Atlanta paper owner quits after assassination column

The owner of a Georgia Jewish newspaper has stepped down after public condemnation of a recent column.

Andrew Adler announced his departure as editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times, a paper dating back to the 1920s, after apologising for writing that to secure itself against Iran, Israel should consider assassinating a sitting US president. Whether he will also sell the paper is as yet unclear.

His January 13 opinion piece said that to counter a nuclear Iran, Israel should "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".

Mr Andler was roundly condemned for the piece by Jewish and non-Jewish organisations.

"It doesn't even belong in fiction," said the national director of hate monitor the Anti Defamation League, Abraham Foxman.

Mr Adler made an emotional apology on a local television programme. "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," he said. "It's storming outside as we speak, and I've always felt that when a storm happens that God's angry with me."

Last updated: 11:03am, January 24 2012