN SEA WITH IT CAPITAL JERUSALEM
    SO JORDAN HA NO SAY ARABS DONT OWN IT
    IT BELONG TO ISRAEL PERIOD
    CHECK:
    1922 LOUZY 4 % OF THE MIDDLE EAST WAS GIVEN AND VOTED FOR BY THE WHOLE WOLD TO BE FOR THE JEWISH STATE AND 96 % THE ARABS TOOK
    SO WHAT THE HELL ARABS GET OUT PEACEFULLY OR ELSE

  3. Shurat HaDin should represent the Palestinian families victimized by Nawi and Taayush. They should serve time for second degree murder and have their assets confiscated and given to the Palestinian families who suffered because of the loss of their loved ones

  4. This is the problem with the Israeli Left; they have (unwittingly?) become antisemitic, anti-coexistence, racist, hateful and pro-capital punishment…but only against Jews. Not only does a Left-Wing accept and support a Palestinian Authority that makes it a death penalty offense to sell land to Jews, he is willing to turn innocent people over to a fascist government to be summarily murdered to ensure Jews and Arabs can’t live side-by-side in peace.

  5. So, crack open the earth, and drop them into it, and let it close upon and over them. You do not need them amongst you; they are an abomination; so, give them up to Hashem, as the deserving Canaanites that they truly are. And then, forget them.

  6. We don't need them in government. But before getting tossed the should be tried for accessories to murder. They think that that ate so very untouchable. Not so. I'm sure there's a law somewhere in the Israeli law books that make it ussur to do what nawi and his cohorts did.

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