Andrew Adler, the owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, has apologized after running a column that lists three options for Israel to deal with its current threats that included killing Barack Obama. The column went out of its way to make sure that readers “read ‘three’ correctly” — “U.S. based Mossad agents” should kill the president. The column is just one more example of how religious writers and politicians use faith as a vehicle for hate and violent speech. Given our discussion of Santorum’s honorary campaign chairman (who denounced gays as making God want to vomit), one has to wonder about the intestinal fortitude of the Almighty during periods of sectarian extremism.
Adler listed three options for Israel to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons in his weekly newspaper last Friday. The first is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah. The second is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Then there is the third option:
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.
A bit hard to peddle back from that. The readers of the Atlanta Jewish Times will hopefully use this disgraceful column as a vehicle to reexamine the rhetoric and extremism displayed by Adler and others in today’s political discourse. An apology for such a hateful and extremist column falls a bit short of convincing. It comes off as an “I should not have put it in print” apology.
59 thoughts on “Editor of American Jewish Magazine Calls For Israel’s Mossad To Kill Obama”
“My bottom line — Israel is no more or less legitimate than any other nation state — is similar to what yours appears to be. But having the historical debate does not automatically mean that people who dispute your read of the history question the legitimacy of Israel’s existence.”
Our bottom lines are quite similar. I’ll go further and stipulate that from an Arab perspective their arguments are not unmerited. It is all about whose ox
is being gored. However, from my perspective Texas was unfortunately stolen from the Mexicans and there is no groundswell for it to be returned, as beneficial as that might be for the rest of us. Determining any nations legitimacy is a minefield of balancing equities and in truth those equities up to now have only been balanced through might, everywhere on this planet.
The truth is that Israel has maintained its existence through its armed forces and winning its many wars, despite being outnumbered and outgunned. From my perspective, as I’ve written here may times and can back up by history, the US has not been the reason Israel has succeeded. The US’s main ally in the ME is Saudi Arabia and the US has acted for the Saudi’s in restraining Israel. Oil is the only interest the industrialized nations have in the ME and of course the money made from oil.
This is why that as a supporter of Israel’s right to exist, I also am not a supporter of AIPAC. That organization, legitimate by the way as any other lobbyist, completely misunderstands the nature of what’s going on. They are perfect Neocon foils and Neocons only stand for money and empire and corporate control.
Let me, as few other Jews will, get down to the brass tacks of the matter as I see it. My Tribe, I use that word proudly, has been wrongly persecuted throughout history. Christianity and Islam have stolen our religious historicity to add legitimacy to their faiths. They have in the process claimed to be the true inheritors of our beliefs, de-legitimizing us Jews from our own Torah. Jews are problematic though, because in the main we refuse to convert and/or die off despite terrible repression in every age, sadly to some the Jewish existence therefore needs to be extinguished to fulfill their ow prophetic needs.
For 1,900 years, Jews existed as pariahs among nations, with no place of our own to call our homeland. In WWII Jews were denied haven from the NAZI’s by almost all major nations including the US. Jews have a home nation now and in the end, if it again comes down to being expelled or exterminated in some nation like the US, we will have a place to make our last stand together.
If you think that hysterical, please understand that in my lifetime Jews were second class citizens in America.
Now I’m an American and again lest some doubt it, I love my country and have no desire to move to Israel. Knowing Jewish history though, it is damned nice for me and my family to know Israel exists. There is a Palestinian Homeland and its name is Jordan. Jordan was created almost simultaneously with Israel and other ME nations by UN Mandate, from first an Empire then colonial past. That it lost the Left Bank was simply due to the fact that it foolishly joined with other ME Nations in an attack on Israel in 1967. It later on allowed many Palestinians to return to its borders, but had to expel them when the PLO tried to take over the whole country.
In the end this is not about equities because all sides have their points, it comes down to possession and the Israeli’s refuse to leave, but a some point they will agree to peace and a two nation solution.
Hey Mike, that was an excellent synopsis, accurate, of reasonable length and well written.
I’d like to steal it.
what historical case?”
“People lived there before germans, poles and russians decided they had the right to dispossess people, and smear their history and culture to discredit their claim. And these peoples that lived there were all semetic too…..they’re called palestinians, because the land they lived on was called palestine.”
