Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rev. Graylan Hagler to speak on "From Baltimore to Palestine" in Ithaca on March 2

The Rev. Graylan Hagler will be speaking on March 2 in Ithaca on the topic of "From Baltimore to Palestine" at GIAC. His visit is sponsored by the Jewish Voice for Peace chapter in Ithaca. I had never heard of him before I saw the announcement earlier today of his visit. 

In June, 2015, he spoke at a conference in Washington, DC, organized by Sabeel, a Palestinian Christian organization head by Rev. Naim Ateek. Some excerpts from his talk:
The conference’s second keynote speaker was Rev. Graylan S. Hagler, a senior pastor of a local congregation who had previously opened his pulpit to Gilad Atzmon. A self-professed “proud self-hating Jew,” Atzmon is the author of The Wandering Who, which provides ostensible insights into Jewish “goy-hating and racist ideologies” and calls on Jews to “integrate into humanity.”
A self-declared advocate of non-violence, Rev. Hagler nonetheless argued that “violent reaction has its merits” and “progressives or liberals” should not “tell people what tools they should use in order to gain their own freedom.” Instead, they should stay silent, lest they end up “sounding like the United States or sounding like Israel, talking about what tactics are therefore justifiable while…basically carrying out a whole genocide of a population.” Without a hint of irony, he then warned, “We need to be careful about who we are and what we talk about and how we talk about it.”
Channeling Ateek’s liberation theology in order to distance the modern Jews of Israel from their ancient Middle Eastern forefathers, Hagler spoke of an “interrupted” continuity of Jewish descent—despite multiple genetic studies to the contrary—and painted a picture of a nation “largely from Europe and from Rockville [Md.] and from Illinois.” Unsurprisingly, with the conference tailored to engage African-American congregations and occurring in such close proximity to the protests in Baltimore, Hagler depicted the American struggle against racial discrimination as directly analogous to the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israel’s ethnic relations. Hagler railed against Israel’s treatment of Ethiopian Jews and African migrants, and asserted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March speech to Congress constituted a racially-driven “slap in the face” to President Obama. Netanyahu, he said, was “disrespecting a black face in the White House.” Occasionally, Hagler’s preaching featured outright perversions of Judaism that harkened back to Ateek’s teachings. “I got a problem when anybody is a chosen person,” he said, “because if somebody else is chosen, that means that I’m not, and I know that I’m a child of God.”

1 comment:

  1. This man calls for the dismantling of the state of Israel. He literally believes that Israel should not exist. In his criticism of Israel and desire to have one Palestinian state, he has never once condemned the Palestinian terrorists who stab innocent jewish mothers and fathers to death in front of their children, simply because of their religion. Therefore, it is hard to take him as anything but a bigoted hate monger. I am profoundly ashamed that he has been invited to speak in Ithaca. Just another person teaching hate and division instead of peace and unity. I thought our town was more progressive than this.