J Street is deeply saddened by the passing of our longtime friend and endorsee Senator Dianne Feinstein. Throughout her time in the Senate, Senator Feinstein had been a leader in promoting pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy policies, championing equality and freedom, and advancing robust, principled diplomacy in the Middle East and around the world.
Senator Feinstein was an outspoken advocate for the safety, self-determination and fundamental freedoms of both Israelis and Palestinians. She was a strong opponent of deepening occupation and annexation in the West Bank, emphasizing the danger that it posed to Israel’s future and Palestinian rights.
She led or co-led multiple congressional letters opposing the demolition and forced relocation of Palestinian communities and criticizing settlement expansion at key moments. Her leadership helped to stop impending demolitions in Susya and Khan al-Ahmar, preserving Palestinian homes and livelihoods for these vulnerable communities in the occupied West Bank. She was also at the fore of opposing cuts to US humanitarian aid benefitting Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Senator Feinstein was a key advocate for tough, effective negotiations with Iran and the implementation of the JCPOA nuclear agreement that resulted from that effort, which successfully boxed in Iran’s nuclear program.
As liberal democracy has faced dangerous threats both at home and abroad, she was a stalwart defender of the democratic values and freedoms that J Street and the American Jewish community hold dear. Her pioneering role in championing women’s rights and LGBT+ equality made a personal, lasting impact for many in our community.
Her distinguished political career, culminating in her time as the longest-serving woman in the United States Senate, are a historic inspiration. May her memory be a blessing.