Jews have always lived there, even after they were displaced by the Romans in about 136 CE. As far as the population of the “Holy Land” read Mark Twain’s account from “Innocents Abroad” by Mark Twain, published in 1869. Large scale Jewish immigration began in the 1880’s, but that only bolstered the Jewish population in the area. In truth until the 1880’s the area was a vastly underpopulated place, where the main Arab population was far-ranging nomads. By the 1920’s the changing of the land from desolate desert to arable farmland, began to draw in Arabs from other ME lands with less opportunity.
There was never a Palestinian State in that area, which was continually under the control of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. It was a backwater and there was no sense of a Palestinian people, particularly because the mostly nomadic population kept shifting. The only reference to Palestine was the Romans and was a reference for “Phillistina” or meaning Phillistines.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phillistines . The best evidence is that these people
were of Greek origin. The truth is that none of the indigenous people of the region called themselves Palestinians, it was nomenclature of European derivation.
Even after the third Jewish revolt, 132-136 CE there remained a Jewish presence in the land, the population of which ebbed and flowed through the centuries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Kochba_revolt . The term for the Area Palestine was a European convention. However, beginning in the 1920’s the population of the land, including large numbers of Jews, were referred to as “Palestinians” by Europeans. After Israeli Statehood the Israeli’s were alternately referred to as Palestinians by the Western media.
The PLO was created in 1964, backed by Saudi Arabian funds and specifically adopted that name to create the impression of a displaced people and as a propaganda tool to de-legitimize the Israeli’s. Yassir Arafat, their leader through most of their history, was Egyptian born, with an Egyptian maternal heritage. He was born way before the creation of Israel. He was in fact the nephew of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who spent WWII as Hitler’s honored guest.
At the beginning of Israel’s declaring its Statehood in 1947, they were attacked by all the surrounding Arab States. The Ben Gurion government pleaded with the indigenous Arab population to stand with them, but many followed the exhortations of the attacking armies to get out of their way so they could drive the Israeli’s into the sea. It is an interesting side not that during this time an almost equal number of Jews were expelled by Arab states and forced to flee to Israel, as those Arabs who fled Israel.
However, I’ve been down this road too many times before with people coming from your perspective, to disabuse me of any notions that you would look into the entire history further, even if it demolished some of your predisposition towards the illegitimacy of Israeli existence. Let’s cut to the chase. Israel has existed for 65 years. Syria for 66 years. Lebanon for 66 years.Jordan for 66 years. The Republic of Egypt for 49 years. Iraq for 80 years. All of them were created via the ending of direct European colonialism and each of there history’s show continuing, shifting ethnic diversity.
The Israeli’s aren’t moving and I don’t think that even without US aid, which I would prefer, that they can be defeated. I stated the fact they don’t need US aid in my first comment on this thread. I disagree with your framing of Israel’s legitimacy, but I assert that it doesn’t matter. The only real question at this point in time is how to end the hostilities. As I’ve said before it is a two state solution, with evacuation of the Israeli settlers from the West Bank of the Jordan.
Mike S. —
“However, I’ve been down this road too many times before with people coming from your perspective, to disabuse me of any notions that you would look into the entire history further, even if it demolished some of your predisposition towards the illegitimacy of Israeli existence.”
Thank you for illustrating perfectly the point I was making to ┌∩┐(◣. There is a valid historical debate about the Jewish presence in the Levant and how that intersects with the notion of Israel as a nation state, a concept that was born at the height of global European colonialism. (While there has always been a Jewish presence in the area, there has also always been other peoples there, and there are good chunks of the present state of Israel that never were in the historic boundaries of Israel.) My bottom line — Israel is no more or less legitimate than any other nation state — is similar to what yours appears to be. But having the historical debate does not automatically mean that people who dispute your read of the history question the legitimacy of Israel’s existence.
This guy’s days may be numbered, now that Obama has the power (self-appointed) to declare anyone a threat and have them ASSASSINATED by his wonderful CIA (or NSA) goons. Isn’t it great being emperor?
Gene’s right. AIPAC should be made to register as an agent of a foreign government, not a lobbying group. This was thwarted when it was attempted in the ’60’s. Apparently there is some ongoing effort to make this happen; I don’t expect it to get far.
As a cultural Jew, what I consider the crux of the manipulation between Israel and the US/US Congress et al is the conflation of the Judaism, and all the emotional baggage that can be made to carry, with Israel, a political nation state.
A corollary to this, in my mind, is the appeal Israel makes to the rest of the world that it is the most righteous among nations in the way it executes its military actions (white phosphorus and cluster bombs in Gaza notwithstanding). Even if this were or is true, it is offensive to many Jews that the standard of it’s behavior should be better than those who Israel considers barely human. And, again, it is the conflation of the actions of a political state with a religion which animates this intentional confusion.
