Gawker reported today that Andrew Adler, the owner and publisher of the weekly newspaper the Atlanta Jewish Times, wrote in a January 13 column about what options Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Neyanyahu might have if he receives a report that Hezbollah is about to attack with thousands of rockets and Iran has “reached nuclear launch capabilities.” In this hypothetical scenario, Adler says that an Israeli diplomat will have informed Nethanyahu that he “cannot expect much help from the United States due to its newly implemented military budget and the administration’s never ending ‘Alice in Wonderland’ belief that diplomacy is the answer.”
One option (Option three), according to Adler, would be for U.S.-based Mossad agents to assassinate the President of the United States:
Three, give the go-ahead for U.S.-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,” Adler says, “Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence. 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?”
In a statement today, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) condemned Adler’s editorial:
“It is the height of irresponsibility to make the horrific suggestion that the State of Israel should assassinate the President of the United States of America,” [NJDC President and CEO David] Harris said. “To dare to give such despicable ideas space in a newspaper — no less in the words of the paper’s owner and publisher, and a Jewish newspaper at that — is beyond the pale.”
As for Adler, Gawker caught up with him to see just what he was talking about. He said he wasn’t advocating for assassinating President Obama. “I was hoping to make clear that it’s unspeakable—god forbid this would ever happen,” Adler said, adding, “I wrote it to see what kind of reaction I was going to get from readers.”
“We’ve gotten a lot of calls and emails,” Adler told Gawker. “Nothing from the Secret Service, though. Yet,” Gawker’s John Cook adds.
Adler told the Guardian that he deeply regrets writing the column suggesting that Israel assassinate Obama. It seems that Adler isn’t remorseful about suggesting that the president be assassinated, but that his readers might think Israel actually will do it:
Adler said he understood why readers might interpret his writing as suggesting that Israel is seriously considering assassinating the US president but that is not what he meant.
“No, no, no. It’s unfathomable, unthinkable,” he said, adding: “I’m definitely pro-Israel to the max.”