The Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm the next US ambassador to Israel. Given the attack Israel just endured last month and the subsequent slaughter of its innocent citizenry by Hamas terrorists, this is a hyper-critical role that requires a person who emanates American leadership with a verifiable track record of supporting one of our most loyal and strategically important allies.
In September, Joe Biden, in keeping with his track record of dubious administration nominees, put forth the name of none other than former Obama administration Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to be ambassador to Israel. How bad was this nomination?
According to Senator Tom Cotton (AR), “Lew championed the Iran nuclear deal and was instrumental in its implementation. Lew called the agreement with Iran, which delivered over $100 billion in sanctions relief to Israel’s greatest enemy, a “strong deal” and said that “it will make our country safer, it will make our allies safer, and it will make the world safer.” This deal was not well received by Israel and Cotton cited a poll where “73% of Jewish Israelis believed that the deal posed an “existential threat” to their nation.”
Cotton further described Lew as “a man who has acted as the de facto banker and business agent of the ayatollahs”. Notwithstanding Lew’s history with Israel and after Israel declared war on Hamas, President Biden did not withdraw this controversial nomination.
AMAC Action, in a sign of support for Israel, rallied the membership to contact their US Senators on the day of the vote to compel them to oppose Lew’s confirmation. By the time of the vote, over 20,000 contacts were made by AMAC members to the US Senate. This was done in just four hours!
Despite this strong show of support for Israel by the AMAC membership, the Senate voted to confirm Jack Lew as ambassador to Israel 53-43, with four Senators not voting. The Democrats were aided by two “Aye” votes from Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and Rand Paul (KY). Their support of Lew dates back to the affirmative votes they gave him to confirm his nomination as Treasury Secretary in 2013.
In a press release after the vote, Senator Graham cited “the dire situation in Israel and the need to provide stability in the region” as a reason to confirm Lew even as he acknowledged that “There are legitimate concerns about Mr. Lew.” Perhaps he was reacting to the hundreds messages he received from his AMAC South Carolina constituents?
Although this effort did not yield the desired result, AMAC members sent a powerful statement in support of Israel to the United States Senate. This statement could have conceivably pushed some Senators off the fence and increased the tally in the “Nay” column.