By Sheldon L. Freilich
When members of Congress propose legislation, it is usually based on a constructive approach. That’s not the case with U.S. Representative Andy Levin (D-MI) and his proposed “Two-State Solution Act”, co-sponsored by 24 other House members.
The bill is gravely perilous to U.S.-Israel relations, while supporting terrorism against Israel.
- The Levin bill overrides the 1987 Anti-Terrorism Act that designates the PLO as a terrorist organization by allowing the opening of PLO Washington offices and S. funding of the PLO/Palestinian Authority – even if the PLO engages in terrorism and even if the terroristic Hamas becomes part of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
- The Levin Bill overrides the 2018 Taylor Force Act – named for a U.S. Army veteran stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist while visiting The Taylor Force Act (enacted after a ZOA campaign) prevents U.S. economic assistance to the PA until it dismantles its Martyr’s Fund. Known as “Pay to Slay”, the fund gives monthly payments to the family of terrorists who have committed murderous acts against Israeli or American citizens. The more Jews killed, the higher the monthly stipend paid to the murderers. As recently as March, the State Dept. reported that this outrage continues, reporting the Palestinian dictatorship spent $342.6 million (in 2019) on payments to Arab Jew- killers.
Do the congressional sponsors of the “Two-State Solution Act” have no compassion for the innocent American and Israeli victims of murderous terrorists?
- The Levin bill overrides the 2015 Continuing Appropriations Act which bars PA funding if the PA supports International Criminal Court (ICC) judicial investigations against Israelis for alleged crimes against
- The bill subverts the U.S.-Israel alliance – barring Israel from using weapons it receives from the U.S. to defend its citizens in Judea, Samaria, and unified Jerusalem.
- The bill discriminates against Israel and legitimizes the antisemitic Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) campaign against the Jewish The Levin bill bars Israel from marking goods from Judea and Samaria as “Made in Israel” – and requires the labelling of these goods as made in the “West Bank”. This provision is a shameful, government-sanctioned boycott of Israel – and parallels Nazi Germany and Arab League boycotts of Jews and Israel communities.
- The bill restricts Israel’s many scientific, agricultural, and other agreements with the U.S. to pre-1967 areas of Israel. This would hurt and limit many of the S.’s economic and strategic initiatives.
- The bill requires the administration to cancel the 2019 S. determination that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are not illegal and declare those Israeli communities – including neighborhoods built in Jerusalem since 1967 – as illegal.
- The bill mentions Israeli-Palestinian “peaceful relations” only in It doesn’t require that the Palestinians resolve their conflict through negotiations, and whether the PA returns to peace talks is completely irrelevant.
- The bill completely ignores PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party’s calls to commit acts of terror, even promoting violence on Fatah’s Facebook The PA promotes and condones Jew-hatred throughout Palestinian society: Its media glorifies Hitler and Nazis; Mein Kampf is a best seller; and streets and sports teams are named after murderous terrorists. The PA school textbooks glorify martyrdom and incite hatred of Jews, spout classic antisemitic conspiracy theories and false history claiming Jews never lived in Israel. Its schools indoctrinate young children to emulate terrorists – this would be considered child abuse in any civilized society.
- The bill completely ignores the PA’s statements to establish a state on the remains of the destruction of Israel (“from the river to the sea”). The bill ignores the acts of Hamas, a S.-designated terrorist organization that has ruled Gaza since 2007 and whose governing charter calls for the genocide of Jews and a religious war between Jews and Muslims. The bill makes no demands or requirements on the PA or Hamas to eliminate terror.
- The whole purpose of the bill is to empower the PLO and the PA while they support, fund, and glorify terror attacks against
- The bill works against the most important accomplishment of the Abraham Accords, which is that peace comes when Arab states recognize and have positive relations with the Jewish state – without holding relations hostage to Palestinian intransigence.
And, regrettably, Rep. Andy Levin has made other problematic statements:
As Rabbi Aryeh Spero wrote, “In a breathtakingly absurd statement, Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI) asserted during a February 1 (2021) webinar that antisemitism cannot truly be defeated until “Palestinian human rights are respected. … That Levin blames antisemitism on Jews who do not surrender to Palestinian Arab leadership calling for Israel’s destruction is akin to blaming Jews for the dislike of them by the Third Reich.”
Mr. Levin proudly touts his friendship with U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who falsely claims that Israel is a “racist country”, calls the creation of Israel a catastrophe, and wants to replace Israel with one state. Ms. Tlaib enthusiastically consorts with people who support terror, espouse poisonous views and virulent antisemitic blood libels, and are Palestinian terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. She accused Americans who support Israel of dual loyalty. Incredibly, Ms. Tlaib stated that thinking about the Holocaust always gives her a “calming feeling”. Mr. Levin has never confronted Ms. Tliab’s hate-filled extremism and insensitive Holocaust comments, saying “his relationship with Tlaib could serve as a model for Jewish-Palestinian dialogue”.
Undeniably, the proposed “Two-State Solution Act” legalizes support for Palestinian terrorists, undermines Israel’s security and its ties to the United States, and adopts a host of anti-Israel policies.
Sheldon L. Freilich is President of the Zionist Organization of America Michigan Region.