Paper Owner Apologizes for Obama 'Hit' Column

Secret Service Probes Atlanta Jewish Times' Andrew Adler

By Nathan Guttman

Published January 20, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The owner of an Atlanta Jewish newspaper has apologized for a column in which he discusses the possibility of Israel ordering the assassination of President Obama.

The Secret Service says it is investigating and a parade of Jewish leaders quickly moved to denounce Andrew Adler, publisher and owner of the Atlanta Jewish Times.

President Barack Obama
getty images
President Barack Obama

Adler wrote in a January 13 opinion piece that one of Israel’s options in confronting a threat from Iran would be to put out “a hit” on Obama. The story was first reported Friday by the website gawker.com and later picked up by ABC News and The Guardian, among other outlets.

“Did I go too far? Yes. Do I regret it? Yes,” Adler told the Forward on Friday. “I should have thought about it twice and three times.”

Offering up a series of options that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might pursue, Adler wrote that one choice would be to, “Take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel.”

The publisher went on to forcefully reiterate his opinion: “Yes, you read … correctly. Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence. Think about it.”

“You have got to believe, like I do, that all options are on the table,” he wrote.

The opinion piece does not appear on the web site of the paper, but is available here.

The option for Israel to assassinate Obama was the third in a series that Adler laid out as choices for Netanyahu to confront the threat posed by Iran. Adler denied that he was advocating that Israel consider ordering Obama’s assassination. He claimed he only wrote the piece to provoke readers.

“I don’t stand behind what I wrote and my intention was never to stand behind it. I just wanted to get a reaction from the local community, to see what they would do,” he told the Forward.

Adler said the reaction had been “very negative.” He vowed to write a column explaining himself, and insisted he has nothing against Obama.

“My view of the President is favorable,” Adler said.

The Secret Service, which investigates threats against the president, confirmed it is aware of the article.

“We are conducting appropriate investigative steps,” said Secret Service spokesperson George Ogilvie, withuot elaborating.

Adler, who has been active in the Atlanta Jewish community for years, bought the paper 2-1/2 years ago. It has a circulation of between 3,000 and 4,000.

The Anti-Defamation League denounced the opinion piece as “outrageous and beyond the pale.”

“There is absolutely no excuse, no justification, no rationalization for this kind of rhetoric,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. “These are irresponsible and extremist words. It is outrageous and beyond the pale. An apology cannot possibly repair the damage.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council blasted Adler’s column, calling in the “height of irresponsibility.”

“To dare to give such despicable ideas space in a newspaper … is beyond the pale,” said NJDC President David A. Harris in a statement.

The Jewish Federation of Atlanta contacted Adler shortly after the article was published and urged him to retract the piece.

“We don’t agree with his sentiment,” Atlanta Federation marketing director Tali Benjamin said. She stressed that the Atlanta Jewish Times is a private and independent newspaper that does not receive support from the federation.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.