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.
The Popular Committees against the Wall and Israeli Occupation
Iyad Burnat is the head of the Popular Committees against the Wall and Israeli Occupation.