The Labia Theatre and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign are at loggerheads over the screening an Israeli documentary.

Cape Town - The Labia Theatre and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) have been embroiled in a Human Rights Commission (HRC) battle over the cinema’s refusal to screen a documentary film about Israel.

The HRC said in February 2012 the Labia had agreed to rent one of its cinemas to the PSC for the showing of the award-winning screenplay The Road Map To Apartheid.

The Labia, in Orange Street, Gardens, then cancelled its contract with the PSC, with owner Ludi Kraus saying he did not want to get involved in politics.

PSC spokesman Mike Makin said: “After their refusal, negotiations between the Labia, Right-To-Know and PSC resulted in a subsequent agreement. The film would be shown and defenders of Israel would be invited to be part of the panel discussion that would follow the film.

“The Labia cancelled this second agreement when Israel’s supporters declined the invitation.”

Kraus told the Cape Times on Monday he had not been aware that after the second agreement was cancelled, the PSC appealed against the HRC’s original decision, which was that the matter was a contractual issue and had to be heard in a criminal court.

“I have now been presented with the outcome of the appeal, which gives me two options, one being that the Labia has three months in which to show the film,” Kraus said.

“The other option is that if we are not happy, then we have the right to take the matter on to a judicial review.

“We received this notice on November 17 and are busy considering our options. I have since handed over the notice to our attorneys for advice on how to proceed.”

The ruling reads: “The Labia’s initial action to refuse the screening was based on the content of the film and this constitutes discrimination on prohibited ground, namely, belief or conscience…

“The discrimination amounted to an unjustifiable infringement of the right to receive or impart information or ideas in accordance with the constitution.”

HRC spokesman Isaac Mangena confirmed the ruling on Monday.

Makin said: “The PSC hopes the HRC decision serves as a salutary encouragement for people not to be intimidated by Zionist intolerance of anything critical of Israel.”

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Cape Times