Rev. Graylan Hagler speaks on Palestine despite threats
“It’s important to go to Rochester to not allow bigots to intimidate us…the truth cannot be crushed through violence.” These are the words of Rev. Graylan Hagler, a social justice and Palestinian human rights activist.
Rev. Hagler was invited by the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and Friends of Sabeel – North America (Rochester, NY Chapter) to speak on parallels between the struggles of Black Americans and Palestinians towards justice at an event in Rochester on September 24.
Despite these threats Rev. Hagler decided to speak in Rochester, but instead spoke at the Historic German House on Sept. 24
“We cannot let bigots win with threats and intimidation. I intend to go to Rochester in a statement that I am not afraid or intimidated. If we just surrender to that basically we are just surrendering in the overall struggle,” he said.
A few days before the event Rev. Hagler was suddenly disinvited by the host institution; he later told reporters that American based pro-Zionist groups had pressured the Divinity School to cancel his talk. He specifically mentioned receiving personal death threats by phone from individuals who identified themselves as members of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a hard-line right-wing Christian Zionist organization. Rev. Hagler stated that they made threats such as “we are going to kill you in the name of Christ if you come to Rochester” and “I hope you come here so I can spit in your face.”