The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace thank Representative Hank Johnson for his participation in the event “Progressive for Palestine: Is the US Ready to Rethink Policy on Israel,” which took place yesterday in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention.
Representative Johnson offered insightful comments on the diminishing prospects for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, citing Israel’s ongoing settlement activity – which violates international law and official US policy going back decades – on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank, a point consistently made by both the Obama and Bush administrations.
Representative Johnson analogized this settlement activity to that of termites hollowing out and undermining a structure, noting that settlement expansion has made the creation of a viable Palestinian state in the occupied territories all but impossible. From a plain reading of his remarks, it was clear that Representative Johnson was referring, as he clarified afterward, to a “corrosive process, not the people.”
A video of Representative Johnson’s remarks can be found here (at 34:45).
This analogy was taken out of context in an article with a misleading headline written by a journalist with a longstanding record of anti-Palestinian reporting. The effect of this deliberate misreading was to distract from the important observations made by Representative Johnson regarding the expansion of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise and what life is like for millions of Palestinians living under Israel’s nearly 50-year-old repressive military occupation regime.
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.