Constructing Normalcy

Israeli soldiers conducting a military drill on Shuhada Street

One could easily render his or her surroundings – as extreme as they could be – into a state of normalcy.

I was caught in this state while in Hebron. Images like the one above were embedded into my framework for interpreting how a “normal day” should play out.

One should always expect soldiers patrolling the streets and prowling the rooftops.

One should always expect to be interrogated at the checkpoints.

One should always expect to be detained for no reason.

My Palestinian friends told me that this is how the locals could cope with the absurdity and blatant injustice of the situation – that they have to accept this as “normal” in order to resist the urge to fight back, to retaliate, to condemn those who mistreat them.

But how long could this facade of normalcy remain intact? What does it take for someone’s state of normalcy to be shattered?

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