Finally, I’m not sure any of this matters anymore (i.e., separating Israeli interests and behavior from those of the U.S.) since, thanks particularly and increasingly to the religious right in the U.S., Israel’s cause has been so thoroughly morphed with U.S. politics as to be virtually inseparable. And, as with many right wing causes in this so-called center right country we have supposedly become, the rest of the political spectrum falls into line; there is no penalty for espousing right wing thinking, as in so many other areas (abortion, surveillance, curtailment of civil liberties, etc.). Nicely meshes with the neocon’s game. If it even matters.
Isn’t it sad that it takes something like the Adler story to get even minimal notice as being inappropriate in the least. Sadder still, there will likely be pushback and agreement, and defense of Israeli needs and rights, etc., — how misunderstood Israel is, and perhaps the Adler business was a set up . . .
what historical case?
what makes people named Goldman, Stein (european that is) entitled to kick people out of their lands?
Does colonial only mean England and France to you?
This story is very basic. People lived there before germans, poles and russians decided they had the right to dispossess people, and smear their history and culture to discredit their claim. And these peoples that lived there were all semetic too…..they’re called palestinians, because the land they lived on was called palestine.
All the other stuff about democracy and humanity etc… is pure Bullshit.
The following are comments I made to this story on another thread when it was brought to my attention by Oncology:
From the article:
“The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, has suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu consider ordering a Mossad hit team to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama so that his successor will defend Israel against Iran.
Adler, who has since apologized for his article, listed three options for Israel to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons in an article published in his newspaper last Friday. The first is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, the second is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and the third is to ‘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.’”
Adler didn’t directly threaten the President or encourage imminent lawless action, but instead offered it as a possible scenario considered by PM Netanyahu. He may be getting a visit from the Secret Service, but I doubt he’ll be prosecuted. The person he’s really in trouble with – politically, but I doubt as a matter of Israeli law and almost certainly not as a matter of U.S. law – is Netanyahu and his neo-con warhawk supporters both here and abroad. If I were Adler, I’d be more worried about a “visit” from the Mossad. The State of Israel under Likhud control is our friend in name only based on their past actions. They’ve spied on us, stolen secrets from us, and frustrated any peace solution that involves a Palestinian state despite the very real fact a dual state solution is probably the only way to find real peace and stability in the region. They persist in treating Palestinians as if they are less than human. Despite comparisons to fiction from others in the article, honestly I think that such an assassination scenario would likely be on Netanyahu’s radar even if he didn’t have the chutzpah to put it into action. He’s a ruthless, amoral, warmonger. He would have no problem assassinating a foreign head of state to get what he wants . . . and he’d have no problem meddling with foreign elections for that matter. He’s a total scumbag and I have zero respect for him. It should be noted that I have no issue with Jews or the right for their homeland to exist. I’m a big fan of their culture and I have several friends who are Jews, many of whom who are just as displeased with the overall actions of the Israeli government since 1967 as I am. I would go so far as to say the majority of them are unhappy with the situations to varying degrees of dissatisfaction. I make no bones about saying the current faction holding governance in Israel acts abominably and often does so while hiding behind America’s skirt. They want all the power of sovereign statehood, but none of the responsibilities. This is not to downplay the real danger a nuclear Iran poses to the region though. Their leadership is, as the saying goes, crazier than a shithouse rat and dealing with them may eventually require violence, but that should not be the first response. We bought some of this mess when our own domestic neo-con warhawks invaded Iraq (for personal profit, a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks) and in doing so removed the one secular state in the region that provided a brake on any potential Iranian aggression. However, when all you have is a hammer, the entire world looks like nails. Netanyahu has proven more than once that he is a hammerhead.
“I agree with you but say if any body else (by that I mean a non-Jewish person) had written the same thing. Would he/she not face very serious consequences especially now that NDAA is law.”
Possibly, but the case law around this kind of language is pretty clear. I’m drawing a blank on the name of the case, but last year I recall a case where a blogger said something along the lines of “somebody’s going to shoot Obama” and was prosecuted for it, but on appeal they found that the charge was without merit because no direct threat was made or any action taken in furtherance of the act. The NDAA issue though? Well, given that the real danger in it is the vagueness of the language, I suppose any danger to Alder lies at the whim of anyone willing to try to misuse the detention provisions in the NDAA. So I have to go with a firm “maybe, but not likely”. The not likely modifier comes less from Alder’s religious affiliation but rather 1) the nature of the language being speculative and primarily about Netanyahu’s mindset and 2) that Alder is a member of the press; detaining him so close to the passage of NDAA on a charge not likely to hold up in court would draw a lot of attention and bad publicity and subject the NDAA to further immediate scrutiny. This is something I doubt the real bad guys in Washington wouldn’t want. It would tip their hand. And, yes, I do think there are actual villains in our government just as there are many people trying to do the right thing. Cheney was proof of that concept.
