Inside the Beltway: President Obama and the ‘Kishkes’ test

Posted on August 17, 2009 In News

The Washington Times reports –

President Obama drew much support from Jewish voters, but he’s still struggling with the “kishkes test,” says Nathan J. Diament, director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, made up of 1,000 member synagogues.

Mr. Obama has delivered heartfelt speeches about Israel but has yet to articulate his policies toward the nation — risking loss of support from Israelis and their backers, Mr. Diament explains.

But the kishkes. Quick, David Axelrod, write the word down for some future strategy. Those clueless about Yiddish be aware that “kishkes” means, well, one’s innermost parts.

“It’s that folks need to know that Obama ‘gets it’ in his gut,” Mr. Diament tells Inside the Beltway

“Israelis live in a very ‘dangerous neighborhood,’ and they’ve, just in recent years, made significant sacrifices for peace – for example, withdrawn from Gaza – and gotten rockets and terror in return. The Arabs continue to threaten terror and refuse to acknowledge Israel’s legitimacy,” Mr. Diament continues.

“If President Obama wants them to again take actions for the sake of a hoped-for peace, Israelis need to believe that Mr. Obama believes in Israel’s legitimacy and is fundamentally committed to Israel’s security. And Israelis will assess this based on Mr. Obama’s actions more than his words.”

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