Tuesday, July 23, 2019 -
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If you think people aren’t going crazy over Iran, think again

The following is not from a sci-fi novel, nor was it written as a sick joke by the publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler:

“Yes, you read ‘three’ correctly. Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence.”

Make that President Obama.

“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?”

Actually, the only circles that might have thought about Andrew Adler’s third possible response by Israel to Iran’s acquiring a nuclear weapon are the circles of those committed to mental institutions.

The most preposterous, thoughtless and indeed dangerous idea we have ever read or read about in an American Jewish publication was in last week’s column of Andrew Adler, who proposed assassinating President Barack Obama, G-d forbid!

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Andrew Adler has rightly been denounced, has resigned, is seeking a buyer for the Atlanta Jewish Times and has surely set the standard for the lowest of the low in American Jewish journalism.

But this is much more than a journalistic mistake, however egregious. This is simultaneously a nightmare for the image of Israel, for the image of Atlanta and for the image of American Jews. Only someone living in a cocoon could be so oblivious to the stereotype that Jews’ first allegiance is to Israel, not America, that he suggests the assassination of an American president! Nothing in our memory has given greater, and more perverse, credence to that inaccurate stereotype.

Even worse, Andrew Adler may have planted a seed in an evil mind. For those old enough to have lived through one presidential assassination, no reminders are needed as to the personal, familial, political and social disasters that flow in the wake of this dastardly deed.

If, G-d forbid, Obama were assassinated, just exactly who would be blamed? The conspiracy theorists would have a field day with Andrew Adler, with the Jewish people and with Israel. Not to mention, an actual causal thread between Adler’s column and (we don’t even wish to contemplate it!) a real assassination might be able to be established. The possibilities are too horrible to enumerate.

Still worse:

Andrew Adler’s column has had the opposite effect of what he apparently intended. To suggest the assassination of an American president over Iran shifts the focus from Iran, trivializes the opposition to Iran, while also confirming that the Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons is causing people to lose a lot more than sleep. It is causing people to lose their sanity.

Ironically, Andrew Adler has succeeded in making himself look loonier than the leaders in Iran; the underestimation of Iran’s determination to acquire a nuclear weapon is the worst possible approach to this existential crisis for Israel.

Andrew Adler has reportedly apologized and is now filled with remorse. Write now, think later, seems to be his motto. His remorse reminds us of the contrition of a murderer at his sentencing hearing. The damage is done, and the damage is irretrievable.

As we say, Andrew Adler’s column was so outlandish that the whole story sounds made up. In outlining Israel’s possible responses to a nuclear Iran, Andrew Adler first suggested a preemptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah (terrorist groups he said would be emboldened by a nuclear Iran); then suggested a direct strike on Iran; and then — we quote —

“three, give the go-ahead for US-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 US 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. . . . ”

That Israel (or its surrogates) now need to deny that the Mossad engages in plans to assassinate the leader of Israel’s best friend exacerbates the old saw, “when did you stop beating our wife,” to an undreamed of extreme.

Not to mention, Andrew Adler’s  premise is flawed. We have certainly not been bashful in pointing out that Obama’s public denunciations of Israeli policies and politicians have damaged Israel’s standing and legitimacy around the world. We have also not been bashful in acknowledging that Obama has delivered more arms and better arms to Israel than any previous American president. And Joe Biden? Is he more likely than Obama to act militarily against Iran? We know of no evidence for this.

It is true that Obama’s unprecedented security aid to Israel notwithstanding, it shall add up to little if Obama does not act to stop Iran’s nuclear program. And it certainly looks more and more that the only way to stop it is militarily. Precisely on this account, an article like that of Andrew Adler diverts attention from what Obama needs to do. Supposedly acting with Israel’s best interests in mind, Andrew Adler has damaged Israel immeasurably. Does he even realize that?

Copyright © 2012 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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