"We must work to promote policies that support a two-state solution and encourage trust between both sides," said Congressman Johnson. The congressman regrets his comments. He did not intend to insult or speak derogatorily of Israelis or the Jewish people. When using the metaphor of termites, the Congressman was referring to the corrosive process, not the people. "Poor choice of words – I meant no offense. The point is settlement activity has slowly and deliberately undermined Palestinian land claims."
Also on Tuesday, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the group that held the event during which Johnson made the disputed remarks, issued a statement along with Jewish Voice for Peace saying the lawmaker's remarks were "taken out of context" in the Free Beacon story:
Representative Johnson is among a growing number of Members of Congress who are speaking out in support of Palestinian rights and a just peace between Palestinian and Israelis. We thank Representative Johnson for his continued fight for the human and civil rights of all people, including Palestinians."
GOP pressure to force Johnson's resignation is little more than rhetorical. Johnson represents the most thoroughly Democratic congressional district in the state.
The district does boast a significant Jewish population, though, one that first rallied around Johnson in 2006 to help propel him to victory in the Democratic runoff against then-incumbent Cynthia McKinney, who has her own history of making anti-Israel remarks.
The groups also posted a video of Johnson's remarks, which you can watch below, courtesy of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. The disputed quote begins at roughly the 34:45 mark:
Read our full write-up of Johnson's comments here.