DETROIT – Rep. Andy Levin is proposing a new law that aims at bringing peace to the Middle East. The law would require the United States to work toward what’s known as a “Two-state solution” between Israel and Palestine.
2021 was one of the most violent for the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The escalation raised concerns for action. Levin is hoping his new bill will turn talk into action.
It’s been called the most comprehensive attempt at peace in one of the most difficult conflicts in the world.
“I just felt like the status quo is not acceptable, that we’re just going to have round after round of bloodshed and loss of life,” Levin said. “We really have to tackle the root cause of the problem, which is the lack of an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians about how to coexist.”
Among the new proposal is marking products made in Palestinian territories as being marked as West Bank or Gaza Strip instead of “Made in Israel,” barring U.S. Defense funds from being used to expand Israeli settlements or to violate internationally recognized human rights while keeping Hamas as a terror organization.
It also doesn’t decrease funding for Israeli defense and stops payment to the Palestinian program that gives aid to family for Israeli prisoners.
The bill is in line with the White House, while also reversing some policies from prior administrations, but it is sure to set off a political firestorm at home and abroad.
Levin said he’s ready.
“I’m sure I’ll get it from all sides,” Levin said. “And to me that means, in this case, that we’re kind of going in the right direction.”
The bill will raise debates in Congress. The recent successful effort to fund Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system ended up in bitter arguments.
The American Jewish Committee said they support the idea of the bill, but they want things changed. Pro-Palestine groups have criticized parts of the bill as well.