Blum Welcomes Pope’s Message

Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, declared today that Israel welcomes the appeal of Pope John Paul II “to solve peacefully all outstanding international problems and his clear, unequivocal condemnation of violence and terrorism.”

In a statement issued here after the Pope’s address to the General Assembly, Blum said that “Israel, too, is committed to a just and peaceful settlement of the Palestine question,” noting that Israel is engaged in negotiations “to that end” with Egypt and the United States.

Responding to the Pope’s call for an international statute for Jerusalem, the Israeli envoy stated: “With regard to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people, Israel has repeatedly given evidence that it is very conscious of the fact that Jerusalem is of deep spiritual significance also to the adherents of other faiths.

“We are mindful of the manifold historic treasures and spiritual heritage of Jerusalem, to which the Pope referred. Under Israel’s law and jurisdiction the strict inviolability of and unrestricted access to all of Jerusalem’s holy places is guaranteed to members of all faiths, in the manner unprecedented in the city’s history. These holy places are now administered by the religious authorities of the faiths that hold them sacred.”

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