Lawmaker apologizes for comparing Israeli settlers to termites
© Greg Nash

Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonOur climate is not for sale Wrong for Democrats to call for more Kavanaugh investigations Digital privacy should unite us, not drive us apart MORE (D-Ga.) issued an apology after his comments about Israeli occupation sparked controversy on Monday.

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The congressman tweeted that he used a "poor choice of words" when referring to the political situation in the region. 
"Poor choice of words — apologies for offense. Point is settlement activity continues slowly undermine 2-state solution," he tweeted Tuesday, adding in a subsequent tweet: "I sincerely apologize for the offensive analogy. Period."

Johnson's office issued an additional clarification in a statement Tuesday, stating that the lawmaker did not intend to compare Jewish people to "termites." 

"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," the statement read.
 
Johnson's original statement during an event hosted by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation was heavily critical of a new "alarming" increase in Israeli settlements.

“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.