“I smell the stench of disinformation in people identifying themselves as members of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and/or saying they are going to kill Hagler in the name of Christ!”
While it’s always possible an actor blames another party, JLewisDickerson, you and WJones imply a real CUFI would not say this. But then you note what a mean nut Hagee is.
At one CUFI conference in DC, Hagee stationed young aggressive sentries in front of the building. Their job was to prevent the CUFI conference-goers from engaging in conversation with any of the protesters. One of them even physically assaulted a CodePink activist. So, we’ll never know, but it’s not really out of character.
Here is the letter Rev. Hagler sent to supporters after the event—-
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
I want to thank all of you for your well wishes, words of encouragement and prayers as I journeyed to Rochester to deliver a message of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. I am so glad that the Creator brought things together so powerfully. There is a scripture that I am mindful of in this moment, and it says “you may have meant it for evil, but God meant it for good!” Wow that is so true and in awe I have witnessed what God and people of faith and goodwill are able to do under the power of the Creator.
I spoke to a full house at the University of Rochester and to a full house at the Historic German House to where we had moved the event after death threats and being disinvited from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Though the intimidators like Christians United for Israel and reactionaries like ROC 4 Israel used incendiary innuendo and accusations to create a hostile atmosphere they could not stop the event from going forward larger, more visible and more powerful than ever before!
People came together from different faiths – Christians Witnessing for Palestine; The Nation of Islam; Jewish Voice for Peace; students from the divinity school where I was disinvited; BLACK (part of the Black Lives Matter movement in Rochester); Whites; Blacks; Palestinians; Asians; people working on Palestine solidarity and those who came to learn. So much unity, diversity and strength came out of our objective and that objective was to challenge intimidation; to declare that the Palestinian cause will not be silenced or made invisible; and any attempt to shut people down will be met with a defiance that will do nothing but enlarge the visibility of the issue.
I want to thank the Pastor of the United Church of Christ and the congregation in Henrietta, New York that voted to open their doors that I might have a venue there. I want to thank my conference minister who was in touch with the conference minister of New York to secure a back-up location. I also met an Episcopal Priest originally from South Africa who informed me that they were standing ready to open their doors to me as well! What an outpouring of power and support.
The Fruit of Islam were also powerful, poised and effective in their presence that anyone who thought of disrupting, challenging or attacking knew that the Brothers of the Fruit of Islam had my back and had the situation well in hand. I am so thankful and proud of them to say the least.
What I said yesterday and last night was that WE can end the silence by simply speaking up and speaking out. WE can bring the issue up at the dinner table, eating with friends at restaurants, and when simply socializing by talking about it wherever we are and interjecting into the discussion Palestine; the occupied territories, and ending the occupation. WE can make the difference by making certain in our personal behavior that we support the BDS movement. BDS was one of the methods that challenged South Africa and it is one of the methods that will challenge Israel. I went to Rochester and stood up to death threats with a prayer in my heart that all of us will stand up no matter the cost. No power can beat up when we ALL stand up. How does that happen? One by one until there is a critical, visible and vocal mass standing up so that even the timid of heart feels assured to join in. Everyone wasn’t originally down with theSouth Africa anti-apartheid movement, and everyone even in the Black community wasn’t originally down for civil rights movement, but we kept pounding the issue until people understood and joined their voices together in a spirit that demanded Justice Now. This is that time – Justice now!
Thank you for your prayers, thoughts, words of encouragement during this time. It made all of the difference and I thank you all.
Working for Justice,
Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler
Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