Newspaper Publisher Apologizes for Suggesting Israel Should Assassinate Obama

The owner of an Atlanta Jewish newspaper has apologized after suggesting in an opinion column that the Israel government should assassinate President Barack Obama. (AP)

The owner of an Atlanta Jewish newspaper has apologized after suggesting in an opinion column that Israel should assassinate President Barack Obama.

“I very much regret it, I wish I hadn’t made reference to it at all,” Andrew Adler, owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Friday.

In his Jan. 13 column, Adler outlined what he said were three possible ways for the Israeli government to protect its people from the threats posed by Hamas, Hezbollah and a nuclear Iran: Order a preemptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah; destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities; or “give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel.”

Yes, you read “three” correctly. 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?

Another way of putting “three” in perspective goes something like this: 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.

In an interview with Gawker, which first reported on the column Friday, a “nervous” Adler was hesitant to stand by what he wrote, saying he wasn’t actually advocating Obama’s assassination.

“Of course not,” he told the site.

Asked whether he believed Israel should consider it as an option, Adler said “no.”

Adler told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency he would be publishing an apology in the next edition of the weekly community paper, and said the reaction from readers had been overwhelmingly negative.

A Secret Service spokesman told Fox News they are “aware” of the incident.

“We’re conducting the appropriate investigative steps,” spokesman George Ogilvie said.

Jewish organizations have forcefully condemned Adler’s column. Andrew Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement there is “no excuse” for what Adler wrote, calling it “outrageous.”

“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,” Foxman said. “Mr. Adler’s lack of judgment as a publisher, editor and columnist raises serious questions as to whether he’s fit to run a newspaper.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council described Adler’s column as “despicable” and “beyond the pale.”

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,” David Harris, the organization’s president, said in a statement. “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.”