A Story With Tulips

The story below didn't happen, but it could happen. Couldn't it?

Isaac Kohn

OpEds לבן ריק
לבן ריק
Arutz 7
Police Interrogate Rabbi for Opposing Disengagement

16:22 May 11, '05 / 2 Iyar 5765

"Another similar police interrogation also took place yesterday in the Kfar Saba police station. Natan Englesman, a Likud Party member who is known to be an opponent of the disengagement plan, was interrogated for 'taking too many pictures' during a Holocaust Memorial Day event last week. Both Prime Minister Sharon and Natan's mother took part in the event.

"Englesman said that the police told him that he photographed too often, 'and that is not legitimate... Know that you are under supervision; we are keeping our eyes open.'"

The above is one news item in the latest rash of harassment leveled against opponents of the Sharon 'expulsion' plan. The story below didn't happen, but it could happen. Couldn't it?


"Rrrrriiinnnggg!" the doorbell chimed on an early spring day in New York. Looking through the eye piece, I noticed three men standing in front of the door, two were uniformed policemen and one civilian-clad. Opening the door, I asked the officers what I could do for them.

"Isaac Kohn?" The civilian-clad officer asked.

"Yes," I responded.

"Detective Barkley. These papers are for you. You are under arrest."

I blinked twice and responded (foolishly, I guess): "Arrested? What did I do?'

"Please come with us. You'll find out downtown." Downtown, I knew, was the holding cells for those arrested and held prior to being booked. I called out for my wife, but the detective hissed sharply: "We have no time. Please follow us."

"Can't I call my attorney?"


My wife walked into the living-room just as the handcuffs clicked shut. Terrified, she screamed.

Pulling me roughly, the policemen shoved me into the police car and we were off. I still didn't know why I was arrested.

Downtown! A stark, tall building with every window covered with gates to prevent escapes. I was led into a small room and ordered to sit down. My cuffs were removed and I rubbed my chaffed wrists. The guard glared at me without saying a word.

The door opened and two men walked in, one was the detective who arrested me. Grabbing the chair across the table, he sat down and pointed his finger at me.

"You better answer every question Captain O'Reilly will ask. Don't play games."

I nodded.

"Where were you yesterday, at 2:00pm?"

"In the Botanical Gardens with my daughters. Why?"

"We ask. You answer."

I slumped back in the chair.

"Yes, we know that. We followed you for two hours."

"You did? Why?"

"Never mind. Why were you taking so many pictures of the tulips?"

I blinked, "Are you guys serious?"

"Hey!" shouted Detective Berkley, "Just answer the questions!"

"Because I like flowers."

"Really? Than why did you take at least twenty-five pictures of the tulips and only three of the other flowers?"

"Because I like tulips. Is that a crime?"

Smirking, the captain responded, "We shall see."

"In any case, you took fourteen pictures of yellow tulips, four of the white and the rest were from red tulips. Do you deny that?"

"No. I guess you counted every picture I took."

"Yes, we did. And that is why we think you may be planning a terrorist act against the Botanical Gardens."

"I am?"

"Yes. If someone like you claims that he likes flowers, it is very curious why the green and semi-purple tulips were completely ignored. Not even one picture."

"That's because I ran out of film."

"Oh yeah? You could have bought more in the gift shop."

"No way. They charge double the price."

"I see. And you have something against economic growth? Are you a fascist? Communist?"

"Wait a minute there. This is a free country. I can buy film if I want or not buy if I so decide."

"Not if it jeopardizes national security."

I thought I'd gag, "And how exactly does my not buying film at exorbitant prices jeopardize national security?"

"Never mind. Everything will come out during your trial."

"Trial? I'm going on trial for taking pictures of tulips?"

"Yes. Taking too many pictures is a crime. You are a lucky man that you weren't arrested right there and then in front of your children."

"What is this? Am I living in dictatorial Syria?"

"There you go. Comparing the US to Syria! You see what we mean? You are a traitor."

I began to sweat profusely. I couldn't believe what was going on. Arrested for snapping pictures of yellow tulips, but not of purple ones! This was not for real.

"You are goofing on me, aren't you? Is today April Fool's Day?"

"You better watch your mouth. Don't you go calling us fools," Detective Berkley was fuming.

"I'd like to speak to my lawyer, please."

The captain laughed out loud, "Your lawyer? You want your lawyer?"

"Yes. Is that funny? I'm being accused of a ridiculous crime. I want to speak to my attorney."

"Well, dopey. Your lawyer was also arrested yesterday for photographing the purple tulips and ignoring the others. We think you two are in cahoots. You are conspiring against the government."

I gave up.