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Apr-04-2011 09:29printcommentsVideo

Filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis was Murdered Today in Jenin

This brutality could be the work of an IDF special unit.

Juliano Mer-Khamis
Juliano Mer-Khamis will be missed around the world.

(LONDON) - Palestinian genius film maker, actor and political activist Juliano Mer-Khamis, 53, was shot dead on Monday in Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.

According to Jenin police chief Mohammed Tayyim, Mer-Khamis was shot five times by Palestinian militants, but that police were still investigating the circumstances of his murder. I would wait to learn more about the tragic incident; as we know, the IDF trains special units that are operating disguised as Palestinians militants.

Mer-Khamis was well-known as an actor for his film and theater roles, both in Israel and abroad, and had made a name for himself as a director and a political activist, as well.

Mer-Khamis was affiliated with the local theater in Jenin, established by his mother in the 1980s. In 2006, Mer-Khamis opened the Freedom Theater in Jenin, along with Zakariya Zubeidi, the former military leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades in that West Bank city.

Juliano Mer-Khamis 1958-2011

Mer-Khamis' mother, Arna Mer, was an Israeli Jewish activist for Palestinian rights. His father, Saliba Khamis, was a Christian Palestinian. Mer-Khamis was born and raised in Nazareth.

"Arna's Children" ( Arna Mer Khamis (1929-1995) was a legendary activist against the Israeli Occupation. Born into a Jewish family she married a Palestinian Arab and spent her life campaigning for justice and human rights in her homeland. Arna founded an alternative education system for Palestinian children whose lives had been disrupted by Israeli occupation. In the Jenin refugee camp, Arna opened a theatre group where she taught the children to express anger, bitterness and fear through acting and art.

The children slowly grew to trust and to love Arna: "She's like my mother," says one child. "She helps us. She saved us from the streets." Arna's son, Juliano Mer Khamis, was a director at the theater group and filmed his mother and the children rehearsing and performing over a six year period. When Arna died of cancer in 1995, the theater group struggled to continue for another two years but ultimately did not survive.

Five years after Arna's death, Juliano, now one of the region's leading actors, returns to the camp to discover what happened to "Arna's Children." Shifting back and forth in time, Mer Khamis's film juxtaposes the sweet-faced young boys with the militants and martyrs they become. "Arna's Children" reveals the tragedy and horror of young lives trapped by the circumstances of occupation.

"Yousef committed a suicide attack in 2001. Ashraf was killed in the battle of Jenin. Ala leads a resistance group. I returned to the ruins of Jenin with my camera, to see what happened to the children I knew and film tries to tell their stories and to understand their choices." - Director, Juliano Mer Khamis

"A must-see documentary. Sure to spark controversy for its straightforward presentation of the Palestinian struggle, ['Arna's Children'] limns a devastating group portrait of the legacy of occupation." - Variety

Watch Mer-Khamis' monumental Arna's Children:

Produced by Juliano Mer-Khamis


Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). As a multi-instrumentalist he plays Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes, Clarinet and Flutes. His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. He has been described by John Lewis on the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz".

Gilad Atzmon's essays are widely published. His novels 'Guide to the perplexed' and 'My One And Only Love' have been translated into 24 languages.

As a member of the Blockheads, Gilad has also recorded and performed with Ian Dury, Robbie Williams, Sinead O'Connor and Paul McCartney. Gilad has also recorded with Robert Wyatt, the Water Boys and many others. Learn more about Gilad by visiting his Website:

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April 5, 2011 7:44 pm (Pacific time)

bastards! removed the video!! of course they don't want the truth to be known!!! Juliano was a great guy. the ARABS DID NOT KILL HIM. it's absurd for any of you to think that

Yousef April 5, 2011 8:54 pm (Pacific time)

He was a leader and widely loved in Palestine. No Palestinian Arab killed Juliano, trust me on that, I know that is not the case.

Anonymous April 5, 2011 8:46 pm (Pacific time)

Harvey, just because some Israeli squatters were killed does not mean that the murderer was necessarily Palestinian. It is racist and Zionist of you to even make that assumption. There was NO evidence linking anyone to the murders. Savage killers can be from any background.

Anonymous April 5, 2011 7:54 pm (Pacific time)

BASTARDS!!! THEY REMOVED THE VIDEO!!! they don't want the truth out!!! makes me sick!!! i'm sure this is retaliation from the mossad for the killing of the settler family (who SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE)!!!!!

Editor: I know!  However we found another version and it is on its way, they can not defeat us and if it goes down again we will put it up.  

Anonymous April 5, 2011 7:45 pm (Pacific time)

to think that ARABS killed him is so mainstream media. to think that is ABSURD. if any of you think that arabs killed him you are watching too much tv. and you really don't understand what is going on over there.

Harvey April 5, 2011 4:48 pm (Pacific time)

The editor of this "newssite" is as unbiased as the writer of the article,not! BTW I didn't get your commentary about the Jewish family.that was murdered. I guess that was the IDF too.

