Wednesday, July 29
Latest News
  1. Nuclear deal done, Iran urged to free Washington Post man
  2. Ministry: Bomb blast kills 2 Bahrain police
  3. Army: Turkish warplanes pound Kurdish militants in southeast
  4. Eurotunnel says 2,000 migrants tried to enter premises overnight
  5. Saudi-led air raids, clashes shatter Yemen truce
  6. Ministry: Cairo furniture factory fire kills 19 people
  7. Obama flies out from Addis Ababa, ending regional visit
  8. Kerry gears up to defend Iran deal for Mideast, Asia swing
  9. HRW says Saudi-led Yemen raid 'apparent war crime'
  10. Saudi king backs Turkish military action
  11. Top EU diplomat due in Iran for nuclear deal talks
  12. Libya court sentences Kadhafi son Seif al-Islam to death
  13. Erdogan: Syria safe zone will help 1.7 mn refugees return
  14. NATO stands with Turkey in face of 'terrorism'
  15. Monitor: Syria army, Kurds push IS out of Hasakeh city
  16. Obama urges Africa to end 'cancer of corruption'
  17. Obama condemns African leaders who won't give up power
  18. Obama says US stands with Africa against terror, conflict
  19. Russia names US foundation first 'undesirable' foreign group
  20. UN closes Iraq health programmes for lack of funding

NY Mets embroiled in settlement flap

Nov. 13, 2009 10:07 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 18, 2009 10:48 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Controversy continued to grow in the US over a fundraiser scheduled for Saturday at the New York Mets' Citi Field stadium for the Brooklyn-based Israeli settlement group The Hebron Fund.

Settlement supporters have called for letters praising the Mets for standing with the fund, while human rights groups issued a public appeal this week that resulted in hundreds of emails, letters and calls demanding the event's cancelation.

"The New York Mets will be facilitating activities that directly violate international law and the [US President Barack] Obama administration's call for a freeze in settlement construction, and that actively promote racial discrimination and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron," read a letter sent by 11 human rights organizations to the US baseball team.

"It would be a tragic irony for an event funding Israeli settlers' violent actions and discriminatory policies against Palestinians to be held at Caesars Club which, according to the Mets, 'sits directly on top of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda,' which was named 'in honor of Jackie Robinson, the… great American who broke baseball's color barrier,'" the letter added.

In its own statement, the Mets responded that "Citi Field hosts a wide range of events that reflect the diversity of our hometown and the differing views and opinions of New Yorkers. The beliefs of organizations holding events at Citi Field do not necessarily reflect those of the New York Mets."

But Abed Ayoub, representing the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, responded that tolerance for diverse beliefs "should not include facilitating events for groups that break laws, and support racism and violence... Surely the Mets would not do business with white supremacists or anti-immigrant vigilantes. The Mets should follow those same standards in dealing with The Hebron Fund, and cancel this event."

The Hebron Fund's activities violate international law and enable the right-wing Israeli movement's racist and violent settlers, according to Andrew Kadi, a representative of Adalah-NY: the Coalition for Justice in the Middle East. He told Ma'an that some 700 Israeli settlers, living amidst 150,000 Palestinians in Hebron, "are expanding their hold on the historic Old City by driving out Palestinian residents."

Israeli settlements already violate international law, according to a broad international consensus, but Kadi said Saturday's fundraiser also violates long-standing American foreign policy, as well as Obama's calls for Israel to stop expanding its borders.

He pointed out that The Hebron Fund's dinner invitation reads, "Join us in support of Hebron and in protest of today's building freeze in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]," as well as statements by settlement backer Yossi Baumol in a September 2008 radio interview, in which Baumol said, "There are real facts on the ground that are created by people helping The Hebron Fund and coming to our dinners."

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell has not commented on the event, although his office reportedly received the letter calling for its cancellation, as well. Mitchell has a long association with Major League Baseball, having served as chair of an investigative committee on performance-enhancing drugs in 2006.

The Hebron Fund and The Jewish Community in Hebron did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015