One of the chief duties or roles that a U.S. Ambassador is tasked with when he/she is sent out into the field to their host country is to either repair, maintain or grow our relations with the country in which they are assigned to.
On September 5, 2023, President Joe Biden nominated former President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
While this nomination is being celebrated by many Jewish Democrats, I am looking at this objectively and trying to find one thing to point to the fact that Lew would be a good U.S. Ambassador to Israel; but I can’t find a single one.
For one, he’s not a diplomat, he’s a beancounter and behind-the-scenes operator. Lew served in the Obama Administration as the Chief of Staff to the President and then later as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 2013 to 2017.
At a point in time when President Biden calls Israel’s government “extreme” while he also suspends funding for joint US/Israeli R&D projects but maintains funding to the Palestinian Authority, the U.S. needs an inspirational and experienced diplomat in this post, not a Washington DC career bureaucrat “yes man.”
I don’t think Lew is capable of repairing, maintaining or growing America’s long-standing relationship with Israel and here’s why.
Lew Opposed Moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
Lew is on the record opposing President Donald J. Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal and undivided capital. Many Presidents before Trump, including Lew’s former boss, President Obama, promised to do so but failed to do it. Lew is on the record opposing the embassy move which is deeply troubling to me and probably to the Israeli government which he will be tasked with building relations with in his role as U.S. Ambassador.
The U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem was one of the most significant moments in the US-Israel relationship and it’s unfair to expect the Israeli people to welcome Lew with open arms when he has yet to celebrate this historic event.
Lew Played Critical Role in Planning and Implementing the Iran Nuclear Deal
It’s no secret that the biggest existential threat to the future of the world’s only Jewish State, Israel, is a nuclear armed Islamic Republic of Iran. While many supporters of the JCPOA said the deal put Iran’s nuclear program in check, they are categorically wrong on every level. The JCPOA simply delayed the inevitable and more importantly, the Iranians started to violate the JCPOA from day one.
In addition, it’s no secret that U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations (FTO’s) Hamas and Hezbollah receive the banner share of their funding and logistical support from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hamas and Hezbollah leadership routinely pay a sort of pilgrimage to Tehran to kiss Khamenei’s ring and to no doubt plan more terrorist attacks that are designed to kill as many innocent Jews in Israel as possible.
How are the Israeli people and their government supposed to trust someone like Lew when he is one of the individuals responsible for directly emboldening a country whose chief mission is the eradication of Israel?
Lew is silent on Abraham Accords
It was widely reported that for the first year of President Biden’s presidency, his administration never once uttered the words “Abraham Accords.” When they took office, they had a prime opportunity to expand on the historic Abraham Accords but Biden made that nearly impossible when he referred to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a pariah state and when he recently referred to the Israeli government as “extreme.”
While I find Lew’s support of the JCPOA and his reluctance to embrace the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem, what is most troubling to me is that Lew has no public comments either pro or con regarding the Abraham Accords. How is he going to be able to grow US-Israel ties when he doesn’t have any public position on these truly historic peace accords that brought long sought after peace to the region?
Based on the facts I’ve laid out in this piece; how is Lew going to be able to repair, maintain and grow relations with America’s most trusted ally in the Middle East, Israel?
Unfortunately, he won’t be able to and for that reason, the United State Senate should reject his nomination.
Bryan E. Leib is the Executive Director of CASEPAC, the former Executive Director of Iranian Americans for Liberty, and a former GOP Congressional Candidate. He can be found on X, @BryanLeibFL
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