The US president will appoint Thomas Nides, Wall Street banker and former State Department official, after months of delay.
US President Joe Biden will appoint Wall Street banker and former State Department official Thomas R Nides as the country’s next ambassador to Israel, the White House said in a statement. declaration Tuesday.
Nides is vice chairman of Morgan Stanley, America’s fourth largest investment bank, and was deputy secretary of state from 2011 to 2013 under the administration of former President Barack Obama.
Biden took months to formally nominate his candidate to take on the sensitive position, raising questions from some observers about what the pick would say about the US president’s policies in Israel and Palestine.
Tuesday’s announcement came at a time when the Biden administration is looking for a new start with the new Israeli government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett after years of partisan maneuvering in the United States by Benjamin Netanyahu, whose 12-year term as prime minister ended this weekend.
It also follows 11 days of Israeli shelling of the besieged Gaza Strip last month which killed 256 Palestinians and injured hundreds more. Twelve people were also killed in Israel as a result of rockets fired from Palestinian territory.
Known as a pro-Israel Democrat, Nides worked behind the scenes to enable the United States to fund United Nations relief efforts for Palestinians and received the Distinguished Service Award from former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton .
Nides has also contributed significantly to Democrats, raising more than $ 45,000 for Democratic candidates over the years, including Biden.
J Street, a pro-Israel liberal group based in the United States, welcomed Nides’ appointment on Tuesday.
“The events of the past few weeks have made it clear that our country urgently needs an experienced diplomat to fill this highly sensitive and complex position, and we believe that Nides has the necessary experience,” the group said in a statement. communicated.
Nides would replace former US President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer and staunch supporter of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In addition to Nides, the White House said Biden intends to appoint eight other ambassadors, including former Home Secretary Ken Salazar and “Sully” Sullenberger, the famous pilot who landed his airliner. on the Hudson River in 2009.
Salazar is appointed Ambassador to Mexico and Sullenberger is appointed Representative of the United States to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Julianne Smith, senior advisor to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, will also be appointed U.S. Ambassador to NATO, said the White House.