CARACAS, Venezuela (Jan. 6)
A visiting Greek Catholic church leader launched into a polemic against Israel today after protesting to newsmen that he was a “non-political” person and should not be asked “political questions.”
Former Msgr. George Hakim of Haifa, now the Greek Catholic Patriarch for the Orient, branded Israel a “thief” and an “aggressor.” Hakim lived in Israel for many years and was a member of Histadrut. He now lives in Damascus.
Hakim said Israel must be made to observe the United Nations resolutions that followed the 1967 Six-Day War and return the “usurped” territories. According to the Patriarch, Israel has been granted everything it has asked in the last 20 years. When asked about unfulfilled international guarantees under which Israel evacuated the captured Sinai peninsula in 1956, Hakim said as far as he knew “those promises were carried out.” Several newsmen observed that his comments were “one-sided” and unbefitting a spiritual leader.