SURELY one of the most shocking documents of American response to the latest Middle East war is Daniel Berrigan’s October 19, 1973 speech to the Association of Arab University Graduates. (The full text appears in American Report, October 29, 1973.) It is not that there is anything startlingly new about the views of Israel which Father Berrigan articulates-one has heard them often enough issuing from Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo, Moscow, and from the spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. What is shocking is that such views should be taken up by a man whom many Americans had come to regard as the exemplary hero-if you will, martyr-of conscience and political struggle in this country, our paragon of courageous and idealistic activism. It is encouraging to note that not only Jews have been dismayed by the Berrigan address. Several clergymen prominent in the peace movement have spoken out against it, and the Rev. Donald S. Harrington, who last month was to have presented Berrigan with the Gandhi Peace Award on behalf of an organization called Promoting Enduring Peace, withdrew from the proceedings, denouncing the prospective recipient in the plainest terms: “Father Berrigan has ceased to be a witness and an influence for peace, and has become the opposite” (New York Times, December 22, 1973). Subsequently, the directors of the organization announced that they were reconsidering the award and Berrigan, in turn, rejected the prize.
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