Senate has voted to confirm Jack Lew as the United States Ambassador to Israel

 November 1, 2023

A top nominee for the Biden administration at a time when the country is actively involved in a fight against Hamas in Gaza, former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

The confirmation comes at a time when the country is engaged in the conflict, as was outlined by The Daily Caller in their news report.

On September 5, President Joe Biden nominated Lew for the position of Treasury Secretary. This was one month before Hamas carried out a series of coordinated terrorist assaults against Israel on October 7.

These attacks involved the horrible slaughter of Israelis and included mass rapes, beheadings, and the use of ovens to kill children. Lew's nomination came one month before the murders.

The Nomination Process

In contrast to other ambassadorial nominees, whose nominations have been waiting for many years, Lew's candidacy was approved by the Senate in a very short amount of time, taking only two months, with a vote of 53 to 43 in favor of his confirmation.

“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," Lew said in his opening statement at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 18.

"And I will work to root out payments to terrorists and their families as rewards for their heinous crimes.

"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.

As Iran has long-standing ties to Hamas and is considered by officials to have supported the group's attacks on Israel, Senate Republicans lambasted Lew at his confirmation hearing for the Biden administration's treatment of Iran.

“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 saying 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.”

The Ambassador's History

Lew is a well-respected Democratic figure who has worked for the Obama administration in a variety of important roles over the course of his career.

In addition to his role as Secretary of the Treasury from 2013 to 2017, he previously held the positions of Chief of Staff at the White House in 2012 and Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.

In these roles, he was in charge of the administration of all diplomatic missions that the United States maintains across the world.

Additionally, he has held the position of Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) twice, under the administrations of both Obama and Clinton.

In contrast to the majority of other ambassadorial positions in the United States Foreign Service, the position of ambassador to Israel is often filled by a political appointment rather than an officer with a career in the Foreign Service.

Lew will take over for Thomas Nides, who was also a former official in the Obama administration.

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