Andrew Adler, the owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, a weekly newspaper serving Atlanta's Jewish community, devoted his January 13, 2012 column to the thorny problem of the U.S. and Israel's diverging views on the threat posed by Iran. Basically Israel has three options, he wrote: Strike Hezbollah and Hamas, strike Iran, or "order a hit" on Barack Obama. Either way, problem solved!
Here's how Adler laid out "option three" in his list of scenarios facing Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu (the column, which was forwarded to us by a tipster, isn't online, but you can read a copy here):
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. 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.
It's hard to tell whether or not Adler is just some crank. But the Atlanta Jewish Times, which he purchased in 2009, appears to be a real community newspaper. It was founded in 1925 and, according to Wikipedia, claims a circulation of 3,500 and staff of five. To judge from its web site, it's a going concern.
A nervous Adler told me over the phone that he wasn't advocating Obama's assassination by Mossad agents. "Of course not," he said.
But do you think Israel should consider it an option? "No."
But do you believe that Israel is in fact considering the option in its most inner circles? "No. Actually, no. I was hoping to make clear that it's unspeakable—god forbid this would ever happen. I take it you're quoting me?"
Yes. "Oh, boy."
When I asked Adler why, if he didn't advocate assassination and didn't believe Israel was actually considering it, he wrote a column saying he believed that the option was "on the table," he asked for a minute to compose himself and call me back. He did a few moments later, and said, "I wrote it to see what kind of reaction I was going to get from readers."
And what was the reaction? "We've gotten a lot of calls and emails."
Nothing from the Secret Service, though. Yet.
UPDATE: Adler has told JTA that he "regrets" the column and plans to publish an apology. Oh, and the Secret Service says it will "make all appropriate, investigative follow-up in regard to this matter," according to ABC News.
[Image via Getty]