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Juliano, mourned

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julianoFrom a twitpic: “A stunning photo of Palestinians holding posters of Juliano Mer-Khamis, a map of Palestine targeted on his heart.”

Here is a statement from the Palestinian Popular Committees against the wall:

In memory of our beloved friend Juliano Mer-Khamis 

Juliano Mer-Khamis embodied the uncompromising struggle for freedom and for dignity. With his brutal murder the Palestinian struggle has lost a brilliant charismatic and courageous fighter for justice and freedom. Both parts of his life’s work were seamlessly joined. His art was inseparable from his political commitment. The dignity and humanity which his art sustained were just as important to Palestinian resilience -sumud as his explicitly political work. His life was tragically cut short but he nevertheless managed to live a life full with purpose and meaning. In his typical way he fully dedicated himself to realizing his principles and gave up the comfort of life in Haifa to move to Jenin. 

The Freedom theater which Mer-Khamis founded enriched the lives of countless young participants who all loved Juliano and their audience. It demonstrated the resilience of Palestinians, who transcended the most difficult situations to create a lasting legacy of art and consciousness. The effect of the Freedom theater reached far beyond Jenin and even the West Bank. People throughout the world were inspired to support the work of the theater and Palestinian solidarity in general. 

We offer his family our condolences and support. We will always remember and miss him. His legacy will continue to inspire us to struggle for dignity and liberation. We will follow Juliano’s example in his work and in his spirit.

Democracy Now had several remembrances of Mer-Khamis this morning. Here is a great statement from New York theater leaders:

The murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis, actor, director,  founder of the Jenin Freedom Theater, in the Jenin Refugee Camp, is an assault on art and artists, peacekeepers and the creative lives of young people who live under the constant threat of violence. 

As American theater makers whose work is dedicated to understanding of the other and the self, we condemn this unspeakable act.  We condemn the policy of targeted assassination which is widely practiced, by militant non-state actors, and by governments. 

Karen Malpede

George Bartenieff

Theater Three Collaborative

James Nicola

Linda Chapman

New York Theater Workshop

Here is Gideon Levy in Haaretz:

This tall, strapping, handsome man who oozed charisma, a Jew and an Arab on account of his parents – perhaps a Jew in the eyes of the Arabs and an Arab in the eyes of the Jews – decided to devote his life to Jenin, where he lived as an Israeli and as a human being. One of the most talented theater actors to ever emerge here was also the most courageous of them. The seven bullets extinguished the light of courage that he radiated. “Jule was murdered,” a trembling voice belonging to a refugee camp resident on the other end of the phone told me..

Ilene Cohen observes:

It is noteworthy that no Israeli government official that I’ve seen has bothered even to comment on the murder of an Israeli citizen in occupied Palestine. This is, sadly, not surprising, since Juliano was not a beloved settler but an activist whose life was dedicated to opposing the occupation. For Israelis, I would imagine, he was therefore beyond the pale.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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