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September 22, 2015 5:40 pm

Jewish-Christian Group Sways Colgate Divinity School to Nix Anti-Israel Speaker

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Rev. Graylan Hagler, the nixed anti-Israel speaker at Colgate Divinity School. Credit: Provided photo.

Rev. Graylan Hagler, the nixed anti-Israel speaker at Colgate Divinity School. Credit: Provided photo.

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.”

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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.”

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  • Sally Altobello

    Ah, Lia, did you hear Rev. Hagler speak last night? He is a passionate man who is working for peace and justice for ALL people, not just those who look like us or worship like us. Or live like us. He is asking us to talk about the hard things, the uncomfortable things, and to search for equity and respect for ALL.

  • And if this man succeeds, we Christians lose: the patriarchs, the prophets, the singers, the proverbs … How on earth can anyone talk about disengaging Christians from Hebrew Scripture? Has he never read John 4: 22 or Romans 11: 26? I have a feeling that we are going towards the end of earthly time, & this poor man is taking up position against Israel & her God, Who regards her as the apple of His eye. Doesn’t he realise (or do not his followers realise) where he’s leading?

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