“Many secular Jews are worried that this raw language feeds dual loyalty charges etc. AIPAC etc. seem to be overusing the anti-semetism charge.”
Valid concerns. Honestly, I think in some instances, dual loyalty is an issue and not just for those citizens holding American/Israeli citizenship. I’m in a minority of those with legal backgrounds who think that holding dual citizenship should automatically preclude you from holding any elected or appointed office because of the inherent potential for conflict of interest. The best way to avoid trouble is not to be there when it starts.
As far as AIPAC is concerned, I’ve said before that I don’t understand why that particular organization is allowed to continue to operate considering they’ve been busted harboring Israeli spies spying on us not once, but twice. The fact that they are neo-cons of the worst sort and often jump straight to charges of Antisemitism against anyone who criticizes Israel is simply par for the course for neo-cons and the Likhud. When valid, it is a potent criticism of opponents. Actual irrational racist or bigoted criticism should be identified as such and as criticism properly weighted in that light. However, when the counter charge of Antisemitism is not valid but simply used as an appeal to emotion to deflect any criticism, that’s ignoring the cautionary tale of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. If I were a Jew, I would be very concerned about overusing and/or misusing that claim against critics of Israel for a variety of reasons.
I agree with Mike S.’s analysis.
Well we can sit here for six months like they’re doing it that other thread and continue to play, “You’re wrong”, “No, you’re wrong.”
Or we can accept each others experiences and think about them.
I accept that you see a lot of idiotic name calling of anti-semtism calling from right wing conservative defenders of Israel.
But I am not a right wing conservative defender of Israel, I am a relatively progressive American Jew that frequently criticizes Israel’s policies.
And my experience from walking on campus, attending parties, reading Kos, democraticunderground, Huffington Post, Salon, reddit, FARK is there are a lot of putative liberals that make frequent anti semitic remarks while claiming to only be critiquing Israel policy.
You may have spent 20 years discussing this subject, but I’ve spent 50 years and I was born a Jew before its birth. I am and always have been quite radical and as others here know I rarely have cast anti-Jewish aspersions on anyone for disliking Israel. Unlike some on the right whose support for Israel is knee-jerk, I prefer to make my case based on history and looking behind the curtain. Therefore I hold no common cause wit Israel’s Right Wing defenders who I think do Israel a disservice.
“Does this guy really think that the U.S. would possibly cave into that type of pressure? ”
Seriously, the guy thinks that offing the Obama would cause Biden to come to the aid of Israel.
Does this guy really think that the U.S. would possibly cave into that type of pressure? If it were revealed that Mossad assassinated a U.S. President (or any government official for that matter) relations with Israel would be irrevocably damaged. They are already on thin ice for allegedly posing as CIA in their intelligence operations, their use of stolen British passports in the Dubai assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, as well as their alleged killing of the Iranian Nuclear Scientist. So an assassination of a U.S. President would enrage the intelligence community, and diplomatic corp and most very strong American backers of Israel would be unable to get away with defending that action without suffering electoral consequences. In short nothing would alienate America from Israel more than such an action.
Most nations see themselves as exceptional and that is just bullshit, Israel included. My ability to support Israel yet see its faults is just realism. That goes the same for my loving being American, but deploring a lot of its history. All nations are perforce self interested.
What bothers me with many on the Left who hate Israel is that they don’t believe in its legitimacy and think it was established via neo-colonialism, when the fact is it fought for and won its existence, against both the colonial powers of the time (US, GB, USSR & France) and the massed Arab States. Oil was the game now, as it was then. GB had one of its own generals leading the Arab Legion. The US imposed an arms embargo on the out-gunned Israeli’s and everyone expected their defeat, although they had been recognized by the UN.
