Elder of Ziyon has a terrific piece today on Juliano Mer-Chamis, the Israeli Arab / Jewish actor and director who was murdered recently in Jenin, probably by an Arab terrorist (Mer-Chamis had a Jewish mother and a Christian Arab father, so he would likely be unpopular in Islamic fundamentalist circles).
The article notes that the theater and drama club that Mer-Chamis ran and his mother Arna started, supposedly to teach a philosophy of peace to the youth of Jenin, was a total failure:
Arna’s school had not resulted in a single original student supporting pacifism. Every single one of the original kids there became a militant…
Arna Mer-Chamis, if she really was trying to teach peace, was a spectacular failure. It is not possible for her to have been more of a failure. The last person alive from her kids, who now claims to want peace, didn’t say he learned the idea from the Mer-Chamises – he just says that he was simply “fed up with fighting.”
Which brings up the question: did the theater really promote peace in any sense at all?
Now Juliano Mer-Chamis, who created an entire movie [Arna’s Children] trying to soft-pedal the terrorism of his mother’s proteges, has become victim to something the leftists pretend doesn’t exist – Palestinian Arab hate. His film, rather than showing the inherent culture of violence and hate that laughs at the idea of words replacing bullets, was a prophetic view of what his own end would look like.
Actually, I don’t see any evidence on the website of the “Freedom Theater” that there is any intent to “teach peace.” It’s all about the suffering Palestinian people, as usual, and how they are victimized by Israel and the “40 year occupation.”
An admirer of the film wrote that the theater helped children to “express their anger and grief through art and drama.” Nothing about how Palestinian Arabs might be responsible, even in part, for their predicament. Nothing about how there might be a tiny bit of justice on the Israeli side. Just express how furious you are.
Mer-Chamis had a lot of admirers. Julian Schnabel wrote that
Juliano started the Freedom Theater to educate children in the only professional venue for the arts in the Northern West Bank. Juliano envisioned the Freedom Theater as a “third intifada” — a cultural uprising, with poetry, music, theater, cameras and magazines used to fight back against the violence.
Apparently the effect was to encourage its students to fight against Israel, not against ‘violence’ in general.
These students, like the two high-school murderers that I wrote about yesterday, grew up in the atmosphere of hate created by Arafat’s Palestinian Authority. It would take more than a chance to “express their anger and grief” theatrically to defuse these human bombs. Probably the most positive message that they received from people like Mer-Chamis was something like this:
We know you’ve suffered unspeakably from the vile actions of the Israeli occupiers, we understand why you resist violently, but nonviolence is better.
That doesn’t cut it with young Arabs concerned with proving their masculinity, and it is also fundamentally dishonest. But apparently even that much is enough to get you killed.
In order for the conflict to end, one of three things has to happen:
- The Arabs succeed in eliminating Israel.
- The Arabs are beaten so badly in the next war that they give up the idea of eliminating Israel.
- The Arabs realize that they are not only victims but perpetrators and that they bear much of the responsibility for their problems.
No. 3 is impossible, so it will be 1 or 2.