Ex-Treasury secretary Lew top candidate for US envoy to Israel: Axios

Ex-Treasury secretary Lew top candidate for US envoy to Israel: Axios
The new candidacy comes as the US seeks to push for a normalisation deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel akin to the 2020 Abraham Accords.
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Former US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has held many senior government posts in his career [Getty]

Former US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is the leading candidate to be the new US ambassador to Israel and could be nominated in the coming weeks, the Axios media organisation reported on Sunday, citing three people familiar with the matter.

Axios said there was a sense of urgency about US President Joe Biden's choice for the post because the White House was pushing for a diplomatic mega-deal with Saudi Arabia that could include a normalisation agreement between the Saudis and Israel.

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However, Saudi Arabia has so far said that any agreement will be subject to the creation of a Palestinian state. This has been rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition.

Whoever succeeds former Ambassador Tom Nides will face a complicated political situation, as Netanyahu pushes through a judicial overhaul opposed by many Israelis, who have led street protests for months, and the Biden administration, it said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Biden intended to nominate Lew, who has held several top US government jobs including White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget. 

(Reuters and The New Arab Staff)