The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm former Treasury Secretary Jacob “Jack” Lew as Ambassador to Israel.
The confirmation comes amid Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza following the terrorist organization’s massive October 7 surprise attack on Israel, and as Congress is debating whether to tie military aid to Israel with further military aid to Ukraine for its war against Russia’s invasion.
President Biden has pushed for a $105 billion emergency aid request to fund not only Israel’s war with Hamas and Ukraine’s war with Russia but also other national and global security concerns.
Lew was Secretary of the Treasury during the Obama Administration. Biden tapped him last month after Ambassador Tom Nides left the post in Israel in July.
His vast government experience includes stints as both White House Chief of Staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Presidents Obama and Clinton.
“I want to be clear,” Lew testified, “Iran is a threat to regional stability and to Israel’s existence.”
When asked about restarting nuclear talks with Iran, Lew said now was not the appropriate time.
The final vote to confirm Lew was 53-43.
Since leaving the Obama White House, Lew has worked as a practicing attorney, a visiting professor at Columbia University, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-president of the board of the National Library of Israel USA.