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1 Alexzander  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 10:34:47pm

Anything less than resignation would be an embarrassment.

He:
1. Destroyed the reputation of the paper.
2. Endangered Obama's life.
3. Hurt the perception of Israel in the eyes of Americans in ways anti-Semites can only dream of doing.
4. Likely made the last week a living hell for his family and colleagues.

2 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Mon, Jan 23, 2012 11:22:09pm

re: #1 Alexzander

Anything less than resignation would be an embarrassment.

He:
1. Destroyed the reputation of the paper.
2. Endangered Obama's life.
3. Hurt the perception of Israel in the eyes of Americans in ways anti-Semites can only dream of doing.
4. Likely made the last week a living hell for his family and colleagues.

5. Likely got a couple stern knocks on the door from the Secret Service.

3 Bob Levin  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 3:52:13am

All true statements. It's a sad story really, of a nice guy who spent too much time in his office, never argued, never had anyone tell him that this is a terrible idea. And the story made Ynet, international news. Very sad situation. And yes, the Secret Service is looking at him very closely.

4 Charleston Chew  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 10:12:27am

The video of him tearfully apologizing is here:

[Link: aibtv.com...]

I can't feel sorry for the guy because there's just so much chickenhawk bravado on the internet these days. If you're gonna cry like a scared baby when someone criticizes an op-ed you wrote, you never had what it takes to be in the assassination game to begin with. Don't imagine you're Doc when you're really just Babe.

5 SanFranciscoZionist  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 10:19:48am

re: #3 Bob Levin

All true statements. It's a sad story really, of a nice guy who spent too much time in his office, never argued, never had anyone tell him that this is a terrible idea. And the story made Ynet, international news. Very sad situation. And yes, the Secret Service is looking at him very closely.

He owned, operated and edited the paper. That right there puts you blog-la-land, but it was a REAL PAPER. Well, a real community paper.

Moron.

6 Bob Levin  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 10:56:21am

re: #4 Charleston Chew

re: #5 SanFranciscoZionist

And he had to sign his real name. Imagine that. Do you really think he was in assassination game, or wanted to be? He might have to go to jail. What he did was wrong. Alexzander summed it up very nicely. It's a sad story.

7 CuriousLurker  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 11:18:30am

I watched the whole 20-minute apology last night. I felt bad for him being so distraught, but to be perfectly honest I was also kind of annoyed that he seemed more sorry/heartbroken about the personal cost to him than anything else. I got the feeling that his intense love for Israel & the Jewish community blinded him to the seriousness of his words and their harmful potential.

And maybe that love still blinds him—the woman kept nudging him, asking him if there was anything else he wanted to say to President Obama, etc. but he just kept crying and talking about how he didn't really mean it, how hard he'd worked, how Israel might not let him visit now, how much he loved his community and might have hurt it, how he hoped people in the community & at the paper would stand by him... it was all about him.

It is indeed a sad story.

8 Bob Levin  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 11:45:33am

re: #7 CuriousLurker

I think you have something there. For him, President Obama, is just a name, a character. Not fully real. And this allowed him to write what he did (plus the fact that either no one told him this was a bad idea, or he was so self-absorbed he didn't listen). Now, this guy isn't the only one with those issues. It's going around, and it's been going around for many years. People do this everyday, they are just as self-absorbed, but they don't break any serious laws.

This guy broke some serious laws, and unfortunately, he's going to have to go through the many turnstiles of consequences.

But this isn't an incident for celebration. Fortunately, or not, the paper has a small circulation. It's not widely read, and it most certainly is not the guiding light of the Atlanta Jewish community. In other words, there is no following and Andrew Adler is not a leader.

9 Bob Levin  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 11:51:52am

Also, check out the Youtube video, which is more accessible--and read the comments that follow. Tell me those comments aren't self-absorbed.

Here's the video.

Seriously, read the comments.

10 CuriousLurker  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 12:01:53pm

re: #9 Bob Levin

Also, check out the Youtube video, which is more accessible--and read the comments that follow. Tell me those comments aren't self-absorbed.

Here's the video.

Seriously, read the comments.

Thanks, I'll check it out. FWIW, I also felt that the woman interviewing him was getting frustrated with his inability to see outside himself.

11 CuriousLurker  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 12:55:42pm

re: #9 Bob Levin

I watched it again and still feel the same.

As for the comments, they're typical of YouTube. The guy who posted the original video of POTUS singing Al Green had to block all comments because of the vicious racism. Naturally, any mention of Islam or Muslims on YouTube (or anywhere that isn't strictly moderated) results in incredibly ugly, violent comments. I almost never read comments anymore.

