President Joe Biden nominated former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew as his new ambassador to Israel on Tuesday, despite Lew’s history of defending then-President Barack Obama’s hostile policies toward the Jewish state.
By Joel Pollak
(SEPTEMBER 5, 2023 / BREITBART) Lew, a highly partisan official infamous for his inability to say “yes” to Republicans during budget negotiations, also defended Obama’s attempt to create distance with Israel, and his disastrous, one-sided nuclear deal with Iran. That deal allowed Iran to emerge as a nuclear power after roughly a decade. Moreover, Lew criticized then-President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem — a decision that led to the Abraham Accords.
As the Times of Israel recalled earlier this year:
Lew defended the nuclear deal, arguing that it made Israel safer.
He also defended Obama’s 2016 decision not to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, saying, “I don’t think it’s a great thing for Israel to always have only the United States standing between it and condemnation.”
When former president Donald Trump was weighing moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, Lew expressed reservations. He recognized the reality that Jerusalem functions as Israel’s capital but noted that successive presidents from both parties refrained from formally recognizing it as such, arguing that it “preserve[s] the possibility of having a negotiated agreement that will produce ultimately some day a just and lasting peace with two states, [which] is the higher value.”
Lew’s role in backing the Iran deal is particularly important, as Obama’s Treasury Department unraveled the sanctions that had previously been applied to the Iranian regime and its vast range of terror and criminal activities.
Lew has also been critical of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who frustrated Obama’s policies.
Though Lew is touted as an “Orthodox Jew,” it is not clear what that means in terms of his personal religious observance, and is usually cited as an attempt to shield his policy stances from closer scrutiny and criticism.
The Jerusalem Post noted Tuesday that while Lew is the highest-ranking former official appointed to the role, eight House Republicans have already written to the president, asking him to reconsider choosing Lew for the position.
Lew, if confirmed, would replace outgoing ambassador Tom Nides, who brought U.S.-Israel relations to a new low, and was blamed for being the “arsonist-in-chief” for his role in encouraging recent opposition protests in Israel.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT).
This op-ed was originally published in Breitbart and can be viewed here.