“A Warning From the Middle East” – And “STANDING”

Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe, March 2, 2017



It can happen/is now beginning to happen in the U.S:


“First they came for the Mexicans, then for the Muslims, then for those standing at Standing Rock, then …”




This brave man was convicted of leaking secrets because he blew the whistle on Israel’s nuclear bombmaking capabilities. He spend 18 years in prison, and he is not allowed to leave Israel. He’s also not allowed to meet with foreigners, unless it’s by chance, which this was.


Last night Ray got back from two and a half weeks in Palestine/Israel, with eight other Veterans For Peace, standing for justice for Palestinians.  Some of them were fresh back from icicled beards, standing with our Native American brothers and sisters at Standing Rock – and before that, standing with native Koreans against the U.S. Navy’s carving out a nuclear submarine base at Jeju Island, South Korea, and standing with the Mayor of Okinawa against the further U.S. militarization of Japan aimed at China.


A powerful witness to Ray – not only to be part of this non-flinching, but also nonviolent, group (our Palestinian friends and we were tear-gassed three times) – but also to be STANDING in the same human (even sacred) tradition as three “Dans,” to whom Ray owes so much:

Dan Maguire, fearless professor of moral theology at Marquette;

Dan Ellsberg, whose close friend/whistleblower-follower, Mordecai Vanunu, happened to spot a few of the VFP delegation in East Jerusalem and shared supper; and

Dan Berrigan, SJ, who pondered poignantly about “standing” in an unpublished poem Ray copied from the wall of the Catholic Worker Mary House, where Dorothy Day lived and died:






Some stood up once         and sat down.

Some walked a mile         and walked away.


Some stood up twice       then sat down.

I’ve had it, they said.

Some walked two miles     then walked away.

It’s too much, they cried.


Some stood and stood and stood.

They were taken for fools

They were taken for being taken in.


Some walked and walked and walked

They walked the earth

They walked the waters

They walked the air.


Why do you stand          they were asked           and

Why do you walk?


Because of the children, they said, and

Because of the heart, and

Because of the bread,


The cause

Is the heart’s beat

And the children born

And the risen Bread.


Daniel Berrigan, S.J.


“A tribute to my dear and honored friend, Eqbal Ahmed” Daniel Berrigan


The poem “Some” is © Daniel Berrigan, privately printed in Gaelic green in 2013 from hand-set type by the Larch Free Press of Ithaca, New York.