NEW YORK (Dec. 27)
Father Daniel Berrigan has accursed Catholic, Protestant and Jewish critics of his anti-Israel views of representing “armies of orthodoxy” whose unquestioning support of Israel ” is undoubtedly idolatrous.”The controversial anti -war purist made those remarks in a letter refusing the Ghandi Peace Prize which the Connecticut-based organization, Promoting Enduring Peace was to present to him Jan. 9.
The letter was addressed to the Rev, Roy Pfaff, head of the group, Berign was referring apparently to three of his chief critics- the Rev Donald S. Harrington of the Community Church who was to make the presentation; Michael Novak, a Roman, Catholic who writes for the liberal Catholic magazine, Commonweal; and Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, President of the American. Jewish Congress, All had protested vigorously against remarks by Father Berrigan to Arab graduate students several months ago in which he charged, among other things that Israel was “the creation of an elite of millionaires, generals and entrepreneurs.”Rabbi Hertzberg called Berrigan’s statements “old-fashioned theological anti Semitism.”
Berrigan, who served a term in federal prison for destroying draft records during the Vietnam war. contended that his critics held Israel beyond criticism, “That which is beyond discussion, beyond critique is undoubtedly idolatrous, It is possible therefore that a question arises in your regard: has Israel itself become your idol? And in service to the idol are you urging, as a solution to violence ever more violence -including psychological violence against those who seek another way?” he wrote.