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July 25, 2016 5:15 pm

Major Jewish Group Says Georgia Lawmaker’s Comparison of Settlers to Termites Shows He Has Problem With Jews (VIDEO)

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Georgia lawmaker Hank Johnson addressing an event sponsored by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, where he compared Israeli Jews to "termites." Photo: Jewish Voice for Peace/ Twitter.

Georgia lawmaker Hank Johnson addressing an event sponsored by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, where he compared Israeli Jews to “termites.” Photo: Jewish Voice for Peace/ Twitter.

Offensive remarks by a Georgia lawmaker comparing Jewish Israelis to vermin show that “he has an issue not just with the state of Israel, but also with the Jewish people,” a prominent Jewish advocacy organization told The Algemeiner on Monday.

Dov Wilker, the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Director, issed the condemnation in response to an anti-Israel tirade by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), who said during a panel discussion earlier in the day that Jews who live in the West Bank are like “termites” that destroy homes. The event was sponsored by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a notorious backer of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“There has been a steady [stream], almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself, there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming,” Johnson said about what he continuously labeled Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian land.

Calling Johnson’s attendance at the pro-BDS event “regrettable,” Wilker told The Algemeiner, “The use of words like termite is a traditional antisemitic trope that has been used for centuries against the Jewish people. Calling some Israelis termites does not advance peace, but then the variety of groups comprising the BDS movement are not interested at all in a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict.”

The Georgia lawmaker — who serves on the House Armed Services Committee — also accused “Jewish people” of continuously stealing Palestinian land, pointing to claims of secret Israeli plots.

“You see one home after another being appropriated by Jewish people who come in to claim that land just because somebody did not spend the night there,” he said. “The home their ancestors lived in for generations becomes an Israeli home and a flag goes up.”

Johnson’s repetition of anti-Israel narratives promoted by the BDS movement, Wilker said, are a cause for concern.

“Israel goes through a process by which it does acquire land throughout the state of Israel. There is a legal process and any challenges go thorough the Israeli legal system,” Wilker told The Algemeiner. “The notion that Israel is stealing land every day is not one that the facts are showing. Johnson has been connected to the Jewish community for nearly a decade and while he has made controversial statements about the state of Israel in the past, I am more concerned about his rhetoric.”

Watch footage of Johnson’s remarks below (43:00):

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