Georgia GOP calls for Hank Johnson to resign after he likens Israel's settlement policy to 'termites'

Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett released this statement this afternoon:

Padgett's comments came a day after Johnson was quoted saying the Israeli government's policy in the West Bank was "almost like termites (that) can get into a residence and eat," according to the conservative news site the Washington Free Beacon, "before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself."

Johnson's comments quickly drew heat on social media, including from the Anti-Defamation League, which asked the lawmaker to retract his remarks.

Johnson rapidly apologized, and his office released a more thorough statement today:

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:

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:

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that...