RAMALLAH, April 7 (JMCC) - Two days before actor and activist Juliano Mer-Khamis was buried
Wednesday alongside his mother in Israel, Maryam Monalist Gharavi published an interview with him she conducted in April 2006.
Available at the Electronic Intifada (in short
) and her own blog (unedited
), the interview provides insights into how Mer-Khamis viewed his main work, leading a theater company in Jenin refugee camp.
Here, Gharavi asks about Arna's Children
, a film he created illustrating his mother's role in founding the original theater.
MMG: How would you respond to pro-Zionists watching your film, that despite your mother’s ‘rehabilitation of the Arab mind,’ the child actors become ‘terrorists?’
JMK: It’s a very sick question, not yours, but the pro-Zionist attitude that thinks the problem of violence is the violence of children and not the violence of the Israeli occupation and it’s exactly to turn the pyramid upside down again, and I mean to use the propaganda to turn the question [upside down]. The question is not about the Israeli soldiers’ violence. You don’t have to heal the children in Jenin. We didn’t try to heal their violence.
We tried to challenge it into more productive ways. And more productive ways are not an alternative to resistance. What we were doing in the theatre is not trying to be a replacement or an alternative to the resistance of the Palestinians in the struggle for liberation. Just the opposite. This must be clear. I know it’s not good for fundraising, because I’m not a social worker, I’m not a good Jew going to help the Arabs, and I’m not a philanthropic Palestinian who comes to feed the poor. We are joining, by all means, the struggle for liberation of the Palestinian people, which is our liberation struggle. Everybody who is connected to this project says that he feels that he is also occupied by the Zionist movement, by the military regime of Israel, and by its policy. Either he lives in Jenin, or in Haifa, or in Tel Aviv. Nobody joined this project to heal. We’re not healers. We’re not good Christians. We are freedom fighters.