Israeli authorities are ‘convinced’ that Jewish extremists perpetrated the firebombing of two adjacent homes in the northern West Bank Arab village of Kafr Duma during the early hours of Friday 31 July.
Three of four members of the young Dawabsha family have since died as a result of burns sustained during the Molotov cocktail attack. Many Israelis are outraged by what happened and like me, still hope against much material evidence that Jews were in no way involved and that the attack was part of a local feud.
The poem below is my own response to the affair which coincided with Tu B’Av – Israel’s Valentine’s Day.
More Writing on Another Wall
‘Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin -
You have been numbered, weighed, divided’
(Book of Daniel, 5:25)
I remember the moon
at Harvest, a bloated orb
birthing hate and heart-ache.
I remember too, where once
white-clad fireflies, we’d dart
through tremulous vines, garlanding
first loves with patterned lights of
whispered futures we’d never dare define.
But now? No!
Surely not the same!
They could not have been
our boys – their fathers’ sons –
who stole out that night –
not as ordained for lovers’ wooing.
But dressed to kill, their faces scarfed
against the murderous flames
they fuelled and then fanned.
There are no better days
for us than Tu B’Av and
its mirrored sister, the sacred
fast of Yom Kippur. But the
night of love that turned to
hate is that for which we’ll
now eternally atone.
Some say the fire at Kafr Duma
was set by local scoundrels working
on a feud. How clever to kill their
mortal foes; divert the blame and
foment yet more unreasoned hatred
against us Jews.
But the writing’s on the
Dawabsha family’s wall
for all to see. We may
pretend no more.
‘This is our revenge.
Long live the King Messiah’.
Don’t think the end is here.
© Natalie Wood (16 September 2015)