The controversial pastor who preached at a church attended by President Obama said on Saturday that “Jesus was a Palestinian,” alluded to Israel as an apartheid state and compared “the youth in Ferguson and the youth in Palestine” during a speech in Washington, D.C.
Jeremiah Wright, who led Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago from 1972 to 2008, spoke at a Nation of Islam event titled “Justice or Else!” on the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March.
“The same issue is being fought today and has been fought since 1948, and historians are carried back to the 19th century…when the original people, the Palestinians – and please remember, Jesus was a Palestinian – the Palestinian people had the Europeans come and take their country,” Wright said, according to The Hill.
Wright was one of several speakers during the event on the National Mall, which also included notorious Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Sybrina Fulton, whose son, Trayvon Martin, was killed in Florida in 2012 in a case that inflamed racial tensions, also spoke. Thousands attended, but the National Park Service does not provide more concrete estimates on crowd counts, according to CBS.
And please remember, Jesus was a Palestinian – the Palestinian people had the Europeans come and take their country"
- Jeremiah Wright
Wright began his speech with the traditional Muslim greeting “Salaam Alaikum,” according to The Blaze, and then launched into his typical fiery rhetoric.
“The youth in Ferguson and the youth in Palestine have united together to remind us that the dots need to be connected,” he said. “And what Dr. King said, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ has implications for us as we stand beside our Palestinian brothers and sisters, who have been done one of the most egregious injustices in the 20th and 21st centuries.”
Wright more explicitly linked the “Black Lives Matter” movement to the Palestinian cause in other statements.
“Palestinians are saying ‘Palestinian lives matter.’ We stand with you, we support you, we say God bless you,” he said.
While Wright did not mention the Israelis by name, according to The Blaze, he did reference an “apartheid wall” being erected by an occupying force.
“As we sit here, there is an apartheid wall being built twice the size of the Berlin Wall in height, keeping Palestinians off of illegally occupied territories, where the Europeans have claimed that land as their own,” he said.
Wright first gained infamy after video of him delivering a sermon with the line “God damn America” began circulating around the time of Obama’s first presidential campaign. Obama said he left the church in 2008 and denounced some of Wright’s remarks.
A vocal supporter of the Palestinian people, Wright said in a 2009 interview with The Daily Press that he hadn’t seen Obama since his former congregant was elected president because “them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me.”