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January 6, 2019 12:21 pm

Ohio Doctor Seeks Forgiveness From Jewish Community for Antisemitic Tweets

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Lara Kollab. Photo: Canary Mission via Facebook.

The Ohio doctor who came under scrutiny recently after a number of antisemitic tweets she wrote were unearthed has issued an apology.

Lara Kollab — a graduate of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine — has faced calls for the revocation of her medical license over dozens of tweets she made between 2011 and 2017, including a 2012 threat to “purposely give all the yahood the wrong meds.” The Arabic term “yahood” means Jews in English.

Last week, the Cleveland Clinic — where Kollab worked as a supervised, first-year medical resident starting this past July until September — confirmed that she was fired due to the tweets.

In a lengthy blog post published on Friday, Kollab commented publicly for the first time to the controversy.

She wrote:

Several social media comments posted on my twitter account years ago have surfaced recently, causing pain, anguish, and a public outcry.  I wish sincerely and unequivocally to apologize for the offensive and hurtful language contained in those posts. This statement is not intended to excuse the content of the posts, but rather to demonstrate that those words do not represent who I am and the principles I stand for today.

I visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories every summer throughout my adolescent years. I became incensed at the suffering of the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation.  The injustice and brutality of the occupation continues to concern me, and I believe every champion of human rights owes it to humanity to work towards a just and peaceful resolution of this crisis.

As a girl in my teens and early twenties, I had difficulty constructively expressing my intense feelings about what I witnessed in my ancestral land. Like many young people lacking life experience, I expressed myself by making insensitive remarks and statements of passion devoid of thought, not realizing the harm and offense these words would cause.

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.  As a physician, I will always strive to give the best medical treatment to all people, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, or culture.

I have learned from this experience and am sorry for the pain I have caused. I pray that the Jewish community will understand and forgive me. I hope to make amends so that we can move forward and work together towards a better future for us all.

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