Many today are ignorant of the real history that happened at Israel’s founding and wish to remain so to fulfill their formulaic picture of history, but history is a messy thing with few historic acts of heroism. Israel’s history contaains many wrong acts by the Israelis, but they are hardly the Genocidal nation some portray them to be, yet these people are ignorant of its history.
how the hell could you make god blow chunks? and what would the chunks be made of?
perhaps a frothy mix of…
virtually all of the conflation of Israel and Judaism I have encountered in 20+ years of learning about and discussing and arguing about the Israeli/Palestinian situation has come from rightist defenders of Israel, who know the quickest way of silencing debate or critique is to claim that one is being anti-Israel and/or (usually, and) anti-Semitic. That is the first recourse of the present Israeli government, and its US backers and allies — despite the efforts of people like Avraham Burg. The end result is that not only has the memory of the Holocaust been demeaned, but people stop being sensitive to real incidences of anti-Semitism.
Great response Mike S.,
I agree that the only way forward for the middle east is a two solution, but the hardliners in Israel and in the Palestinian movement, as well as here, will not agree to a true 2 state agreement.
My experience is similar to Mike’s.
Whether it’s walking on campus, conversing at parties, or online, I frequently find tons of ignorance, and tons of faddishly held and disseminated opinions. (Often used or passed around for signaling purposes to show we all have our hearts in the right place and our good people superior to our enemies. Sometimes they are passed around just for good old fashion speech policing.)
I know lots of well-informed people that disagree with Israeli policies, but I also know lots of ill-informed people that oppose with Israel for the same reason they like Glee.
And mixed with that is a lot of conflation with Israel and Judaism that frequently erupts as statements of opposition to Jews, not statements of opposition to Israel’s policies.
It’s been a long long time since I felt any overt anti-semitism made towards me (grade school in the sixties.) But I actually can find, trivially, tons of anti-semitism online in very popular mainstream forums (and at Kos, and at OWS) that is very thinly veiled as opposition to Israel, and vice-versa.
Mike S., I do not think that there is a “hysteria” on the left about Israel (I argue regularly with my father-in-law on this point). I think it is more that — as with the US — Israel claims it holds itself to a higher standard, and, in fact, that is a nation ordained by God. One cannot simultaneously hold oneself out as divinely-ordained and then turn around and say, for instance, Yeah, but look at Syria. Israel, and the US, should not be in the business of using countries like Syria as their frame of reference. It would be like saying, Yeah, I beat my wife, but I am not a murderer.
Everyone I know an the left, and everything I read or listen to on foreign affairs on the left, has nothing but the strongest condemnation for brutal regimes around the world. A good example — Amy Goodman covered the crushing of the Green Revolution in Iran more thoroughly than just about any general other outlet. So the lack of concern on the left for despotic regimes argument is something of a straw man. Additionally, it does not help that debates about Israel quickly devolve into charges of anti-Semitism, or the right of Israel to exist — the argument shifts from whatever policy is being discussed to existential fear-mongering. Definitely not a framing of the debate that will lead to fruitful (let alone dispassionate) dialogue.
What a grab bag of comments!
Jill, great analysis. Mike, you be the judge, I don’t know her.
To me her’s was just the usual point that we rally around the flag or leader—-commonly used according to us by other sneaky leaders to quiet grumblings.
To me, the cult word was just a way of putting it over the top for a bit of extra spice. But then I’m new here.
But what struck me first was our use of demonizing and condemning half-seiously him/them to the illegal practices we abhor. Perhaps, seeing the humor I mistakenly got hung up on a negative view. Guess serious discussion does need to lighten up.
But I wonder…..?
Do we run off yapping in the direction our authority points? Or are we all here selecting this as a comfortable and enjoyable place to hear our favorite opinions in amusing terms? Any toes I missed?
“Further, the extremism evinced by the Atlanta Jewish Times’ editor is enabled by a broader communal atmosphere in which critics of Israeli governmental policy are regularly called anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.”
Thank you for the “J” Street link. Ben Ami is so correct in what he wrote above and doing so is only destructive to the cause these people are purportedly defending. Like every other human religious group Jews have their extremists and the irony is that all these extremists are equally as vile.
They are as in “The Authoritarians” book I reviewed primarily followers too en-rapt in their small minded beliefs to marshal cogent arguments.
I agree, see above. The reason I first came to JT’s blog was that because of my support for Israel I was denounced at Democrats.Com, where I regularly commented, for being a “conservative troll”. As you know I can give as good as I can get, but when they refused to answer the proofs I gave, with other than ignorant ridicule, they seemed to me a lost cause. I fully understand the negative charges made against Israel and many do stick. However, there seems to have developed a hysteria among some on the left about Israel, that they don’t share about other countries, with far worse political records. I don’t think that is Anti-Jewishness per se, but rather a failure to see through propaganda.
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