Yesterday, Congressman Hank Johnson, in a speech to an anti-Israel organization called U.S. Campaign to End the Israel Occupation, which supports the BDS movement, called Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, “Termites.”

Ari Soffer, who is Managing Editor of Arutz Sheva (Israel National News), responded to Congressman Johnson’s comment. Keep in mind that Jews have continuously lived in Judea and Samaria (and East Jerusalem) since the 6th Century BCE, except for a single 19 year period between 1948 and 1967 when it was controlled by Jordan. Anyone who considers that Israel is “occupying” Judea and Samaria, or East Jerusalem, is wrong legally, politically and historically. ~GA

Dear Congressman Hank Johnson,

It has been brought to my attention that you believe I am a termite.

Not just me, but my family, neighbors, and many of my friends – in fact, all of the Jews currently living in the ancient Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria (unless, that is, like many of the anti-Israel activists you were speaking to at the time, you believe that Jews anywhere at all in Israel qualify as “settlers.”)

Congratulations: you have just added to the litany of dehumanizing characterizations of Jews promulgated by anti-Semites throughout history.

Your worthless excuse of an “apology” notwithstanding (I daresay you would not have accepted a similar “apology” from a white racist who characterized black people in such a derogatory way), my initial reaction was some degree of outrage at an elected American official making such a breathtakingly bigoted statement about my people.

But then I came across this video, and I understood:

Bigoted though your latest statements were, it is entirely possible that you yourself are simply pig-ignorant, and have a propensity for making public statements without even a cursory glance at the facts. In fact, based on the above video I am fairly confident of that explanation.

Though I am not a geographer – and so perhaps not entirely qualified to explain to you precisely why islands cannot actually capsize due to overpopulation – I am a Jewish “termite”, so please allow me to explain where it is you went wrong.

My people, you see, were here in these ancient hills long before those whose “rights” you have taken to championing first tore through the Middle East, conquering people after people by the sword and forcibly converting and Arabizing the native populations of the Levant – much as they did to large swathes of Africa too, as it happens.

My dear Rep. Hank Johnson, I fear you have been duped by their Orwellian calls to end the “occupation” of a land they themselves only acquired via displacing, killing and forcibly converting the indigenous Jewish and Samaritan populations.

Long before the Arab armies arrived in the land of Israel, while their ancestors were still sacrificing their children to sun gods in the deserts of Arabia, my own people built two glorious Jewish commonwealths on this land and forged a spiritual and cultural heritage which sustains the entire monotheistic world today.

Far from “eating up” this land, since reclaiming our national homeland in 1948 and 1967 we have brought it back to life – to the benefit of both its Jewish and Arab populations, both of whom have thrived and multiplied many times over as a result. The hills of Bet El and Shiloh; of Shechem and Hebron and Bethlehem; the beautiful Jordan valley – today all of these sites and beyond are brimming with life and burgeoning Jewish communities. It appears, you see, that it is impossible to “freeze” the inevitable march of history, no matter how hard you and your friends try.

In some instances – such as in neighborhoods of Jerusalem and Hebron where the indigenous Jewish populations were violently ethnically cleansed by Arab mobs and armies – we have retaken properties which were seized from us without just cause. We will continue to do so, be sure, as we will continue to rebuild the hills of our ancestors which surround them.

We will continue to do so even if you and your ilk continue to intimidate our often timid leadership because our people’s faith in God, our national resolve and our confidence in the justice of our cause is stronger than they or you.

But don’t be “alarmed”: Were you to bother visiting us the floor would not cave in on you, as you so vividly described it might. Some of the finest wines, cheeses, olive oil and agriculture in the world is produced here – as our ancient prophets foretold – so why would we bother eating the floorboards?

Instead, you will find that our foundations could not be any sturdier, having been forged, with the help of God, by the sweat of our brow and the blood of too many of our people.

If you visited with an open mind, you would not only (hopefully) understand how wrong your position of hostility towards us is – you would also realize the ultimate futility of joining the ranks of all the other losers of history who attempted to prevent us from achieving our national aspirations.

And you would surely realize that much as the tiny island of Guam will continue to resist the tide of the mighty Pacific Ocean, the Jewish people will remain implanted in our land forever, in spite of the waves of fanaticism and violence which engulf our region.

Yours sincerely, from the Hills of Shiloh,

Ari Soffer