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WEST BANK: Pro-Palestinian Israeli filmmaker killed in West Bank city


Israeli-born filmmaker and actor Juliano Mer-Khamis, 52, was shot dead in the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Monday.

It was not clear who was responsible, but some Palestinians believe the perpetrators may be among  those opposed to the liberal cultural activity Mer-Khamis had brought to Jenin and his role in building the Freedom Theater in 2006.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the killing, describing it as “hideous crime” and promising to bring to justice those responsible.

Khamis was born in Nazareth, northern Israel, to a Palestinian father, Saliba Khamis, one of the leaders of the Israeli Communist Party, and a Jewish mother, Arna Mer, a peace activist who had worked with children in the Jenin refugee camp after the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, in the early 1990s.

Juliano Mer-Khamis lived with his mother in the Jenin refugee camp for several periods.

Apart from starting the Freedom Theater in Jenin, Mer-Khamis also directed the film "Arna’s Children" (2004), which tells the story of his mother and the struggle of Palestinians in Jenin in the face of Israel's occupation. He also acted in Julian Schnabel's new movie, "Miral," which was recently presented at the United Nations amid protests from Israel.

His last directed work is the locally produced Arabic play, "The Chairs," which had its debut at Ramallah’s Kasaba theater on Sunday.

George Ibrahim, director of Kasaba theater and who performed in "The Chairs," said he was shocked when he heard the news of Mer-Khamis’ death. He accused people who were against seeing Palestinian cultural activities in the city of being behind the killing, but without naming them. He was clearly referring to fundamentalists who saw in the Freedom Theater a liberalization of a traditional and conservative Muslim society.

The Freedom Theater itself had come under attack twice in the past and a Jenin-based music school was set fire to at one point, giving some credence to Ibrahim’s charges.

“We will not allow, under any circumstances, the return to chaos and lawlessness,” said Prime Minister Fayyad in his statement.

Armed gunmen had at one point controlled the Palestinian streets until Fayyad, who took office in mid-2007, had in a short time put an end to this phenomena and brought stability and rule of law to the Palestinian territories.

— Maher Abukhater in Ramallah, West Bank

Photo: People, carrying images of Juliano Mer-Khamis, hold a protest in Ramallah, West Bank, over his killing. Credit: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

Comments () | Archives (42)

some palestinians beleive those against liberal cultral activity.
fundermentalists against liberalization of a traditional and conservative society.
e'm wonder who.
does terrorist hamas and its friends ring any bells?
to think the idf had any-thing to do with this is just stupid and delusional and thug settlers is just grasping at yet again anti jewish straws.
e'm and delusional zionist supporters an old and well used tired phrase who dont seem to be inaccurateley stating any-thing.
rather the anti jewish/zionist.(no surprise there then)
thank you.

"Anything else is misguided conjecture parading as propaganda"

Very funny, woobie, that you are accusing someone else as being a racist when you assure that it is 100% the act of the Jews. Of course the Arabs don't even blame the Jews but think it is the Islamists that killed him because of his liberal theatre. I get the feeling that you are an anti-semite (the Jewish semites of course).

Do you even understand the articles you read or do you only accept what you want to believe and discard the rest a propaganda. A good example of a racist fanatic.

Time for the idiots and dullards on the left who have fallen in love with the suicide bombers and other remorseless killers that Islam provides in spades to prattle off some of their hilarious anti-Jew propaganda. These clowns wouldn't feel out-of-place at an SS meeting in pre-war Germany.

I don't think the article mentions if the perpetrators of this crime were caught. We already, have the usual gang blaming one group of people. The M.E is a very screw up place. Where human life has no value.

@ Woobie - the perpetrator was arrested by the PA this morning - a known Arab terrorist who was released from Israeli jail last year as part of a 'deal' with the PA.

Anything else is misguided conjecture parading as propaganda.

Let us be clear here as the delusional Zionist supporters are again inaccurately stating and insinuating the 'side' responsible here (no surprises there).

'It was not clear who was responsible, but some Palestinians believe the perpetrators may be among those opposed to the liberal cultural activity Mer-Khamis had brought to Jenin and his role in building the Freedom Theater in 2006.'

It is so obvious due to his family and his own cultural works that he was Pro Humanitarian and supportive of the Palestinian cause in Occupied Palestinian territories, thus very little chance at all that his death was committed by Palestinians at all and 100% more likely to be Jewish Thug settlers or unruly IDF personnel.