Editor: The family at Itamar from everything we know, was killed by a disgruntled worker who wasn't paid.  It wasn't about politics thought plenty of Israelis went straight to the throats of the Palestinians.  The important part is that we recognize this tragedy a for what it is, and there is no way to describe the obvious horror on this one.  I guess if we just didn't report real news we would be out of the line of fire of people like you; but we are too real for that.

yeah right April 5, 2011 1:29 am (Pacific time)

So, this guy was threatened several times by islamic fundamentalists for running his theater with boys and girls together, but its the idf that killed him?!?! you are blinded by the hatred that he tried to fight again all his life. pathetic, you should be ashamed. he would be.

Editor: Consider what you are saying; this is a man who dedicated his life to the Palestinians.  Years and years had passed and from everything I know, Palestinians don't forget people who believe in them.  The film attached to this story tells a story that makes it hard to believe that this man who was Palestinian, was killed by a Palestinian.   His mother's legacy is far-reaching and she was beyond incredible as a human being.  Who does his death benefit in Palestine?  Can  you answer that?  Israel has sufficiently secured its position in the world as a government that issues false statements, so there is no trust.  We have more articles on this subject moving forward, stay tuned.  

Anonymous001 April 4, 2011 8:28 pm (Pacific time)

Why do we accept a ghetto (e.g., refugee camp) in Palestine? Bizarre!

Andrew Hardin April 4, 2011 6:50 pm (Pacific time)

I don’t know what his religion was. His father was Arab Christian, his mother a Jewish Israeli but a popular saying in this part of the world: "When a muzzie kills a muzzie, an Angel gets their wings." Thanks BlackVeil. I’m sure the Koranimals will do a bang-up job of tracking down the murderers. Y’know, since they probably are them. The Jews aren’t gonna waste their time killing a mug like this guy. This was Muz on Muz violence. And I say ho hum. Do you think the dead actor burned a Koran? Why else would Moslems want to kill him?

Editor: Odds are better placed on the Toranimals I would say.  

Mike April 4, 2011 5:27 pm (Pacific time)

Gilad, you are sick and should get profesional help.

 Editor: Gilad, there you go thinking about the human race again!

You should be ashamed of yourself by blaming your own country when you have no evidence indicating otherwise. (I thought this was supposed to be a news site). On the contrary, it is far more likely that Mer was slaughtered by Arab militants who oppose the culture he tried to bring into Jenin.

 Editor: You're a regular comedian eh?  Gilad has a heart of gold and he is right for pointing out what may be the obvious case.  We have the IDF's number as does any intelligent person who looks at the situation.  You however are very challenged and will probably never evolve in this lifetime as much as you would need to in order to understand.  

IDF and the Israeli government are not perfect, but saying they would go for an actor (and not for a terrorist group) is far fetched. Again, get professional help.

Editor: Right, and I suppose the Nazi's were 'OK some of the time'.  Well, you can have your heroes, but I have mine and Gilad is one.  You're attempt at belittling this great musician and writer makes me consider how silly it is to allow anyone a voice here.  

Katherine April 4, 2011 12:29 pm (Pacific time)

gilead Atzmon - 1. Juliano Mer is Israeli, Born in Israel to a Jewish mother and a Christian Arab father.2. you should be ashamed of yourself writing your idiotic opinion that it could be an Israeli unit responsible for this.

Editor: What reason or track record can you point to?  The IDF well could have done this, there is no reason to assume it was not them.

ira berkowitz April 4, 2011 1:02 pm (Pacific time)

it's very fortunate that this film provides an alternate view of these children who grow up desiring, beyond all other things, to kill jews. it is far less fortunate that you elect to cynically exploit the murder of a basically decent man, in order to infer that he was most likely murdered by israeli troops. have you any corroborative evidence to support your innuendo? NO!! "as we know, the IDF trains special units that are operating disguised as Palestinians militants." well, as we also know, the arab terorists train special units who disguise themselves as religious jews
in order to perpetrate the intentional murder of jewish school children. that, i am sure, you see as, "legitemate resistance".

 Editor: Drawing conclusions early, that is what you are doing Ira.  Please don't suggest that we approve of children being killed, be they Jewish, Muslim or from the moon.

just look at the sweet little boy that arna nurtured. compare that with the young man making his good bye speech prior to blowing himself up. it wasn't israel who changed him.

Editor: Oh right, people are really thrilled with the IOF pointing guns at them every day.  The Israeli Defence Forces are an underhanded rogue military group with poor discipline, a crappy military appearance, and a track record that wreaks of genocide.  

it was the islamic jihad. your moral equivocation between israeli self defense, and the indoctrination of islamic jihad that motivated the formerly innocent boy to blow himself to pieces in order to kill jewish strangers is disgusting. you disgust me!

Editor: Why don't you just have sympathy for those who are killed regardless of their faith.

Julie April 4, 2011 12:12 pm (Pacific time)

This is horrible, sad news. Please pray that the madness end. Juliano was doing God's work, helping the children. This is a great sin that will not go unpunished by our Maker. RIP, now a martyr.

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