NEW YORK (May. 11)
Francis Cardinal Spellman, Catholic Archbishop of New York, influenced the United Nations decision in 1949 to admit Israel to UN membership, according to a disclosure made here by Charles Silver, president of Beth Israel Hospital, former president of the New York City Board of Education, and now executive assistant to Mayor Wagner for education and industrial development.
Mr.Silver revealed the story last night at a dinner celebrating the hospital’s 75th anniversary, in the presence of Cardinal Spellman, who was a guest of honor.
Obviously referring to the fact that the controversial drama, “The Deputy, ” accuses the late Pope Pius XII of remaining silent in the face of the Hitlerian holocaust, Mr. Silver said: “In the time of post-mortem and afterthoughts about the apathy of other faiths when the survival of the Jewish people was threatened, I feel that this story should now be told. “
He then revealed that, in 1949, he asked Cardinal Spellman to issue a statement supporting Israel’s application for membership in the United Nations. He said the cardinal replied: “I will do something that may mean a great deal more. ” What Cardinal Spellman did, according to Mr. Silver, was to contact Latin American and other delegations with a suggestion that they vote for Israel’s admission. When the vote was taken, in May of 1949, it was 37 to 12 in favor of Israel’s application.