US Jewish publisher regrets Obama hit scenario

'Atlanta Jewish Times' owner apologizes for column suggesting Netanyahu deploy Mossad agents to assassinate US president.

US President Barack Obama smile 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
US President Barack Obama smile 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
A Jewish newspaper publisher in the US apologized on Friday for suggesting in a column published last week that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu consider deploying Mossad agents to assassinate US President Barack Obama.
Atlanta Jewish Times owner and publisher Andrew Adler suggested that Netanyahu deploy Mossad agents to “take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel” in the case that Iran got a nuclear weapon.
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In his column he listed three options for Israel to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons. The first was to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah and Hamas and the second was to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. The third, according to Adler, was to “give the go-ahead for US-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.”
“Yes, you read 'three' correctly," the publisher continued. "Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence. Think about it. If 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?”
In an interview with JTA Friday, Adler expressed contrition for his column.
"I very much regret it, I wish I hadn't made reference to it at all," Adler said of a presidential assassination.
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.
The Anti-Defamation League strongly condemned the column, with National Director Abraham Foxman saying in a statement, “There is absolutely no excuse, no justification, no rationalization for this kind of rhetoric. 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 damage.”