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Former Treasury Secretary Lew, Biden's pick for ambassador to Israel, to face senators at hearing
The Senate is moving quickly to confirm Jacob Lew as ambassador to Israel, holding a hearing on his nomination
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is moving quickly to confirm Jacob Lew as ambassador to Israel, holding a hearing on his nomination Wednesday as President Joe Biden heads to the region to reinforce U.S. support for Israel and try to ease tensions in its new war with Hamas.
Lew, a Treasury Secretary under former President Barack Obama, was nominated by Biden last month after former Ambassador Tom Nides left the post in July. Democrats say Lew’s wealth of government experience — he also served as a White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget under Obama — makes him the right person to fill the post at an important moment in the two countries’ relationship.
Committee Chairman Ben Cardin, D-Md., said Tuesday that Lew, who goes by Jack, is “an outstanding, qualified person” and that it is urgent to have a confirmed ambassador to help Israel as it navigates the war, works to release hostages held by Hamas and deals with increasing concerns about tensions on the northern border with Hezbollah. Cardin said it is also important to “to keep normalization talks alive” that could improve diplomatic relations between Israel and Arab countries in the region.