With 800,000 Palestinians detained since the 1967 Israeli occupation, imprisonment is a lived reality of the Palestinian people. Thousands of incarcerated Palestinian political prisoners are Administrative Detainees who are imprisoned without trial or charges. While Israel mastered a plethora of means to suppress the Palestinian struggle, it wrestled with how to crush the most despondent act of resistance – hunger-strikes.
My topic is a kind of moral failure: a failure to be shocked. The idea that there can be such a moral failure might initially seem dubious. Shock is not voluntary, it seems to involve a certain failure of agency and cognition, it is unpleasant and at times profoundly wounding. Initially, such a state might not seem morally desirable. And yet the absence of shock sometimes strikes us as a moral failing.