Updated Oct 9, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Senate to hold hearing on Biden's Israel ambassador pick next week

Honoree Jacob Lew speaks on stage during the Queens Community House's 2018 Strengthening Neighborhoods Inspiring Change Gala at Museum of Moving Image on October 23, 2018 in Astoria, New York.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel nominee and former Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew in Astoria, New York, in 2018. Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Queens Community House

The confirmation hearing for President Biden's nominee for U.S. ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew, will begin on Oct. 18, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced Monday.

State of play: Tom Nides, the former ambassador who departed from the role in July, told NBC News the Senate needed to confirm the former treasury secretary "immediately" due to the fighting between Israel and Hamas that's killed at least 900 Israelis and 687 Palestinians.

Zoom out: Lew also worked as deputy secretary of state and White House chief of staff in the Obama administration during some challenging moments for the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

  • These include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy of expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank and the clash between Netanyahu and then-President Obama over the U.S. 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Axios' Hans Nichols and Barak Ravid note.
  • Lew practices Orthodox Judaism and has close ties with the Jewish community throughout the U.S.

Go deeper: U.S. lawmakers scramble to help constituents stuck in Israel

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further context.

Go deeper