Juliano Mer-Khamis, who was shot and killed recently in Jenin in the West Bank, was a terrorist. He was perhaps the most open cheerleader for Palestinian terrorism in Israel, certainly in Israeli “theater.” And he was murdered by other Palestinian terrorists who regarded him as a Jew. This is all the more ironic because Mer-Khamis did not regard himself as a Jew.
Thus, a man who lived by the terrorist rifle, or at least was a cheerleader of the terrorist rifle, died by the terrorist rifle. Mer-Khamis was born in Nazareth to a Jewish mother and an Arab (Christian) father. Under such circumstances in Israel, a person may opt to define himself, for population registry purposes, as either a Jew or an Arab. I am pretty sure he opted to be counted as an Arab. But that did not help him in Jenin.
Mer-Khamis spent years as an actor employed by the leftist politicized Haifa municipal theater. (I once was a season ticket-holder there, but stopped this almost 30 years ago due to the obnoxious politics.) He made no attempt to hide his endorsements for Arab mass murders and terrorist attacks against Jews. He collaborated with terrorists, including with Zakariya Zubeidi, the former military leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades in that West Bank city. Zubeidi was the terrorist boyfriend of Tali Fahima, the Jewish leftist woman who did jail-time for helping him plan terrorist atrocities. I believe he named his daughter after a terrorist.
Mer-Khamis was so extremist that he was even praised by Haaretz. Michael Handesaltz, senior editor and theater critic for Haaretz, described Mer-Khamis as a “great actor, an extraordinary human being whose life-story is part of the tragic reality of this country,” and who in his death became “another tragic victim of life in the Middle East.” In 2005, Mer-Khamis was ordered to pay compensation to a right-wing activist, Dr. Michael Rosenbaum, after Mer-Khamis assaulted him.
According to a story from YNET, Mer-Khamis “was shot by a number of masked men who fired at him while he was sitting in his car near the theater he established, afterwards fleeing the scene[.]”
The killers’ identities have not yet been determined, but there is little doubt where they hailed from. Despite his “solidarity” with the Palestinian cause, Mer-Khamis’s theater had suffered a number of terrorist attacks over the years. In 2009, Palestinian residents of the Jenin refugee camp disseminated fliers accusing Mer-Khamis of being a fifth column, and warned: “If words don’t help we will have to speak in bullets.”
Mer-Khamis’s murder, untimely as it was, is a shocking reminder of the inveterate racism, hatred, and violence in Palestinian culture. Even toward those who align themselves with their deadly cause.