Israel should send Mossad agents to assassinate President Barack Obama because
of his anti-Israel policies, the owner of a US Jewish newspaper wrote in an
article that drew widespread condemnation on Friday.
Andrew Adler, the
publisher of The Atlanta Jewish Times, wrote a column that appeared in his
newspaper on January 13 in which he argued killing the president might be
justified because he posed a threat to the Jewish state.
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“Order a hit on
a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence,” Adler wrote.
about it. If I have thought of this Tom Clancy-type scenario, don’t you think
that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel’s most inner
circles?...How far would you go to save a nation comprised of seven
million lives...Jews, Christians and Arabs alike? You have got to
believe, like I do, that all options are on the table.”
The story, which
appeared in print only, was uploaded to the Internet by Gawker, a gossip news
website, on Friday and immediately picked up by media outlets in the US and
around the world.
Adler expressed contrition to the Jewish Telegraphic
Agency in the aftermath of the uproar, saying “I very much regret it, I wish I
hadn’t made reference to it at all.”
He said he would run a full apology
in his newspaper’s next edition.
He also told the Internet site Gawker,
which first reported on his column, that he had published his piece to see what
kind of reaction he’d get from readers but that he in no way endorsed such
action or thought Israel was considering it.
According to JTA, the many
calls and emails he received were overwhelmingly negative.
organizations on Saturday said no apology would suffice, condemning Adler for
The American Jewish Committee expressed its “total
revulsion,” saying the idea that anyone, especially a Jewish newspaper
publisher, would consider assassinating Obama was “shocking beyond
“While we acknowledge Mr. Adler’s apology, we are flabbergasted
that he could ever say such a thing in the first place,” said Dov Wilker,
director of AJC Atlanta.
“How could he even conceive of such a twisted
idea? Mr. Adler surely owes immediate apologies to President Obama, as well as
to the State of Israel and his readership, the Atlanta Jewish
The Anti-Defamation League denounced Adler’s piece as
“outrageous and beyond the pale” and called his ability to run a newspaper into
question “There is absolutely no excuse, no justification, no rationalization
for this kind of rhetoric,” said Abe Foxman, ADL national director. “It doesn’t
even belong in fiction.
These are irresponsible and extremist words. It
is outrageous and beyond the pale. An apology cannot possibly repair the
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