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January 23rd, 2012
03:48 PM ET

Jewish newspaper’s editor resigns over Obama assassination column

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.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Georgia • Judaism

soundoff (742 Responses)
  1. AmericanMuslim

    If the editor of The American Muslim had written something like that he would have been waterboarded, and sent to Gitmo without any investigation. And they would have insulted the Quran, The Prophet and 1.6 billions Muslim all over the world and Fox new would have started to rally people in bombarding Iran and saudi.
    The NY Times, Washington Post and other major papers do not even mention this bloodthirsty Jewish punk.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Byrd

      So sad, so true.

      January 23, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  2. Outraged

    “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.

    Not only is he an idiot, he's an egomaniac too!

    January 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  3. Dan

    "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.

    So he's not just an idiot. He's an arrogant, egocentric fool who thinks God manipulates weather patterns whenever he has a mood swing.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Outraged

      Holy crap, we wrote the same thing at the same time! God must be speaking through us!

      January 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  4. Unit34AHunter

    He's a typical "Israel Firster."

    January 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  5. Ted Ryder

    Jews are the chosen people of God. They are allowed to say stuff like this and even go through with the plans folks. No big deal. Just take it.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  6. david williams

    This is most lamentable thing to have written, but the man does seem sincerely sorry. Isnt it sufficient penance that a guy named McCurdy is now running the Jewish Times Atlanta? Enough already!

    January 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • American Firster

      I swore an oath to protect American against all enemies foreign or domestic. What Mr.Adler said would bring down the government of the United States and for that he should be prosecuted. Andrew Adler put this in writing and had the gall to reiterate it a second time as if he had no concern how dangerous that was to our country or the Commander in Chief and his family. Our armed forces aren't putting their lives on the line for Israel best interest. There is no such thing as Dual Loyalty among Jews. If they can't choose a side to be on they already have.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  7. welcome to the american gestapo

    freedom speech is fine as long as you don't say anything bad eh?

    January 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • steven

      Duh! It should be rather obvious that you do not advocate killing a President.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Outraged

      No, freedom of speech is fine as long as you don't suggest assassination of the president.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Canisminor

      Threatening violence against anyone has never been considered free speech.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Chas

      Um, with all do respect, steven, he didn't threaten to kill the president, he merely suggested it was one of Israel's options from a foreign affiars standpoint. And he from an analytical point he's not far off – Obama's administration and the president himself has really painted Israel into a country. Probably not smart for someone residing in the US to suggest, but at the same time, I don't see it as something one could construe as a threat, at least based on the information in this article. If I say that some aquited child rapist should be gunned down in the street, does that mean I threatened him, or expressed an opinion? Unless someone does "hit" the president, I don't see how what he said is a crime, and even then, they'd have to prove conspiracy.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  8. liberty

    Remember the liberty. 33 men killed by isrealis. they are nothing but backstabbing morons taking advantage of us and goading us to fight their wars.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • caalli

      Dammn right

      January 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  9. American Firster

    This Jewish Anti American Racist should be behind bars! I hope the Secret Service interrogate his family, children and water board his dog.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Jeff

      Why would you waterboard his dog?

      January 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • steven

      His dog probably told him to do this.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Unit34AHunter

      Perhaps he thinks that's how to train it to fetch waterfowl.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  10. Martin

    This story was considered important enough by the ADL, the Simon Wiesenthal Center et al, that they issued public statements condemning Adler's words. And while CNN and the Huffington Post reported on it, no mention of it can be found in the NYT, LA Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and other major news outlets. Interesting.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Go Patriots Yeah!

      Yeah, cuz no one cares. No one should care either. I hope that one day, this country will have a real president again.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Chris

      This country has a "real president". What it needs are real citizens instead of all the backwater trash fantasizing that they're patriots and allowing themselves to be easy pawns of right-wing corporate interests like the Tea Party.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Go Patriots Yeah!

      I'm not a republican, idiot. What this country needs are citizens that don't assume so much, not a bunch of retards that vote for people that say "change" and actually believe it means something. Shove it, chris. And by the way, this president sucks. Get out from under his desk, swallow that load and maybe you should look into what the useless bag of garbage hasn't done. I suppose you support him asking for another debt ceiling increase, right?

      January 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Outraged

      Funny, Patriot, you sure sound like backwater trash, not that there's anything wrong with that...

      January 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Chris

      Stop with the denial, "patriot". I don't particularly care what affiliation you've appropriated for yourself – your juvenile comebacks fully qualify you for the kind of right-wing chain-mail swallowing, low-information voter that has infested the GOP brand for decades. If you can't comprehend why there was a global financial meltdown in '08, and what it cost the country to save your worthless hide from it – then really, I don't have the time or the energy to educate you on this forum. Party on.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Go Patriots Yeah!

