CLEVELAND, Ohio - A Cleveland Clinic employee who was fired after anti-Semitic comments surfaced on one of her social media accounts has released a statement about the posts.
The Cleveland Clinic identified the first-year resident as Lara Kollab.
She worked as a supervised first-year resident from July until September of 2018.
In multiple posts from 2012, Kollab called for violence against Jewish people and even minimized the Holocaust.
The Cleveland Clinic took immediate action and placed Kollab on leave back in September when they learned of these posts.
She has now been fired.
In a statement released by her attorney Saturday, Kollab 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."
The hospital said there have been no reports of any patient harm related to the former resident's work during her time with the clinic. They also released the following statement condemning her actions saying:
“This individual was employed as a supervised, first-year resident at our hospital from July to September 2018. 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.
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.
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.”
Since her firing, Kollab has deleted her social media accounts.
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