NEW YORK (JTA) – The New York Mets will allow the Hebron Fund to host its annual dinner at a club in the team’s stadium despite a protest.
Eleven organizations, including Jews Against the Occupation-NYC and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, had asked the Mets to cancel the Nov. 21 event at Caesar’s Club in Citi Field.
Shlomo Mostofsky, president of the The National Council of Young Israel, praised the Mets for honoring their commitment in a letter addressed to the club’s governing body.
He called the dinner a “celebration of the human spirit,” according to a Young Israel news release.
“The New York Mets organization is not facilitating a political event; rather it is enabling a salute to a group of men, women, and children whose determination and inner strength have allowed them to remain in their communities, despite desperate attempts by Israel’s adversaries to drive them from their homes,” Mostofsky wrote in a letter to Mets CEO Fred Wilpon; his son Jeff, the team’s chief operating officer; and President Saul Katz.
The Hebron Fund is a New York-based, not-for-profit charity that aims to raise funds for the Jewish residents of the West Bank city. Fewer than 600 Jews live in a heavily guarded enclave there among some 130,000 Arabs, while an additional 6,000 Jews live in the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba.
In a letter sent to the Mets, the organizations that had asked the team to cancel the event claimed that “The New York Mets will be facilitating activities that directly violate international law and the 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."
Mostofsky said the Mets’ “refusal to be intimidated by abhorrent acts of coercion by the groups calling for the cancellation of the Hebron Fund event is extremely noteworthy.”