(JTA) — A London hotel has turned down a request to host a private screening of a film honoring Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for the murder of Israeli Jews.
The Palestinian Mission in the United Kingdom had planned to screen “Marwan: A film about the life and struggle of Marwan Barghouti,” at the May Fair Hotel, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.
“We were recently approached by the State of Palestine to host a private screening at The May Fair Theatre. As is usual business practice, we reviewed the request and undertook standard due diligence, following which we have decided to not progress this event any further,” a spokesperson for the Edwardian Hotels London told the news website Jewish News UK.
The Palestinian Mission said in a statement, according to the Jewish Chronicle, that the film was being screened “to mark Prisoner’s Day in solidarity with the 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, many of whom will start a hunger strike on this day.”
Some 1,500 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails launched the strike last week in a move that coincided with a Barghouti op-ed in The New York Times titled “Why we are on hunger strike in Israel’s prisons.” The Times failed to identify Barghouti as a convicted killer in its identification of the writer, later rectifying the omission with an editor’s note following complaints.
The screening was scheduled to be held Sunday. Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust memorial day, starts that night in Israel.