Irish candidate quits race for helping Israeli ex-lover

By JTA
August 3, 2011 15:39




A popular candidate for the Irish presidency dropped out in the wake of revelations that he had sought clemency for an Israeli lover convicted of statutory rape.

Sen. David Norris, an independent, announced the end of his campaign Tuesday after key lawmakers withdrew their support because of the revelations.

"I do not regret supporting and seeking clemency for a friend, but I do regret giving the impression that I did not have sufficient compassion for the victim of Ezra’s crime," Norris was quoted as saying of Ezra Nawi, who in 1997 was convicted in Israel of having sex with a 15-year old boy.

Norris and Nawi, a gay rights and pro-Palestinian activist, had been lovers from 1975 to 1985.

Nawi sought help from Norris a dozen years after their breakup when he was on trial for statuary rape, and Norris wrote a character reference.


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