A Congressman’s Attempt to Move the Conversation about Israel Leftward

Last September, Congressman Andy Levin of Michigan introduced the Two-State Solution Act, which he claimed would re-establish “America’s role in helping the parties move down the path of peace and coexistence.” Shany Mor notes that “the bill went nowhere” in Congress, but argues that actual legislation was never its purpose.

The Levin bill’s small number of sponsors might make it seem like a fringe effort, but that is far from the case. The bill is not an appeal to the so-called “Squad” [of far-left, anti-Israel representatives], but rather a bid to refashion the consensus arrayed against the Squad when it comes to liberal Democratic policy toward Israel.

And because there is no realistic chance of anything like this bill passing now and binding a Democratic administration, its language is actually much freer and more unguarded in expressing the new mainstream liberal orthodoxy on Israel, pushed by leading figures in the foreign-policy establishment and by the tough-love-for-Israel lobby group J Street. The bill’s text and subtext are a guide for where liberal Democrats might go in a future Democratic administration—or how the Democratic leadership might challenge either a future Republican administration or an ascendant anti-Israel minority from the fringes of their own party.

Read more at National Interest

More about: Congress, Two-State Solution, US-Israel relations

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy