(NationRise.com) – The US Senate confirmed Jacob Lew as the new ambassador to Israel on October 31, filing one of the main diplomatic posts in the country. Lew, who was the US Treasury Secretary during the Obama administration and the White House budget director during the Clinton administration, was confirmed after a final vote of 53-43. His confirmation took place in the wake of the Jewish state’s declaration of war against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, following its terrorist attacks on Israeli soil on October 7.
In his confirmation hearing, Lew promised to support the Israeli government during its military operations in Gaza. He also pointed out that one of the main goals of the Biden administration is to “strengthen the ties” between Israel and the United States.
US President Joe Biden nominated Lew in September to fill the position that Tom Nides left vacant after leaving his post in July. Democratic leaders have said Lew was the right person to replace him because of his government experience.
Following his confirmation, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said during a press conference that the White House was eager for Lew to lead the United States’ efforts to support Israel as soon as possible. Kirby told reporters that the Biden administration also wants him to lead the efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza.
Over the last few months, Republican leaders have criticized Lew for comments he made against Israeli leaders in the past and for his role in the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with the Iranian regime in 2015. The agreement was eventually canceled during the Trump administration, as former President Donald Trump claimed it deteriorated the US-Israel relationship and benefited Jerusalem’s greatest geopolitical foe.
Before the vote, top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Idaho Senator Jim Risch said Lew was the “wrong person” to fill the post. He also claimed that “the last thing” the United States needs is a politician who is “very contrary” to the country’s view about how to handle Iran.
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