Jack Lew Confirmed By The Senate As The US Ambassador To Israel

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel, a top nominee for the Biden administration at a time when the country is engaged in an active conflict against Hamas in Gaza.

Lew was nominated by President Joe Biden to the post on Sept. 5, one month before Hamas conducted a series of coordinated terrorist attacks against Israel on Oct. 7 that involved the gruesome murder of Israelis entailing mass rape, decapitations and the use of ovens to murder children. Lew was confirmed by the Senate in a 53-43 vote, receiving confirmation in an expeditious time of two months compared to other ambassadorial nominees, whose nominations have been pending for many years. (RELATED: Biden’s Nominee For Israel Ambassador Oversaw Infamous ‘Pallets Of Cash’ Payment To Iran)

“I will do my utmost to end the horrific attacks by Hamas and ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself. And I will spare no effort in working to help American citizens now captive to return home safely. And I will work to root out payments to terrorists and their families as rewards for their heinous crimes,” Lew said in his opening statement at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 18. ” I will work to advance comprehensive and lasting peace through a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and, more broadly, to build upon the Abraham Accords,” he said, referring to a Trump administration effort to normalize relations between Israel and Arab states.

Lew was criticized by Senate Republicans at his confirmation hearing over the Biden administration’s treatment of Iran, which has longstanding ties to Hamas and is believed by officials to have funded the group’s attacks on Israel. “Not only will you need to support Israel as it responds to these attacks, but also as it contends with the enduring, and indeed existential, Iranian threat,” said Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the committee’s ranking member, during the hearing to Lew. “I have reservations about your ability to do that,” he added.

Lew responded by stating that “Iran is a threat to regional stability and to Israel’s existence,” Lew said. “If confirmed, I will uphold President Biden’s warning to anyone in the region who might try to take advantage of the current crisis: don’t.”

Lew is a longtime Democratic official who served in a number of high-ranking positions during the Obama administration. Apart from serving as the secretary of the Treasury between 2013 and 2017, he was the White House chief of staff in 2012 and deputy secretary of state for management and resources, responsible for the management of all U.S. diplomatic missions worldwide. He also served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget twice, during the Obama and Clinton administrations.

The ambassador to Israel, unlike many other ambassadorial posts in the U.S. diplomatic service, is usually held by political appointees as opposed to career Foreign Service officers. Lew will replace Thomas Nides, another former Obama administration official.

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