January 23rd, 2012
03:48 PM ET
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) - A Jewish newspaper owner who attracted U.S. Secret Service attention for a column suggesting that Israel consider assassinating an American president has resigned as the paper’s editor, employees there said Monday.
The resignation comes after a firestorm over the column and after a tearful apology from the editor-in-chief of Georgia’s Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler.
The JTA reported Monday that Adler is selling the newspaper, but the office manager, Jerry Farkas, said that was incorrect and that Adler hadn’t announced plans to sell.
The paper’s newly named interim editor-in-chief, John McCurdy, said in an e-mail that he had not talked with Adler about whether he planned to sell the paper.
Adler wrote a January 13 column about the threat of Iran to Israel, posing three options for the Jewish state. One was a "hit on a president in order to preserve Israel's existence."
The column attracted interest from the U.S. Secret Service, with spokesman George Ogilvie saying Saturday, "We are aware of it. We are taking the appropriate investigative steps."
In an interview with an Atlanta TV station on Saturday, Adler broke down as he apologized for the column.
“All I could do now is let President Obama, the State of Israel, everybody affected in Atlanta’s Jewish community … (know) that I’m sincerely sorry for what has transpired,” Adler told Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters Inc., straining to choke back tears.
“It’s storming outside as we speak, and I’ve always felt that when a storm happens that God’s angry with me,” Adler said.
Farkas said the paper is working with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta to find a permanent managing editor.
The federation had said that it was suspending its relationship with the Atlanta Jewish Times until Adler apologized, agreed to stop writing and gave up editorial control.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.