One can only hope. This week, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)’s nearly $5 million investment in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District paid off Tuesday when Democrat Rep. Haley Stevens, a pro-Israel Christian, easily defeated fellow Democrat Rep. Andy Levin, a virulently anti-Israel, far-left, Jewish progressive who constantly condemns what he calls “Israel’s illegal and brutal occupation of Palestinian territory.”
Common Dreams Stevens and Levin were forced into a primary contest by Michigan’s redistricting process, which provided an opportunity for AIPAC’s super PAC and other special interest groups to pour millions into the race to oust Levin, who has been described as the “most progressive Jewish member of the House.”” Stevens ultimately prevailed with 60% of the vote, a win that AIPAC celebrated as “major and consequential.”
AIPAC was eager to claim victory Tuesday night, tweeting that Stevens was “the 10th AIPAC-backed Democrat to defeat a challenger who sought to undermine America’s partnership with our ally Israel.”
JWeekly In addition to ending a Michigan Jewish political dynasty that has lasted since Levin’s uncle Carl was elected to the Senate in 1979, Levin’s loss means the wing of the Democratic party that is most critical of Israel is losing its most outspoken Jewish ally in the House of Representatives.
“Especially for young far-left Jews, Andy was our candidate,” Levi Teitel, a local organizer with the self-hating Jewish, pro-Palestinian group IfNotNow, told JTA. “He championed the issues we care about: climate justice, the need to force a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians” no matter how bad it is for Israel.
Levin, who was backed by the George Soros-funded J Street, a far-left anti-Israel lobby that pretends to be pro-Israel, and is vocally critical of Israel and authored a “Two-State Solution Act” this session that would restrict how Israel could use U.S. aid, has been in AIPAC’s crosshairs.
AIPAC’s former director David Victor, a Detroit resident, called Levin “arguably the most corrosive member of Congress to the U.S.-Israel relationship.” He also said in a letter to prospective donors in January that “less engaged Democratic colleagues may take [Levin] at his word” on Israel because of his Jewish credentials.
In the waning days of his campaign, rather than try to win over the voters that AIPAC had sought to mobilize, Levin instead drew attention to his anti-Israel politics.
He held a rally with other anti-Israel politicians including Vermont’s Jewish Senator, Bernie Sanders and the pro-Hamas radical Palestinian Congressmuslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib. and did a virtual event with anther Jewish anti-Semite, Peter Beinart of Jewish Currents, three figures who are relentlessly bash Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians.
AIPAC’s intervention in the contest through the United Democracy Project—a super PAC funded by Republican billionaires—drew outrage from progressives and far-left anti-Israel Jewish organizations such as J Street, which lamented Levin’s defeat in a statement late Tuesday.
J Street went on to highlight AIPAC’s endorsement and funding of “109 Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election on January 6th, promoters of Donald Trump like Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, and more—while attacking candidates like Andy Levin… as extremists.”
Levin was just the latest progressive Democrat to lose a race in which AIPAC took a heavy interest. Last month, the United Democracy Project helpedcorporate attorney Glenn Ivey defeat former U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards in the Democratic primary for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District.
In a statement congratulating Stevens and conceding the race, Levin said he was “the target of a largely Republican-funded campaign set on defeating the movement I represent no matter where I ran.”