Juliano Mer-Khamis was a Hero – a great Peacemaker and a great ArtistPosted: 2011/04/06
Text: Ada Aharoni
IFLAC vehemently condemns the murder of peace activist Juliano Mer-Khamis, who held the same ideology and values as IFLAC. Juliano, whom we loved, strongly believed like us, that Bridges of Peace through art and theater can overcome terrorism and hatred.
For this, he was killed! Juliano Mer-Khamis, 52, was shot dead on Monday, outside the FREEDOM THEATRE which he founded, in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin. He was shot five times by murderous Palestinian Hamas militants.
Juliano’s mother, Arna Mer, was an Israeli Jewish activist for Palestinian rights. His father, Saliba Khamis, was a Christian Palestinian, and their son Juliano was born and raised in Nazareth.
Juliano was well-known as a peace-actor for his film and theater roles, both in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority, as well as across the world. He was an excellent director of his “Freedom Theater” and a staunch political activist for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
The theater he directed in Jenin, was established by his mother in the 1980s, and in 2006, Juliano re-opened it under its present name.
The criticism by Fundamentalist Islamists, focused on the fact that the theater offered co-educational activities, of boys and girls, despite the anachronistic and undemocratic prohibition against this, in the Islamic moral code.
The Fundamentalist objectors were also outraged when Juliano Mer-Khamis staged the play “Animal Farm”, by Durrell, in which the young actors played the part of pigs, which Islam considers an impure animal! They smashed his car for this, and tried twice to burn down the theater!
Jenin governor, Qadura Moussa, called Juliano Mer-Khamis a great supporter of the Palestinian people. He said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told him to bring those responsible for his death to justice.
Juliano was a great hero who tried with his own life experience and personality, to serve as a bridge over the gorges of hatred and terrorism. And he paid for his courage with his life.
We at IFLAC will always remember him as a courageous Peace-Hero. We will protest and condemn the horrifying murder of such a great man, by doubling our efforts to fight against terrorism and hatred, in all their cruel, horrible and disgusting aspects.
Juliano will live in our hearts and minds forever, may he rest in peace!
Dr. Ada Aharoni
IFLAC Founder – President