October 7, 2022

Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) defeated fellow incumbent Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) in Michigan’s 11th congressional district in suburban Detroit in Tuesday’s primary after the issue of Levin’s hostility to Israel became a deciding factor issue in the competition.

The two incumbents, both in their second terms in Congress, faced each other after new redistricting made Levin’s Oakland County district more favorable to Republicans, challenging Stevens instead of defending his seat .

Levin is also the nephew of former Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who represented the state in Washington for nearly four decades.

Among other critical statements about Israel, Levin proudly led the opposition in then-President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, which subsequently led to the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel and several Arab states.

Stevens beat Levin by a wide margin, winning nearly 60 percent of the vote, according to recent returns in the Detroit News.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency mentionted in the primary, in which millions of dollars were spent by outside interest groups:

Except for the fee a Michigan’s Jewish Political Dynasty held since Levin’s uncle Carl was elected to the Senate in 1979, Levin’s loss means the wing of the Democratic party most critical of Israel loses its staunchest Jewish ally in the House of Representatives.

Levin, who has been backed by J Street, the liberal pro-Israel lobby, is a vocal critic of Israel and has authored a “Two-State Solution Act” that would limit how Israel could use American aid, found in target of AIPAC. Former AIPAC director David Victor, a Detroit resident, called Levin “arguably the most corrosive member of Congress in the US-Israel relationship.” He also said in a letter to prospective donors in January that “less committed Democratic colleagues may accept [Levin] at his word’ for Israel because of his Jewish credentials.

In his campaign days, instead of trying to win over the voters AIPAC had tried to mobilize, Levin drew attention to his Israel policy. He organized a rally with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Rashida Tlaib and held a mock event with Peter Beinart of Jewish Currents, three figures who are critical of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians and widely despised by the die-hard pro-Israel crowd .

Levine, is described by the World Jewish Daily news website as “Israel-hating”, it was backed by J Street, a radical, left-wing organization originally backed by George Soros, who often opposes the Israeli government and is widely seen as anti-Israel.

J Street’s super PAC, the J Street Action Fund, spent $700,000 on a TV ad attacks Stevens for receiving donations associated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the most prominent pro-Israel groups in Washington.

Advertisement criticized AIPAC in support of Republicans who had supported Trump’s bid for the 2020 presidential election. AIPAC, which only recently began spending directly on political campaigns, has always been a supporter of the pro-Israel establishment parties in Congress, usually regardless of their stance on other issues.

AIPAC’s super PAC, the United Democracy Project, spend heavily in the primary to support Stevens and defeat Levin.

In a statement on the primary election result, J Street he complained about AIPAC’s involvement and lamented: “While Rep. Levin is a proudly pro-Israel Jewish-American, AIPAC has labeled him ‘anti-Israel’, ‘fringe’ and ‘hostile.’ He was targeted for holding fundamental, mainstream views about US diplomatic leadership in the Middle East and for proposing legislation to help defend Palestinian rights and secure Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and its host Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday nights from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 US Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is the winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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