Ga. Dem apologizes for calling 'settlers' termites

Georgia Democratic Congressman Rep. Hank Johnson acknowledges 'poor choice of words' but fails to issue full apology.

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Kindergarten Children in a Twn in Samaria
Kindergarten Children in a Twn in Samaria
Mateh Maavak Amona/Gidi Sharon

A Georgia Democratic congressman apologized for calling Jewish "settlers" who live in Judea and Samaria "termites" at an anti-Israel event near the Democratic national convention.

“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,” Rep. Hank Johnson said Monday at a Philadelphia event organized by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

The Washington Free Beacon, a news website, first reported the remarks. Special interest groups traditionally run events in and around both parties’ conventions. The Democrats’ convention runs through Thursday.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution picked up the report, and the Anti-Defamation League called on Twitter on Johnson to apologize.

“Poor choice of words – apologies for offense,” Johnson said. “Point is settlement activity continues slowly undermine 2-state solution.”

The ADL replied that it “appreciated” the clarification, but the National Jewish democratic Council said the apology fell short.

“@RepHankJohnson, To refer to Jews as “termites” is deeply offensive and dehumanizing,” NJDC said on Twitter. “Not just a ‘poor choice of words.’ It’s dangerous.”

Arutz Sheva Staff contributed to this report.


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