I currently have one of the mobile phones from our office which alerts the recipient to incidents of “clashes,” rammings, stabbings, search operations, or other violence. These messages come from UNDSS ~ the United Nations Department of Safety and Security. I received nearly 100 “dings” in three days. When a situation is deemed resolved, a message is sent: “The situation at ___ is back to normal.” The automatic response is to feel some measure of relief. It is impossible, however, to escape the irony, especially when one stops to consider what is considered normal. And perhaps this is part of the problem…
It is a sad day for humanity when ongoing occupation and oppression, checkpoints and closures, permits requested and permits denied, demolitions and detentions, humiliation and hopelessness, restricted movement and refusal for prayers, night raids and nightmares, illegal settlements and unjust laws, blocked access to land and livelihood, confiscation of property and resources, being walled in and walled out, uprooting of trees and uprooting of lives ~ when all of these things are considered normal.
And while writing this post I have received seven “dings” ~ I wonder if any of the many and varied situations are back to normal … But what is normal? ~ Certainly not this litany! Perhaps something more akin to the dream of an ancient prophet ~ And everyone will sit under their own vine and fig tree. And no one will make them afraid.
How can we change the discourse? The perception? The reality? How can we redefine normal? ~ May we be willing to place our efforts in the service of this prophetic dream ~ not an impossible one ~ that it may be so for everyone in this troubled land.