The medical resident fired for tweeting that she would give Jewish people the “wrong meds” years earlier, said that she “sincerely and unequivocally” apologized in a letter released through her lawyer.
Lara Kollab, a doctor who formerly worked at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, wrote in the letter provided by lawyer Ziad Tayeh, that she was truly sorry for her offensive tweets. She said she had matured in the years since she posted them.
Kollab faced a public outcry last week after a string of tweets from between 2011 and 2013 emerged on the watchdog site Canary Mission. Canary Mission is a nonprofit that claims to be dedicated to antisemitism but has been criticized for targeting college students who critique Israeli policies.
In dozens of tweets recorded on the site, Kollab referred to Jewish people as “dogs” and compared Israel to Nazi Germany.
In one tweet, Kollab wrote, “I’ll purposely give all the yahood the wrong meds,” Kollab wrote. “Yahood” is a variation of the Arabic word “yahud,” which means “Jews.”
In her apology letter, Kollab wrote that she had traveled to Israel and Palestine every summer as an adolescent, and that she had become “incensed at the suffering of the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation.”
“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,” Kollab wrote. “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.”
She added that she hopes the Jewish community can forgive her.
“I matured into a young adult during the years I attended college and medical school, and adopted strong values of inclusion, tolerance and humanity,” she wrote. “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.”
Tayeh declined to say whether Kollab is continuing to practice medicine.
After Kollab’s story went viral, the Cleveland Clinic sent out a press release saying that the hospital had conducted its own internal review of the tweets in September, and that Kollab had not worked there since.
The hospital’s statement added that “her departure was related to those posts.”
Kollab’s full letter can be found here.