December 3, 2023

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Senate confirms Jack Lew as US ambassador to Israel following vocal GOP opposition over Iran deal

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew as the new US ambassador to Israel, despite stiff opposition from Senate Republicans over his involvement in the Iran nuclear deal during the Obama administration.

Lew is a veteran of several Democratic administrations having also served as chief of staff under then-President and director of the Office of Management and Budget under Obama and then-President Bill Clinton.

Ahead of the vote, Senate Majority Leader emphasized the importance of filling the vacancy in Israel amid the current conflict. “With everything happening in Israel right now, confirming Jack Lew at this moment will be one of the most important and consequential nomination votes the Senate has taken in a long time,” he said.

Schumer added, “Lew has a strong, long, proven record as a public servant and ferocious ally of Israel, and it will help send a powerful message of support to Israel to have this appointment filled ASAP.”

However, many Republicans made their opposition to Lew’s nomination clear in the weeks leading up to his confirmation. Senator Tom Cotton has attacked Lew as an “Iran sympathizer who has no business being our ambassador,” and Senator Eric Schmitt wrote in a post on X, “As Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was a key figure in the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal. Iran is the chief sponsor of Hamas. Jack Lew has no business being the US Ambassador to Israel.”

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