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AIPAC-backed Democrat calls for Israeli leadership change

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AIPAC-backed Democrat calls for Israeli leadership change

Rep. Mike Levin, one of the few vulnerable members of the California Democratic House, on Thursday called for a change in Israeli leadership.

“It seems to me that new leaders are needed,” Levin told a small group of journalists, adding that he believes current leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are not “ultimately leading to a more peaceful outcome” in the region. .

Levin is backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel group that has launched nationwide campaigns to oust elected officials calling for a permanent ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas. Levin is also the only vulnerable California “front liner” listed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

AIPAC declined to comment on Levin’s comments.

The moderate Democrat represents a district in San Diego and Orange counties. He won the election for a third term in 2022 with 52.6 percent of the vote. In 2024 he will face Republican Matt Gunderson, who has He previously attacked Levin for not unconditionally backing Israel.. And the National Republican Congressional Committee has Damn Levin about the topic.

Levin’s comments come after Iran launched a missile attack on Israel over the weekend, and as it faces pressure from protesters in his district call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

In March, Levin called for a temporary ceasefire allowing humanitarian aid to reach Gaza, which he called “imperative” in addition to providing military funds to Israel to defend itself against Hamas. He has supported a ceasefire along with the release of Israeli hostages.

“We need a leader in Israel who is committed to a two-state solution,” Levin said Thursday. “On the other hand, Hamas cannot remain in power.”

More Democrats have begun to move away from their previously strong support for Israel. In particular, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer faced backlash after criticizing Netanyahu’s handling of the war in Gaza and calling for new elections to replace the prime minister.

But Levin distanced himself from Schumer’s comments, which he said could “discourage” the ability of current Israeli leaders to call fair elections. “It has to be the decision of the Israeli people,” he said.

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