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Tlaib Levin

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorsed Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (foreground) and Andy Levin, both of Michigan, on June 29, 2022. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images) 

Sanders Pushes Back Against AIPAC Super PAC With Endorsements of Tlaib and Levin

"Once again, these extremists are pouring millions of dollars into a congressional race to try to ensure the Democratic Party advances the agenda of powerful corporations and the billionaire class."

Brett Wilkins

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday endorsed a pair of House Democrats in their primaries against challengers backed by the nation's most powerful pro-Israel lobby—which is spending heavily to defeat progressive candidates who advocate for Palestinian rights.

Sanders (I-Vt.) endorsed Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Andy Levin, both of Michigan, tweeting that the former "has taken on powerful special interests and fought for working people" while the latter "is a strong labor voice" who is "taking on right-wing-funded super PACs." 

One of those super PACs is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's United Democracy Project (AIPAC's UDP), which has recently poured money into several Democratic primary races to thwart progressive candidates who support Palestine and who criticize Israel's occupation, colonization, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid there—and the nearly unconditional $3.8 billion in annual U.S. military aid to Israel.

UDP is backing Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens in her race against Levin in Michigan's new 11th Congressional District.

"The right-wing-funded super PAC run by AIPAC has found its newest progressive target in Congressman Andy Levin," Sanders said in a statement. "Once again, these extremists are pouring millions of dollars into a congressional race to try to ensure the Democratic Party advances the agenda of powerful corporations and the billionaire class."

Meanwhile, Pro-Israel America, which is closely affiliated with AIPAC, has endorsed Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey in her bid to deny Tlaib a third term.

Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American woman elected to the House and arguably Congress' most vocal critic of U.S.-backed Israeli policies and actions, which have been condemned by much of the international community.

Speaking of Tlaib, Sanders said "more than ever we need fighters in Washington who are willing to take on the corporate greed in our country and the corrupt political system that sustains that greed."

"Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has been that fighter," he continued. "Over and over again she has taken on powerful special interests and fought for the working people in Michigan and across the country."

"It is no surprise, therefore, that a billionaire-funded super PAC is planning to spend $1 million to try and defeat Rashida in her reelection campaign," Sanders said, a reference to the newly launched Urban Empowerment Action PAC.

"When members of Congress like Rashida take on special interests, the billionaires and their super PACs want them out," he added. "We cannot let that happen."


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