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Head of U.S. Catholic Conference Warns Expulsion of Israel from the UN Would Be Blow to World Body

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.”

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