Jewish-Christian Group Sways Colgate Divinity School to Nix Anti-Israel Speaker
JNS.org – Roc4Israel, a Rochester, N.Y.-based Jewish-Christian pro-Israel organization, has successfully swayed Colgate Divinity School to cancel an event featuring Rev. Graylan Hagler, who has made a number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements over the years.
Hagler was scheduled to speak at the four-year-old “Witness Palestine” Film Festival until the school canceled the event.
“This was a wake-up call. Dozens of progressive churches in our city promote BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel),” said Tim Altier, co-founder of Roc4Israel. “Even more alarming is the Greater Rochester Council of Churches sign-on as a patron of the Witness Palestine Film Festival. The organizers of that film series co-sponsored the Hagler talk at Colgate.”
Hagler, who serves as senior minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, DC, earlier this year at a Jewish Voice for Peace rally condemned “pimply-faced white boys in Israeli uniforms.” In 2010, he met with then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and in 2012 stated at a panel discussion that he is working to “disengage” Christians from Hebrew Scripture.
“Progressive Christianity is spear-heading BDS and promoting the Ferguson to Palestine meme. This has to stop,” said Patti Munter, another co-founder of Roc4Israel. “Colgate Divinity School has a rich and storied history in this city. It should be commended for doing the right thing.”