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This Doctor’s Antisemitic Tweets Cost Her Her Job, But Not Her License
When Lara Kollab, an ex-Cleveland Clinic employee, tweeted about purposely giving Jewish patients the “wrong meds” in 2012, she had no idea it would lead to her firing in September of 2018. But that’s just what happened when her employers learned of her string of violent and Antisemitic tweets dating from 2011 to as recently as 2017. Citing #paliproblems and discussing her wish for a violent end to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Kollab made repeated violent allusions to a swift, religiously-motivated death for all Jews in her tweets. In addition to joking in 2012, “hahha ewww.. ill purposely give all the yahood [a slur for Jews] the wrong meds…”, Kollab wrote about Jews “exploiting” the holocaust, praised the #BDS movement, and referred to Jews as “dogs” countless times.
The website Canary Mission has archived all of Kollab’s Antisemitic tweets from the past 6 years, including a string of violent and pro-Hamas statements.
In August 2013, the 27-year old Doctor wrote: “May Allah take back (end the lives) of the Jews so we stop being forced to go to those unclean ones”
It doesn’t stop there. Kollab’s support of Ghassan Kanafani, a prominent member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP.) She also praised the actions of Khader Adnan, of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ.)
Kollab was a supervised first-year resident at Cleveland Clinic in 2018. The hospital was quick to issue a statement regarding the young woman’s firing.
“When we learned of the social media post, we took immediate action, conducted an internal review and placed her on administrative leave. Her departure was related to those posts and she has not worked at Cleveland Clinic since September.” The statement went on to reiterate that the organization did not stand behind Kollab’s intolerant and violent views whatsoever.
Still, others are calling for firmer action. Though Kollab no longer holds a position at the clinic, she’s still free to practice medicine. The ex-resident, who believes that “Jewish settlers in Palestine are the descendants of the Nazis,” is still in possession of her MD license. Kollab released a statement this Friday expressing her regret about posting her Antisemitic beliefs on a public platform.
“These posts were made years before I was accepted into medical school when I was a naïve, and impressionable girl barely out of high school. I matured into a young adult during the years I attended college and medical school and adopted strong values of inclusion, tolerance, and humanity. I take my profession and the Hippocratic Oath seriously and would never intentionally cause harm to any patient seeking medical care.”
Though Kollab isn’t able to practice at the clinic anymore, her license is still fully valid until 2020.
“There have been no reports of any patient harm related to her work during the time she was here,” the clinic told NBC News. “In no way do these beliefs reflect those of our organization. We fully embrace diversity, inclusion and a culture of safety and respect across our entire health system.”
The Cleveland Clinic may have learned its lesson. But when it comes to the screening process for public servant and health care professional hires, how careless can we afford to be? Does someone have to die before these kinds of dangerous biases are taken into account at the level of hiring?