London hotel cancels Marwan Barghouti film screening
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London hotel cancels Marwan Barghouti film screening

The May Fair Hotel scraps screening of documentary about convicted terrorist serving five life sentences for murder.

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

Convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti
Convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti

The May Fair Hotel has cancelled the screening of a documentary about convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti.

The event was advertised on the UK Palestinian Mission’s website but the venue told Jewish News it has decided not to proceed after undertaking “standard due diligence”.

An advert said Sunday’s screening – organised by Fatah Movement-UK and the General Union of Palestinian Communities in Europe – would mark Prisoners Day in solidarity with a 6,500 “political prisoners” in Israeli jails, some of whom would start a hunger strike that day.

Barghouti is serving five life sentences for murder and membership of a terrorist organisation. But the advert simply said the documentary “shows the many faces of the Fateh representative from resistance fighter to advocate of the two-state solution and demonstrates how his personal story is symbolic of the Palestinian people’s fight for freedom and independence”.

A spokesperson for the Edwardian Hotels London said: “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.”

Meanwhile, the public editor of The New York Times has taken the newspaper to task for failing to identify Barghouti as a convicted murderer of Israeli Jews.

Liz Spayd responded on Tuesday to criticism of the newspaper for publishing an op-ed by Barghouti identifying him only as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” 

Nearly a day later, an editor’s note appended to the end of the article clarified that Barghouti is serving a lengthy prison term after being convicted in an Israeli court of five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organisation.

The publication of the op-ed, titled “Why we are on hunger strike in Israel’s prisons,” explained the launch of a hunger strike Monday by hundreds of Palestinians jailed in Israel seeking more favorable conditions.

Failure to “more fully identify the biography and credentials of authors, especially details that help people make judgments about the opinions they’re reading,” Spayd wrote, “risks the credibility of the author and the op-ed pages.”

“In this case, I’m pleased to see the editors responding to the complaints, and moving to correct the issue rather than resist it. Hopefully, it’s a sign that fuller disclosure will become regular practice.”

Israeli leaders and U.S. Jewish groups slammed the newspaper for its failure to mention Barghouti’s terrorist activities and conviction for murder.

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