      How enlightening, ass hole. Thanks for setting the record straight on how much you don't know. Keep making assumptions.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Go Patriots Yeah!

      Bye the way, if you're curious about the meltdown, you might want to look into the policies of your buddy bill jeff. Last name was clinton. Hey everyone, let's give houses to everyone, even people on welfare who are too lazy to get jobs! Welfare for everyone. Terrific. When you're done blowing obama, read a book.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Outraged

      Keep diggin' Patriot, it's fun to watch.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Byrd

      LMAO!!!!! What a joke you are, good times all around!!

      January 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  11. IndianAmerican

    Just imagine, if it was me. An American of Indian descent, a brown skin, saying the same thing. I'd be in jail by now.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • GunnerGA

      No you would not. It is protected First Amendment speech. The Supreme Court has rule on this decades ago.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • jesse

      EXACTLY!!!!!!

      January 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • ResponsibleMe

      I think not, GuGA. State your name clearly and avow that you actually do want to assassinate the President of the United States and let's see what happens.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Canisminor

      Gunner – in my Army days, I served in the White House and I hope to tell you that when someone made threatening statements about the President, the Secret Service was all over them. Threats of violence against anyone have never been considered free speech and have never been condoned by the Supreme Court.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  12. Go Patriots Yeah!

    Dude obama's wife looks fugly!!

    January 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • steven

      Your parents really need to stop interbreeding.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Chris

      Presidential qualifications, as reported from Hicksville.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • gemma

      Finish your homework, and take a nap junior....

      January 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Byrd

      Wooohooo, I'd like to thank all the ignorant, dirty racists on this commentary, you folks have just provided me with about 20 minutes of laughter before bed. Good Night, Human Family, ONE LOVE!

      January 24, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  13. HabTheory

    One of many excellent reasons why I no longer care about the State of Israel. For 5000 years the people in the Middle East have been killing each other. It's their problem – not America's . Let them deal with it. Leave us ... and our President.. out of it. Don't go away mad ... Just go away.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • LuvUSA

      It is time this dude resigned, retired, and went back to Israel, watch the sunset.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  14. Nick San Diego

    I hopefully wait for the day that the majority of Americans wake up and realize that Israel is no real friend of the USA. Just look back and pay attention . Iraq War was fought for them and they persist on goading us into Iran. Let them do their own dirty work.
    Remember the USS Liberty .(which I bet not half of the public even knows about it)

    January 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  15. Jack

    This traitor should be in prison.He belongs in the history books with Sirhan Sirhan, Oswald, James Earl Ray, John Wilkes Booth, and all of the mutants who would try to undermine our democratic republic.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  16. spottedsharks

    "It’s storming outside as we speak, and I’ve always felt that when a storm happens that God’s angry with me,"

    What a narcissist on top of everything else.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  17. us1776

    This man still made an assassination threat against the president.

    He needs to be arrested.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • GunnerGA

      It is protected speech under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has weighed in on a similar case in the past with more direct "threats" articulate and still it was not a criminal act.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • us1776

      GunnerGA, assassination threats are NOT protected speech. Neither is someone calling you up and threatening to kill your whole family.

      January 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  18. Joel Miller

    The guy is clearly a bit off balance (to say the least) and he obviously needs to go. No sane Jewish person would back up a statement like this. Of course nothing he's said hasn't been publicly said also by gun toting, Tea Party, white Christians. Its interesting (and hypocritical) how an incident involving 1 whacked Jew stirs up so much Jew hatred on in this commentary.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  19. Brad76

    This man should be arrested, it sets a bad precedent if someone gets away with a serious threat like this. Disrespectful, distasteful, and just plain stupid.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  20. cecexo

    In any community there are lunatics. But here is the big difference. if it was a Muslim – no Muslim leader would openly and clearly condemn him. In this case Jewish leaders strongly condemned this.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Nick San Diego

      BS. Your bias is showing. If a Muslim had done this, the outcry would have been enormous and for lynching.
      Go back to your hole.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Martin

      cecexo, while it's true that Jewish leaders strongly condemned Adler's words, there's no good reason to assume that they did so for any reason other than that what he said is potentially harmful to Jews and could fan the flames of anti-Semitism, and therefore Jewish leaders had to distance themselves as far as possible from his words. I take it for granted that Muslims also act in their own self interest and would do so in a similar situation, and whether Muslim leaders would condemn a Muslim who made a similar statement would depend on what those leaders thought was in the best self interest of those they represent.

      January 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
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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.