Israel Supporters Oppose Lew’s Nomination as Ambassador

Sep 6, 2023 3:21 pm | Ticker, Virtual Jerusalem

In response to Jack Lew’s nomination for the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, a rising tide of opposition from staunch Israel supporters, including key Congressional figures, is becoming evident. They cite his track record and comments during the Obama administration where he served, igniting speculation on whether this opposition could jeopardize his Senate confirmation.

Senator Ted Cruz, known for unwavering support for Israel, has been vocal about his concerns. Cruz references policy decisions from Lew’s tenure under Obama. “We need figures who’ve consistently demonstrated clear-eyed support for Israel, especially given the challenges it faces,” Cruz mentioned in a recent interview.

A particularly stinging critique comes from Morton Klein who in an op-ed revisited Lew’s comments at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York in 2015, highlight nominee Lew’s assertion that, “the final deal will be built around an incredibly robust and intrusive inspections regime on Iran’s nuclear program.” Given the subsequent unfolding of the Iran deal, Klein and others argue that such ‘robust’ inspections weren’t fully realized.

Additionally, Lew’s claim about his employer has been panned. “No administration has done more for Israel’s security than this one.”  Lew’s speech at the JPost conference, according to multiple reports, suggest that he was met with boos, shouts of “nonsense,” and described as facing “one of the surliest reactions ever accorded to such a high-ranking administration official by a Jewish audience in the United States.”

Another bone of contention is Lew’s stance on the UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Critics assert that the resolution, which Lew defended, labeled significant Jewish sites as “occupied Arab land” and promoted Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) – stances that many supporters of Israel find deeply problematic.

Lew, who identifies as a Jew, has his supporters on the left. Some within diplomatic circles argue that his experience in the Obama administration provides him with crucial insights into the complexities of U.S.-Israel relations.

With increasing opposition and a cascade of concerns about Lew’s nomination, the prospects for confirmation are unclear. Confirmation hearings will be a litmus test not just for Lew but also for the broader U.S. policy approach towards Israel.


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