That said, the obvious and rampant anti-Semitism & hatred of Israel is one of the reasons that I felt both Mr. Adler's original disastrous article was so potentially harmful—it lends credence to the whole suspect loyalty, Israel-Firster thing. Plus, there are unwell people out there who might interpret such things as a call to action. Unfortunately, Mr. Adler's subsequent...what?...I guess I'd say myopic apology wasn't exactly helpful. A more self-aware apology might have helped with regular folks, but haters are gonna hate no matter what, so... *shrug*

What a mess. I just want it to be over. One man showed exceedingly bad judgement and screwed up royally. It should reflect on him and no one else. He's resigned, and (hopefully) no lasting damage has been done other than that which he inflicted on himself, so let's move on. At least that's how I look at it.

12 Bob Levin  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 1:23:13pm

re: #11 CuriousLurker

I watched it again and still feel the same.

Tell me if I'm wrong--but what you mean by 'the same' is that Mr. Adler's mistake, the consequences of which he should experience, is not an isolated mistake, but a symptom of this great sickness that seems to engulf us all.

The only remedy is to be vigilant and monitor ourselves in any way we can, so that we avoid seeing others as cartoon characters, impervious to pain, having no feelings, no point of view, no legitimate right to be treated in a fully human way.

I'm not at all minimizing this. This is the very problem that all humankind must overcome. To ignore the widespread nature of this problem, focusing only on Mr. Adler, that's minimizing it. Stones, glass houses. That thing.

That's what you mean, right?

13 CuriousLurker  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 2:51:15pm

re: #12 Bob Levin

No, that's not what I mean.

I don't see how focusing on Mr. Adler in this instance minimizes the problem. Are you saying that any time we focus on the bad words or actions of one person we're minimizing the widespread nature of this human failing, or just this time? If just this time, then why not other times? I'm sorry, but what you're saying just doesn't make sense to me.

Is his paper a small community one of little consequence? Yes, but we now live in an era of instant, nearly real-time communications. He publicly proposed the assassination of the President of the United States as a viable option for creating a more Israel-friendly government. That's not an inconsequential thing.

Mr. Adler is the owner, publisher, and (now resigned) editor of his paper—where were his journalistic ethics? Should he not be bound by such simply because his paper is small? How in the world could he not realize that such an reprehensible public statement would surely attract attention and create a major shitstorm upon hitting the internet and major news networks? It's not as if he was unaware of the internet—the paper has a website.

As I've already stated, I feel badly for him, for the love-induced myopia that led him to bring such misfortune down upon his own head, but that doesn't mean I think he's taking an unfair amount of heat or that he shouldn't be singled out for doing something singularly foolish. Do you know of any other newspaper editor who has done something similar? I don't. Do we all share a his human weakness to some degree? Of course we do, but most of us know better than to pull such a stunt.

I'm sorry if you dislike my answer, but that's how I feel about it. I'd feel the exact same way if he had been a Muslim newspaper editor proposing the same option as a path to better relations with Saudi Arabia.

Since we're on the subject: What, I wonder, would Abraham (a.s.) have thought? He became a great & powerful leader, no? How would he have reacted if someone from his own camp had proposed assassinating him, or even some lesser (but still important) personage of the tribe? Would he have instructed everyone to just let it go and focus on self-vigilance and improvement?

14 Bob Levin  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 4:19:15pm

re: #13 CuriousLurker

I don't see how focusing on Mr. Adler in this instance minimizes the problem.

It's a widespread problem, and many are acting like it's his problem only. Call it myopia, solipsism, narcissism--it all amounts to the toolkit needed to provoke or commit violence.

Are you saying that any time we focus on the bad words or actions of one person we're minimizing the widespread nature of this human failing, or just this time?

I'm saying that we read of research and breakthroughs in the diseases of cancer, diabetes, potential epidemics, we read of ecological breakthroughs, energy breakthroughs--there is a constant effort to make these plagues, so to speak, go away. Where is the research on narcissism, the digging into consciousness to make progress on the willingness of people to kill when even mildly requested by an authority figure (the Milgram Experiment)? There is none. Let's say Adler has what psychology calls a Personality Disorder--there is no treatment for Personality Disorders, not even a hint. When this issue comes up, it's usually because of one person, and the focus is on that one person. I'm saying it's an untreated, unresearched epidemic.

That's not an inconsequential thing.

I completely agree. The other day I finished my comment with the word 'Jail.' That's as serious as I can get. I never implied that he isn't bound by ethics. I said 'Jail'. I consider that being bound.

