ATLANTA — The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times has resigned his position and is seeking a buyer in the wake of his speculation that Israel would consider assassinating U.S. President Barack Obama.
Andrew Adler, in an e-mail obtained by JTA, announced Monday that he is “relinquishing all day-to-day activities effective immediately” following the publishing of an opinion column he wrote saying that Obama’s assassination was among Israel's options in heading off a nuclear Iran.
Adler named John McCurdy as interim managing editor until a replacement can be found.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta said earlier Monday that it would suspend its relationship with the Atlanta Jewish Times until publisher Adler removed himself from the newspaper’s operations. The federation also called on Adler to sell the newspaper.
“While we acknowledge his public apology and remorse, the damage done to the people of Israel, the global Jewish people, and especially the Jewish Community of Atlanta is irreparable,” the federation said in a statement issued Monday to constituent groups.
In a Jan. 13 column, Adler, the paper’s owner and publisher, outlined what he said were three possible responses by Israel to Iran’s acquiring a nuclear weapon: a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, terrorist groups that he said would be emboldened by a nuclear Iran; a direct strike on Iran, and “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.”
He continued: “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?
The Anti-Defamation League and the National Jewish Democratic Council also condemned Adler for his column, and American Jewish Committee executive director David Harris called on Adler to resign from the newspaper.
CNN reported that the Secret Service is investigating Adler over the column.