Reverend Graylan Hagler spoke in Rochester this evening at an event sponsored by Christians Witnessing for Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. Reverend Hagler is the Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, immediate Past National President of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice (MRSEJ) and has served on the Steering and Administrative Committee of United for Peace and Justice. Inspired by a visit to Palestine with an African American Delegation earlier this year, his topic was “Ferguson to Palestine”.
Hagler’s lecture was was deliberately sabotaged by two different Zionist groups in Rochester. First, he received a death threat on the phone last week from an individual who identified himself as a member of a local branch of CUFI, Christians United For Israel, Reverend Hagee’s Christian Zionist church. This threat was followed by the expression of a desire to ‘spit’ in Hagler’s face. The barbarism of these attacks was actually rather shocking. I mean, these are middle class folks from the local suburbs. A day or two later, Colgate Divinity School, who were to host the event, withdrew their invitation. Another local group, Roc4Israel, defiantly claimed responsibility for pressuring Colgate to cancel. A couple of days after that, the local NPR affiliate backed out of a planned interview with Hagler.
Reverend Hagler courageously decided to come to Rochester anyway,