Do we all share a his human weakness to some degree? Of course we do, but most of us know better than to pull such a stunt.

It's more than a weakness. I'd call this one of the lessons of the Holocaust--that is ignored. I'll add 'ignored' to my description of this epidemic. Do we know better for fear of punishment, or do we know so much better that the thought would never enter our minds? I look at world events, and I see that the thought is frequently entering people's minds. The news is a seemingly endless refrain of one dehumanizing act after another. For some, dehumanizing others is the reason they get up in the morning.

That's why I asked about your meaning. Do you see how rampant this problem is? I'm sure you understand where this leads to, unchecked.

Since we're on the subject: What, I wonder, would Abraham (a.s.) have thought? He became a great & powerful leader, no? How would he have reacted if someone from his own camp had proposed assassinating him, or even some lesser (but still important) personage of the tribe? Would he have instructed everyone to just let it go and focus on self-vigilance and improvement?

He wasn't great and powerful, according to our teaching. He possessed quiet qualities, suberb qualities that were not easily visible. He traveled with maybe three hundred people, some left as Lot went to Sodom. There were threats to his life, but his skills in dealing with those threats were much different than what we are presently capable of. However, his legacy is showing us what lies on the path of self-vigilance and improvement, of acquiring wisdom and knowledge--things of which we presently cannot conceive. And Gd treated him according to his path and deeds.

15 CuriousLurker  Tue, Jan 24, 2012 4:42:58pm

re: #14 Bob Levin

He wasn't great and powerful, according to our teaching. He possessed quiet qualities, suberb qualities that were not easily visible. He traveled with maybe three hundred people, some left as Lot went to Sodom.

Greatness doesn't necessarily imply grandiosity, nor does being powerful necessarily imply brute strength in either the physical sense or in terms of number followers/companions.

I'm in the middle of cooking dinner, so I'll have to come back to the rest later.

16 CuriousLurker  Sat, Jan 28, 2012 11:16:46am

re: #14 Bob Levin

It's a widespread problem, and many are acting like it's his problem only. Call it myopia, solipsism, narcissism--it all amounts to the toolkit needed to provoke or commit violence.

I didn't perceive it as people acting like it's his problem only. They're naturally focusing on him right now because what he said involved the President. Besides, that's how our news cycle works—intense focus is put on a single person or event for a couple of days, then everyone moves on to the next drama/tragedy/outrage.

That's why I asked about your meaning. Do you see how rampant this problem is? I'm sure you understand where this leads to, unchecked.

Of course I understand, and I agree that having tunnel vision often isn't helpful as it distorts things and tends to cause us to overlook more pervasive (and often more subtle & ominous) problems.

What throws me off when responding to you sometimes is that I might be talking about a very specific instance of something and assume that you're doing the same, not realizing that you've shifted gears and are discussing a much more general tendency or trend, which throws me off. That's not a complaint or a criticism, it's just an observation—one that I'll do my best to bear in mind going forward to avoid further misunderstandings.

17 Bob Levin  Sat, Jan 28, 2012 10:21:51pm

re: #16 CuriousLurker

Not seeing each other causes a lot of misunderstandings. My thing is that I try to see the problem in context, which widens the scope considerably. Oddly, that's one of the almost invisible issues that leads to the many problems we talk about--whether to widen the scope or narrow the scope.

So, let's say we're talking about the goings on in Beit Shemesh. We are talking about people who've purposely gone about narrowing their scope. Or let's say we're talking about economic issues. Same problems arise.

As you've pointed out--the very way that news is reported comes after the scope has been narrowed in the newsroom, which then causes us to unconsciously learn to narrow our scope. (Get ready, I'm going to widen the scope again)

It even occurs in school, where the scope of subjects is narrowed to memorizable facts, where there is a line drawn between the subjects of the sciences and history, literature and history, even math and history. In other words, if we look at psychology or history, we see that our common sense is not natural at all, but rather conditioned through generations. This is like unconscious history, these patterns that we think are perfectly normal, when in fact, they are perfectly pathological.

This brings us to Abraham, who was able to see those currents of thought, was able to adjust and choose, and essentially bring himself beyond history--to a state of peace and freedom. Within that state, he could see the world objectively, with the widest possible scope.

Our task, I believe, is to learn to widen our scope, to basically try to learn his methods. This isn't any different than learning to think like a lawyer in law school, or think like a doctor in medical school. The paradox, is that any school will narrow our scope. Being religious is a tough gig.


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