Just a few days after the U.S. Department of State issued a statement calling illegal Israeli settlements "corrosive to the peace process" (duh), Representative Hank Johnson (D, GA-4) was ruthlessly attacked for analogizing the growth of illegal Israeli settlements undermining the peace process to termites eating away at floorboards. Johnson was first attacked for "calling Israeli settlers termites" (which is a blatantly incorrect way to interpret his comments) by a notorious far, far right-wing online outlet, which was then shared by several American Jewish groups, even making its way into mainstream publications including The Hill and TIME. Luckily, Rep. Johnson is also being defended by many American Jewish heavy weights - not because what he said was by any means brilliant, but because our elected representatives should be able to criticize the Israeli occupation - especially illegal settlements which are against US policy - without personal attacks. And the latest polling numbers are making that case too. Released last week at our DNC panel, a Zogby Research Services poll shows that 64% of Americans think Israelis and Palestinians should have equal rights, and a plurality of Americans in both Parties think the U.S. gives too much annual aid to Israel. The latter of which is poignant because we are about to deliver Israel the biggest US military aid package in history. The conversation and assumptions that have long kept elected officials scared to stick their neck out on this issue are changing - - despite the best efforts of the organized opposition to Palestinian rights.

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