With such biased, racist and inflammatory opinion it is no surprise your rantings were removed bean break.

The murdered man's partner in the theater was a Muslem Arab and to his credit a 'reformed' terrorist who renounced violence. Was Mer-Kamis murdered because he was a Jew or a 'liberal' and what 'message' was being sent? I think he was murdered simply because he was a Jew because a much stronger message would be sent to Arabs if the turncoat anti-jihadist Muslim Arab partner had been murdered.

A Jew who tries to help peace oriented Palestinians gets a bullet in the brain from the Arabs.

Does harvey Weinstein have the same reason to be in fear of his life from the Jewish community in the USA for doing much the same? I think not, except possibly from his mother-in-law who has made her views know regarding the film Mer-Kamis appeared in.

I see my prior post to the same effect was deleted by the editors.

Liberalism is a mental illness. A pro-Palestinian Jew makes about as much sense as a pro-Nazi Jew.

The irony of him being killed by Palestinians is going to be hard on his mother, sad when you think about it.

Hamas strikes again! Julian Schnabel should stay out of there if he knows what's good for him.

The Palestinians kill even people that support them. Here was a Jew who was helping and supporting them and they shot him dead. This is the way they are- murderers. Khamis stated once in an interview that even though he was pro palestinian he never felt more Jewish than when he was in Janin. And people around the world all defend them saying they want peace. They can't even make peace amongst themselves.

The Palestinians are from Jordan and should be allowed to return back
there in peace.

Re: "His last directed work is the locally produced Arabic play, 'The Chairs,' which had its debut at Ramallah’s Kasaba theater on Sunday."

This was Eugene Ionesco's 'The Chairs', produced in Arabic.

Condolences to Juliano's family and friends and we all hope your messages reach more people so that they be aware of life in the OPT.

The mass distribution to the Muslim and Arab world of a documentary film telling of the soon coming of the Mahdi, the Muslim messiah, is evidence that we are quickly approaching the end of times scenario that can be found in Bible prophecy.

A top adviser to Iranian President Ahmadinejad has produced a documentary film called, "The Coming is Upon Us", which tells of the cataclysmic events that will usher into the world the Mahdi, the Muslim messiah, and the time of Islam's victory over the entire world. The documentary lays out a scenario that calls for the assassination of the Saudi King Abdullah, Iranian President Ahmadinejad leading an army into Jerusalem to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and a worldwide caliphate, a global kingdom under Islamic law. This documentary being distributed across the Muslim and Arab world is calling for Muslims to rise up to meet the Mahdi and join him in this world conquest.

This scenario is actually almost the same description found in Bible prophecy for the last days. Ezekiel 38, Daniel 11, and Psalm 83 list the names of Islamic nations that will indeed rise up to destroy Israel in the last days. Joel 2 mentions the largest military militia ever formed on the earth who will attack the Jewish state which could only be from the Muslim world. Ezekiel 38:18 - Ezekiel 39:6 reveals that this mighty army will be destroyed when they make their move towards Israel.

A documentary film of the coming Mahdi, the Muslim messiah is indeed evidence that Bible prophecy is about to be fulfilled.

"He also acted in Julian Schnabel's new movie, 'Miral,' which was recently presented at the United Nations amid protests from Israel."

LA Times journalism at its finest. Make even the mundane political.

Does the writer indicate why the film was objected? No. Does he quote the State of Israel upon their objection? No. Can we please obtain some journalistic integrity?

Too bad. It takes away from what's really important in this article. Then again, maybe Mr. Abukhater was thinking that one last bash and dig against the state of Israel is what Mr. Mer-Khamis would have wanted in his obituary.

The writer suggests he was murdered in cold blood because he was liberal!?!? That's a tough audience!!

He described himself as 100% Palestinian AND 100% Jewish. Which half did they shoot to death? the 'liberal' Arab playwrite and actor or the Jewish theater mogul? His wife is pregnant with twins and he leaves a wife and a son and daughter WHO WERE IN THE CAR AT THE TIME! Exit stage left!

His Arab Muslim Palestinian theater partner was a known cold-blooded murder of Jews deeply involved in the planning and execution of various plots! who, to his credit, renounced violence. This is what Israeli Jews get for even trying to help Arabs; a bullet in the brain.

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