ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Ted Cruz imposes hold on Biden nominees, spelling trouble for Israel envoy pick Jack Lew

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, questions Attorney General Merrick Garland during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP)
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, questions Attorney General Merrick Garland during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP)

Republican Senator Ted Cruz is making do on a threat to block the confirmation of US President Joe Biden’s nominees over the latter’s Middle East policy.

“Sen. Cruz has been clear that it was becoming impossible to advance the Biden administration’s Middle East nominees because they kept lying about their policies to Congress and the American people,” Cruz’s spokesperson says in a statement to Jewish Insider.

Cruz accuses the Biden administration of reaching a “sealed secret nuclear deal with Iran,” without providing proof and of taking “steps to rescind United States recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights” — a reference to a United Nations agreement to extend the mandate of its peacekeeping force in Lebanon, which referred to the Golan Heights’s Shebaa Farms as “occupied territory.”

The administration says it opposed this language, and that the Trump decision to recognize the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory remains in place

The Cruz spokesperson nonetheless says the senator “has imposed holds on Biden administration nominees who are linked to these decisions until they clarify their roles and policies.”

The statement doesn’t specify which nominees would be impacted, but Cruz has previously indicated that he will place a hold on Biden’s nominee to be the next ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew, once his confirmation process advances.

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