Biden's ambassador pick tells senators 'Israel's security is paramount'

WASHINGTON — Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in testimony Wednesday at his confirmation hearing for ambassador to Israel that the Jewish state’s “security is paramount,” and called Iran “a threat to regional stability and Israel’s existence.”

“There’s no greater mission than to be asked to strengthen the ties between the U.S. and Israel,” Lew said in his opening statement before the Democratic-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he also decried the “savage attack” on Israel by Hamas.

“I will do my utmost to end the horrific attacks by Hamas and to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself, and I will spare no effort in working to help American citizens now captive to return home safely,” Lew said.

Committee Chairman Ben Cardin, D-Md., said the post “carries great importance” given the terror attack and told Lew, “I am committed to getting you in place in Israel as soon as possible.”