Less than five months have passed since the assassination of the famous Arab-Israeli artist, stage actor, filmmaker and political activist Juliano Mer Khamis, 52, who was shot dead in his car on Monday April 4 2011 by masked gunmen in the West Bank city of Jenin, which is under control of the Palestinian Authority.
Now, the body of another famous French-Palestinian artist, Francois Gaspar (Francois Abu Salem “Abu Jamil”), 60 years, was found on Saturday, October 1st 2011 in the suburb of Al-Tira, a district of Ramallah which is under the Palestinian Authority control. The news about the alleged suicide of the artist and his alleged suffering and deep depression spread quickly, as if it had been ready and waiting for publication even before the occurrence of the purported suicide.
Francois Gaspar did not have depressions under the Israeli occupation despite all the obstacles placed in front of his artistic work, so how and why did the depression hit the artist under the Palestinian Authority?
What did the fat cats in power, the obscene people who are members of the “presidential” circle, do to Gaspar that the depression hit him so hard that it killed him?
Who is the criminal among the many “presidential” thieves behind the death of the artist Gaspar, and before, who was behind the assassination of artist Mer Khamis and who proceeded to loot the history and work of these artists, who foisted himself upon the cultural scene and the National Theater of Palestina only to proceed to divert millions of dollars into his own pockets under the scam of “development of the theater stage”, which he actually destroyed over the heads of those artists who had worked tirelessly to build it in first place?
The death and the assassination of two artists living in Palestine in less than half a year is not ONLY a loss for the Palestinian artistic and cultural scene. It is a national disaster, a catastrophe and a disgrace firmly stamped on the forehead of the Palestinian National Authority in every sense of the word.
The Palestinian Authority bears full responsibility for these crimes which are directly related to the influential fat cats “working” at the presidential cycle around Mahmoud Abbas. These obscene criminals who are around President Abass and before him were around President Arafat, the ones who monopolize positions and use them to develop several “national” companies which they in turn use to loot funds belonging to the Palestinian people, these are the thieves behind the murder and death of the Palestinian artists. Simply said, they got rid of those artists who were seen as obstacles to their industrial-scale thievery.
The ambitions of these fat cats in power, which essentially meant that they grabbed the Palestinian Natinal Theater under the guise of “supporting and developing the artistic work and theater” by using stolen funds which were supposed to be used to help poor Palestinians, pushed away those who had built it up the cultural scene with crimes, or by paying others to commit crimes against those Palestinian artists who stood in their way.
Since the coming to power of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and before that in Gaza, the powerful fat cats at the “presidential circle”, established privately owned “national” companies in order to climb on the shoulders of the Palestinian nation suck its blood and the history of his national struggle at all levels. Finally, the theft and the conflict of the influential fat cats at the Palestinian Authority reached the National Theater and caused the death of the most prominent actors and exponents of the Palestinian cultural scene.
Francois Gaspar (Abu Salem) was born in 1951. His father was Hungarian- French poet and surgeon, Lorand Gaspar, and his mother was French sculptor Francine Gaspar. He was raised in east Jerusalem, Beirut and France. He returned to live in Jerusalem after an absence of several years during which he lived in Paris. He continued his career in the Palestinian Theater which he had started early in the seventies of the last century. During the seventies, Gaspar and others founded the “Blalin” music band. The band was a milestone in the advancement of the Palestinian theater. Abu Salem was also a co-founder of the El-Hakawati Theatre, which later grew into the Palestinian National Theatre in east Jerusalem.
Gaspar was considered the most prominent founders of the modern Palestinian theater. Since its beginnings and since the debut of the piece “Darkness”, which also highlighted the band “Blalin”, it was clear that Francois Abu Salem was inclined to adventure and to artistic experimentation. He directed several movies and received the Palestine Prize for theatre from deceased Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in 1998.
Juliano Mer Khamis, who was assassinated about five months ago, was the head of Jenin’s Freedom Theater. The Theater receives support from a number of international institutions. Mer Khamis was born in the Israeli-Arab city of Nazareth to a Jewish-Israeli mother and a Christian Israeli-Arab father. He served in the Israeli army as a paratrooper and portrayed Israeli Jews in many of his roles, both in film and on stage.
Khamis left behind him a pregnant wife with twins; she was with him in the car when he was assassinated. She was lightly wounded.