WASHINGTON (Sep. 11)
Archbishop Joseph L. Bernardin of Cincinnati, president of the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) warned in a statement released here today that the expulsion or suspension of Israel from the United Nations would be “unjustified and unwise” and a blow to the UN itself.
The statement, issued after a meeting of the USCC’s executive committee, declared that “the right of Israel, as well as of the other parties to the (Mideast) dispute, to present a case at the United Nations is clear. Any efforts to deprive Israel of this right should be strongly opposed.”
The statement observed: “In the Middle East dispute all parties possess certain just claims; no single party has all of the justice claims on its side. In 1973, the U.S. Catholic Conference defined its position on the dispute in a statement which sought to acknowledge the legitimate claims of each party.
“These include the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state within secure boundaries; and the right of the Palestinian Arabs to inclusion in any negotiations, the right to a sovereign state and to compensation for past losses. Furthermore, at that time we supported UN Resolution 242 as the basis for a negotiated settlement. We still believe this resolution supplies the basic requirements for a just and peaceful settlement of this tragic situation.”