Purple Diary

[April 8 2011]

Activist, Actor and filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis assassinated in Jenin, West Bank

The filmmaker, actor and peace activist Juliano Mer-Khamisson was shot dead in his car outside of the Freedom Theater which he founded in the West Bank city of Jenin. The masked assailant of the brutal murder that occurred on Monday has not yet been identified, though several arrests have been made. Juliano Mer-Khamisson was the star to Julian Schnabel’s film Miral depicting life in the midst of the ever-escalating and volatile conflict between Israel and Palestine. Mer-Khamisson was son to Arna Mer, a Jewish Israeli activist for Palestinian causes and Saliba Khamis, a Nazareth-born Christian, one of the leaders of the Israeli Communist Party in the 1950s. In addition to his film work, Mer-Khamisson created an extraordinary project which was the Freedom Theater, a drama venue in the heart of the occupied West Bank with a mission to improve education and promote cultural resistance in occupied Palestine. He was a vocal and strident proponent of Palestinian rights and active critic of Israel, once declaring during a press conference in his theater in 2009, ‘If there isn’t history, culture and art behind one’s rifle, that rifle kills rather than liberates’. Text Sophie Pinchetti

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