But before I could slip into a meditation, the door opened and the police officer who had arrested me on the Temple Mount appeared with a tall, aging police officer who looked like the actor, Mel Gibson.
“Nu?” he said, as if bored.
“Praying on the Temple Mount, resisting arrest, and endangering public safety,” the Temple Mount commander reported.
The police-station detective glanced over at me with an experienced gaze.
“I wasn’t praying and I didn’t resist anything,” I said. “I was minding my own business.”
Mel Gibson nodded with the same tired expression that the famous Jewish actor was known for. I couldn’t get over the resemblance.
“What were you doing?” he asked.
“I was singing,” I answered.
“Shtuyot!” the Border Police commander retorted. “He was praying with his hands in the air.”
“I was singing,” I insisted.
“What were you singing?” Mel queried.
“When the Saints Go Marching In,” I answered. “You can ask the Baptist tourists from Florida. They were singing it too. With all due respect, the policeman here wasn’t anywhere near me.”
Mel looked over to the Temple Mount commander. “Did you hear the kid praying?”
“I didn’t,” the cop admitted, “But I got a call from the Wakf guards saying that someone was praying with his arms in the air.”
“To tell you the truth, I don’t know if singing is illegal,” the precinct detective responded. “I’ll have to check it out.”
“When we ordered him to halt,” the cop said, “he took off like a gazelle.”
“Is that correct?” Mel asked, turning back to me.
“I didn’t know what they were saying. Sure I ran. They were charging at me with guns.”
“That’s a natural reaction,” Mel admitted. “He’s a tourist. I think you over-reacted, Aharoni.”
“He refused to leave the Mount when I commanded him to,” the commander named Aharoni insisted. Once again, his moustache twitched nervously.
“Why should I have left?” I challenged. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”