You cannot hide it nor disguise it; Israel is facing a political crisis. It’s a crisis not only of the state but the state of its people. From a decidedly happy people, we are a people less than happy at the new direction of their country since January 2023 caused by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s governing coalition’s unpopular and controversial overhaul of its judicial system. This is causing anxiety.
Some have found an outlet of this anxiety by expressing what they are feeling not only in protest and prose but also in poetry. Here below is a poem by a Lay of the Land contributor from Israel’s southernmost resort city of Eilat.
David Kaplan (editor)
By Fonda Dubb, Eilat
Sometimes I feel my heart beating fast
My breath breathing faster
How can I stand aside and say or do nothing
I loathe the words that are spoken
I loathe the division that is so split and divided
I loathe the violence
That like an inferno rips the country apart.
It affects me so deeply
That I have to write
In the hope that there will be a change of heart
That I can look in the mirror and say
I did something!!
So I feel forgiven
But just for a little while
It takes time to adjust ones thoughts to one of gratitude for the many things bestowed on me
Family and friends to brighten up our days
Eilat with its beauty of mountains and sea.
They are not in the conflict of helplessness that I experience
They are G-d given
The joy of nature, of flowers and trees, butterflies and bees
They too like the birds that sing and fly at night are a gift of life.
I count my blessings every day
To remind myself of the many gifts of life
So never to forget that the opposite of helplessness is light and joy in the miracles of life.
It is my fervent prayer that we all believe in gratitude
To change our thoughts to one of prayer and forgiveness to make a better world to see the ” other side of life”.
Just to be kind to one another is goodness itself
to rid the helplessness we feel and see
A belief that one hand will stretch out and touch each another
So we can cling to hope that will never be abandoned
But will forever with our gratitude
Be intertwined together
While we pray for peace in our blessed land.
*Feature picture: A protester lies in foliage during a demonstration in Jerusalem July 24, 2023 against PM Netanyahu and his governing coalition’s judicial overhaul. (photo: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters).
About the Poet:
A former South African who daringly in her own unique way challenged the apartheid regime by teaching dance and cooking in “Black areas” in the Eastern Cape and Northern Transvaal, Fonda Dubb today resides in Eilat, Israel. (See article: The Right Moves). Her lifelong concern for others has led to her receiving numerous awards, most notably in 2012 the ‘Woman of the Year Miller Prize’ for volunteerism from the Mayor of Eilat.
In recent times, Fonda has taken to writing poetry drawing from her experiences both in South Africa and Israel, her values, as well as the natural beauty of Eilat. Her guiding star she says, is “a yellowing piece of paper” that hung in the consulting rooms of her late pathologist cousin, Dr. Johnathan Gluckman, who exposed the truth with his post-mortem of the famed Black anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko, who met his untimely death in police custody. The words on that piece of paper read: “Good men have only to remain silent for evil to prevail”. These words says Fonda, “always stuck with me and influenced my way of thinking.”
While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves. LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).