'You spoke to the Attorney-General? You're under arrest'

A flippant comment tossed out on a street in Petah Tikva got Erez Nesimi arrested.

Nitzan Keidar ,

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Erez Nesimi has an illustrious neighbor – not far from his home in Petah Tikva lies the home of the Attorney-General, Avichai Mandelblit. They used to encounter each other fairly regularly on the street, usually on the way to synagogue on Shabbat eve, but that all stopped after a particular incident that he has only now chosen to relate.

“I live just a short distance away from Avichai Mandelblit,” he told Arutz Sheva. “We used to cross paths quite often on our way to the synagogue on Friday night. Last January, on one particular Friday night, I happened to pass by when he was surrounded by bodyguards, and without thinking, I blurted out, ‘Five years ago, they fabricated a case against you – but this time they’re right.’

“I didn’t even shout or raise my voice but the response was instantaneous,” he related. “One of his bodyguards grabbed me and told me I was under arrest. He then called out to one of the police officers in the nearby police car, that always accompanied Mandelblit, and told him to take me to the police station. He accused me of having cursed the Attorney-General, but in my entire life I’ve never cursed a person,” Nesimi insisted.

“I asked him not to take me to the police station as it was Shabbat,” he continued, “but after consulting with an officer at the precinct, he told me that he had no choice but to take me in. He did at least allow me to first take my young daughter home, and then he took me to the police station. During my interrogation, I said that I didn’t know that there was a law forbidding people to talk to each other in the street, and they responded that the local police had made a regulation that it was illegal to talk to the Attorney-General. I was questioned for half an hour before being released.”

One of the conditions of his release was that Nesimi was not to approach Mandelblit for the next two weeks. In fact, he hasn’t seen him since that January evening. “As far as I know, the police haven’t followed up my case at all,” he said. “I stopped by the police station on Sunday after my arrest to sign my statement, and I have no clue what happened afterward. I don’t even know if they closed the case or not.”

As noted, Nesimi was at first reluctant to relate his story. “I’ve been wary of getting mixed up with the law ever since it happened,” he explained. “That’s why I didn’t tell my story to anyone until now. But now that I know that there have been other similar cases, I saw it as my duty to speak out.”



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