A Medical Resident Lost Her Job Over Anti-Semitic Tweets
In one post from 2011, she said she'd purposely give Jewish people "the wrong meds."
A former medical resident at the Cleveland Clinic lost her job last year after anti-Semitic tweets and other social media posts were discovered.
Lara Kollab was a supervised resident at the Ohio hospital from July to September 2018. The messages in question date back to 2011, and include one in which she wrote, "I'll purposely give all the yahood the wrong meds."
"Yahood" is the Arabic word for Jewish people.
A series of screenshots dating between 2011 and 2017 were posted on Canary Mission, a website that "documents individuals and organizations that promote hatred of the USA, Israel, and Jews on North American college campuses." The site has also been accused of labeling pro-Palestine activists, as well as those who support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, of being racist and anti-Semitic, which has led to harassment.
Other tweets from Kollab shared on Canary Mission called Jewish people "stupid" or called for their destruction. Some tweets expressed a lack of sympathy for the Holocaust victims or said Jewish people have "exaggerated" their victimhood.
There were also tweets denouncing Zionism and criticizing the state of Israel. Others compared Israel to Nazi Germany.
"Jewish settlers in palestine are the descendants of the nazis," read one from 2012.
"Tell me what makes Israel's ‘we must remain a Jewish state’ obsession any less disturbing than Hitler's obsession with a pure white nation," said another from 2013.
Kollab's social media profiles and website have been deleted. BuzzFeed News was unable to reach her for comment. Her family's voicemail inbox was full.
According to hospital spokesperson Eileen Sheil, Kollab was placed on leave after an unidentified individual brought the messages to light.
"We looked into it right away," Sheil told BuzzFeed News.
Kollab left the department soon after.
"Her departure was related to those posts and she has not worked at Cleveland Clinic since September," said a statement from hospital staff issued on Jan. 2.
"For first-year residents, multiple safeguards and direct supervision are required for patient care and prescribing medicine. In addition, there have been no reports of any patient harm related to her work during the time she was here," the statement said. "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."
Kollab was a graduate of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York. The college's Twitter account said it was "appalled" by her comments.
According to state records, Kollab was issued a training certificate license in July, which is set to expire in 2021.
In a statement, the State Medical Board of Ohio told BuzzFeed News that because she had a training license, losing her position at the Cleveland Clinic means Kollab effectively can't practice medicine.
"While the individual’s training certificate may appear online in 'active' status, she does not have the authority to practice in Ohio because she is not part of an accredited program," officials said. "Malicious acts and threats of patient harm go against the Medical Practices Act and are denounced by the board."