King David Hotel

A take on the King David Hotel Bombings in Tel Aviv in 1946. An imagined story of the different perspectives of all the nationalities involved, looking at their motivations and drives in fictional form. Though the characters are named, their motivations and actions are to an extent imagined.

This first draft has only the British and Jewish views currently, don't worry, I will have a Palestinian view shortly, and I will attempt to achieve narrative parity soon.

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1. Prologue

15th June 1946

 

It became obvious that the army slogan David Thompson had been used to in his years of service - 'join the army and see the world' - was not really needed when you entered Jerusalem.

David had been to many places as an army officer, but he had never been to a place where the world came to you. A city where every corner you turned produced different sights, smells and tastes that barraged the senses and demanded notice. The markets were always full of stalls, merchants selling goods - all exotic and enticing to a Briton - whilst the exquisite clothing of the rich put the suits of English gentry to shame. Alongside these visions of wealth came the poor, as they always did, small boys wandering each square, ready to grab a dropped fruit, or rip the moneys from an unguarded pocket. Jerusalem seemed to him to be a cauldron of peoples, all vying for breath, for life.

That was without the pilgrims.

Walking along the streets he was still only getting used to, you would see nearly every nationality: Americans, French, Russian, Palestinian, Iranian, all here to worship and praise. David was not much of a religious person - he did his job, and that was all - but he marvelled the multitudes of people who travelled huge distances, rich and poor, to walk through the dirty streets, past the busy markets and risk the ever present pick pocket. How could one city in the middle of the desert have garnered such a following?

 

David was based at the King David Hotel, that they shared a name was a source of constant ribbing from his colleagues, it was 'his kingdom' and he was mockingly called 'King David' since the day he had arrived. All this was not helped by the fact that nearly all the people he worked with were men from high society, born to their Foreign Ministry jobs, whereas David had come from lower stock - his father worked in the London Docks - and making him feel an outsider, not belonging.

The fact that he and everyone else sent here were constantly under threat of attack didn't help either.

Palestine for 30 years had been controlled by Britain, and unrest had been growing ever since, simmering in the eastern sun. David had felt hot eyes burning on him throughout his regular exploratory strolls through the old city, no matter whose eyes they were.

Both the Jewish and the Muslim quarters showed the most hatred - here the sun felt hottest, the streets most unforgiving. This though, was unsurprising given what the British had done. David cursed his superiors. How could they be so blind as to promise two people's the same piece of land? Now both hated the British as much as they hated each other.

Now the heat of summer was almost unbearable.

Something had to give.

 

 

 

 

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