‘Atlanta Jewish News’ owner apologizes for column suggesting Netanyahu deploy Mossad agents to assassinate US president.
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.
“Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence,” Adler wrote.
“Think 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.
Jewish organizations on Saturday said no apology would suffice, condemning Adler for his statement.
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 belief.”
“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.
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 damage.”