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'Half-a-year in jail over a complete lie'

Mordechai Mayer, released after 5 months on administrative order, was arrested 'because I have a kippah'; parents say 'Israel has problems.'

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Eliran Aharon,

Mordechai Mayer's parents
Mordechai Mayer's parents
Eliran Aharon

On Sunday Mordechai Mayer was released after being jailed for five months on an administrative order with no trial or evidence, and with no indictment ever submitted against him.

Mayer was arrested during a wave of administrative orders issued against right-wing activists shortly after the lethal Duma arson in July, and no information regarding why he was selected to be arrested was ever presented. After initial vague implications that the arrest was related to Duma, the government quickly changed its tune and clarified that there was no connection.

In a conversation with Arutz Sheva late Tuesday, Mayer spoke about two periods during his arrest, the first in the open branch of Rimonim Prison for two and a half months, and the second in an isolation cell at Eshel Prison, where his family could visit only once every two weeks and only speak to him from the other side of a glass window.

Mayer explained that he was never given a reason for his arrest, saying, "from the beginning to the end we said it was all a lie. The court ate up the lies of the police, but in the end it became clear that it all was really lies."

"They took me because I have a kippah and peot (sidelocks)," said Mayer.

Deep problems

His parents Gedalya and Sarah, who made Aliyah from the US to Israel, told Arutz Sheva about the trying experience.

Sarah said, "it was very hard for us because we had no voice. Because it's an administrative detention we had no voice at all." Her husband added how frustrating it was to sit in court, listen to the "complete lies" against their son and not be able to speak in his defense.

Sarah noted on the importance of the Honenu legal aid organization in working to provide an opportunity to try and ensure justice for their son.

She also pointed out that in America, it took many years for various legal issues to be worked out, "and over time we hope that here too things will be fixed and it will be more democratic like it was there. When there was a problem, the public thought about how to fix matters. We hope everyone will look at the problems and there will be an improvement."

"I wasn't angry at the state, but I was disappointed because we saw there are huge problems here," said Gedalya. "Deep problems. The entire state needs a huge repair. If you can arrest someone for almost half a year over a complete lie, that's a very deep problem."

"Our son was a victim," emphasized Gedalya. "No one, except for a few people from Honenu and several others, wants to hear that. (They believe that) what the state says is right, and we were just shouting at the wall."

He concluded, saying, "there's always hope that the situation will improve. But the situation needs to improve."

Aside from Mayer, two other youths Meir Ettinger and Evyatar Slonim were also arrested on administrative orders at the same time, and they remain in jail. The orders last six months, at which point they can potentially be renewed.