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Workmen’s Circle Raps Pacifist Group for Its Award to Berrigan

March 19, 1974
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The presenting of a “peace price” to the Rev. Daniel Berrigan by the War Resisters League Friday night coupled with an anti-Israel stand taken by the pacifist organization was termed “a retreat from the pacifist dogma of peaceful neutrality and an apparent attempt by Father Berrigan to become the Father Coughlin of the irresponsible ‘left'” by the Workmen’s Circle.

The Jewish labor fraternal order, which called Berrigan’s continuing anti-Israel statements “the effusions of one who picks his weapons in the arsenal of Israel’s enemies, and his sense of justice from the propaganda ministries of terrorists.” condemned the priest for having “no word of condemnation for the Soviet arms suppliers, no word of horror at the shelling of Jewish settlements in the Golan Heights, never a word of comfort for the Israeli prisoners of war in Syria.” Instead, the Workmen’s Circle noted. “Rev. Berrigan, who professes to be a man of peace, has blindfolded himself lest he see Russian SAM missiles in the Sinai and saber-rattling on Moscow radio.”

At a press conference prior to receiving his award, Berrigan referred to the “Zionist hawks who presume to speak for the American Jewish community.” Commenting on this, the Workmen’s Circle said that “the aviary Rev. Berrigan chooses would defeat democracy in the Middle East against totalitarian and Arab authoritarian domination.”

Responding to the War Resisters League’s demand that Israel accept its pre-1967 borders, the Workmen’s Circle stated: “Does it also ask Russia to accept its pre-World War II and Finnish War borders? The specious statement by David McReynolds (WRL’s co-secretary) that the War Resisters League’s executive committee majority is Jewish indicates a defensive insensitivity to the real issues in the Middle East and should be repudiated by the organization’s Jewish members.”

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