Jewish Senators Clash on NSA Snooping Scandal

Diane Feinstein and Ron Wyden on Opposite Sides of Issue

Security Voice: Diane Feinstein has been one of the strongest voices defending the surreptitious collection of communications information. Not all her colleagues agree.
getty images
Security Voice: Diane Feinstein has been one of the strongest voices defending the surreptitious collection of communications information. Not all her colleagues agree.

By JTA

Published June 14, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Senator Ron Wyden, left, talking to Senator Jay Rockefeller during the nomination hearing of John Brennan for the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, February 7, 2013. (John D. Rockefeller/Creative Commons) Feinstein is an outspoken advocate for the death penalty and has close ties to the centrist pro-Israel community and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — neither position a particularly popular one in Feinstein’s northern California base. But she has also endorsed the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for comprehensive peace in exchange for a return to the 1967 borders, and cited Israel’s use of cluster bombs in Lebanon to explain her repeated bids to ban the export of those arms.

In 2011, Wyden unnerved his Democratic colleagues when he joined with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, in advocating for private options for seniors eligible for Medicare. Notably, the Gray Panthers, the organization that launched his public career, adamantly opposed the Wyden-Ryan proposal.

Wyden suggested in a lengthy response on the Huffington Post that he was not about to stop working with Republicans or anyone else if it would advance the rights of Americans.

“Because we worked together, Paul Ryan now knows more about the Medicare Guarantee and protecting seniors from unscrupulous insurance practices than he did before,” Wyden said. “If that is reflected in his budget this year, as someone who has been fighting for seniors since he was 27 years old, I think that’s a step in the right direction.”

Levine, the former California congressman, said that what Feinstein and Wyden had most in common was not worrying about whether they marched in lockstep with their colleagues.

“They’re both extremely principled, they do what they believe is right and they march to the tune of their own drummers, each of them,” he said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.