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Juliano Mer Khamis

  • 100 percent human: Five years without Juliano Mer-Khamis

    In a small cafe in Berlin, I found myself surrounded by Palestinian refugees from Yarmouk who knew and loved my friend Juliano — a man who was 100 percent Palestinian and 100 percent Jewish. By Udi Aloni When I landed in Berlin on April 4th, I realized that it was the first time since the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis that I wouldn't be holding a memorial service for him. I thought that I would buy a bottle of Black Label on the plane, Jul's favorite whiskey, and down it that same night with Mariam Abu Khaled, his wonderful student…

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  • Same apartheid drama, on a new stage

    The Jenin Freedom Theatre wraps its tour of Athol Fugard's 'The Island' in New York City, bringing Palestinian cultural resistance and prisoner experiences to U.S. audiences.  NEW YORK -- You would think the words “Israel,” “Palestine” and “occupation” would have to be spoken during a theatrical production tackling the Palestinian political prisoner experience. Not so in the Jenin Freedom Theatre’s adaption of South African playwright Athol Fugard’s “The Island,” which just concluded a four-state U.S. tour, the first Freedom Theatre production performed in English to tour abroad. The reason: the Palestinian experience in Israeli prisons parallels that of black South African prisoners…

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  • Freedom Theater's Zakaria Zubeidi on life-threatening ‘death fast’ in PA prison

    Zubeidi, a former fighter who famously laid down his arms in a 2007 amnesty agreement, has been detained by the Palestinian Authority since May. A hunger strike to protest his detention without charge is threatening his life. By Jenny Nyman Heard of Zakaria Zubeidi? Most people around here have, but perhaps not in the past four months. This is because Zakaria has spent this time detained by the Palestinian Authority in Jericho Prison with no charges pressed, no evidence presented against him in court, and surrounded by nothing but a deafening silence. Zakaria was arrested on May 13, as part of…

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  • Cycling the West Bank: Uphill rides and uphill battles

    An eight day cycling trip through the West Bank turned out to have a lot more surprises than Louise Rafkin ever expected By Louise Rafkin I was sharing my itinerary with the young Israeli next to me on the plane – Tel Aviv, bicycling the West Bank, Jerusalem – a month in all.  Yes, I said, it was my first visit to Israel. “You’re Jewish, right?” he asked.  Then, as if he knew already, “Palestinians will kill you - they’re animals, they’re not human.” My California sensibilities were shocked by his blunt racism.  He poked in his ear buds.  It…

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  • Jenin's Freedom Theater raided by the Israeli army

    Overnight, roughly 50 Israeli Special Forces troops raided the Jenin Freedom Theatre in the Jenin Refugee Camp in the Northern West Bank according to members of the theater. The Freedom Theater is often associated with slain Palestinian-Jewish actor Juliano Mer Khamis and his vision of cultural resistance to Israeli occupation. Mer Khamis was shot by unknown gunman outside of the theatre last spring. According to the press release of the Freedom Theater regarding the raid, Ahmad Nasser Matahen, a night guard and technician student at the theatre woke up by heavy blocks of stone being hurled at the entrance of the theatre. As he opened…

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  • Thirty days: A farewell to Juliano Mer-Khamis

    Today marks the shloshim (30 days) from the funeral of Juliano Mer-Khamis. Below are some reflections written on the day of the funeral itself. ‪ Juliano Mer Khamis's presence was unmistakable, yet he was extraordinarily difficult to place. The son of a Jewish Israeli mother and a Palestinian Arab father, he played fierce Sabras or equally fierce Arabs in his film roles; the son of a mother who took  part in the Nakba - at one point, she was the jeep driver of the chief ethnic cleanser of the Negev - Juliano later followed that same woman deep into the…

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  • Palestinians must protect freedom of expression

    The murder of Juliano Mer Khamis was a national tragedy for Palestinians that drew shock and outrage. However, it is imperative that we learn from this horrific event that the rights to freedom of art and expression must be protected and upheld at all costs. Since the beginning of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, artists have played a vital role in Palestinian society. Palestinian artists have helped create community for Palestinians in diaspora, and have drawn international attention to the Palestinian cause.  Palestinian artists have also inspired resistance at home, taking leadership roles in every Palestinian intifada. From Ibrahim Tokan…

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  • Palestinian Committee blames Israeli occupation alone for Mer Khamis murder

    By solely condemning the Israeli occupation for the murder, the Bil'in Popular Committee is sending both sides an unfortunate message The morning after the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis, the Bil'in Popular Committee, led by Iyad Burnat, put out a statement expressing its sorrow over the tragic event. In the statement, the Israeli occupation is held "accountable and fully responsible" for the murder, since it is seen as part of the "escalation of politics exercised by Israeli occupation." The statement goes on to reiterate the values of civil disobedience and peaceful means for ending the occupation, and emphasizes that the…

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  • Activist, actor, director Juliano Mer Khamis assassinated in Jenin

    News just broke that Juliano Mer Khamis, who has established and run the Freedom Theater in Jenin, has been assassinated by  masked gunmen in the refugee camp near the theatre.  Mer Khamis, son of a Palestinian father and a Jewish mother, has faced threats since forever: From conservatives in the camp who took a strong dislike to the theatre's liberal repertoire and casting of both men and women, both boys and girls; from nationalists who saw him as an agent of the occupation, a promoter of normalization; and from just about every Israeli who commented on any news piece covering him…

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