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Lara Kollab Says She Was “Young and Foolish” A Few Times, And So Very Long Ago
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Lara Kollab, the first-year medical resident in Ohio who for years has been tweeting antisemitic rants, including one where she said she would give yahoods (Jews) the wrong “meds,” has been advised to post an “apology,” no doubt ghostwritten by some PR firm. She has done so. It won’t do.
Here’s her attempt:
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 on the controversy.
“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.”
Nonsense. Kollab did not post only “several” antisemitic comments, but many dozens, over many years, from 2011 on. The comments were not posted “years ago,” as she would like you to think. The last such comment was made scarcely more than a year ago, in 2017. Kollab has since attempted to delete the tweets, but a little late; they had already been recorded by CanaryMission.org.
The most discussed of her tweets is a threat she made to deliberately murder Jews, or at least make them ill: “I’ll probably give all the yahoods [Jews] the wrong meds. …” This is of course a violation of the Hippocratic Oath she took, but there were many other statements in the same vein, such as “Destroy the homes of the Jews” and, “May Allah end the lives of the Jews.”
When she was first notified that these tweets had been found, she denied having written them, and claimed they were from a false account — presumably set up to get her in trouble. Only after having been confronted with dozens of such tweets, and with overwhelming internal evidence that she was indeed their author, did Lara Kollab finally admit to having written them.
“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.”
This remark does not show much remorse. Instead she repeats the usual extreme complaints about “the suffering of the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation” and about the “injustice and brutality” of the Israelis. Not a word about the endless terrorist attacks by the “Palestinians” in the West Bank, nothing about the missiles shot at civilian targets in Israel from Gaza, nothing about the pay-for-slay program by which the PA rewards terrorists and their families, giving generous lifetime payments for killing Israelis, nothing about the inculcation of murderous hatred of Jews in very young “Palestinian” children on television shows, nothing about the same hatred taught older children in textbooks,, nothing about the random murders of Jews, in workplaces, on the street, in pizza parlors, in homes, in cars, on buses, everywhere in Israel, by “Palestinian” terrorists. She sees only the “injustice and brutality” of those terrible Israelis; the “Palestinians” of Hamas and Fatah, though they have not hidden their intent to destroy the Jews and their state, are in her view entirely innocent victims.
“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.”
In other words, Lara Kollab had no idea that threatening to murder Jews might have consequences. Yes, she now realizes, I suppose it is “insensitive” to express my desire to murder Jews with the wrong “meds.” And how, at my young age, could I have known that not everyone seeing my tweets shared my views, and some might report me. How was I to know that threatening, as a doctor, to kill my Jewish patients might be taken amiss, and cause “harm and offense” to people? But my last such tweet was “some years ago.” Oh, when? Yes, you’re right, in 2017. I had forgotten. But anyway, more than a year has gone by. Surely that’s enough time for me to have completely changed all of my views, and for you to believe that I have completely changed. Or are you one of those Jews — there are so many! — who never give us non-Jews an even break, but hold a grudge forever? How can you stand yourselves?
“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.”
Actually, Lara, those posts were not “made years before” you went to medical school. They went on for six years, including all the years you were in medical school. Have you forgotten? Indeed, they became steadily more vehement during your time in medical school and after graduating. You say you “take..the Hippocratic Oath seriously and would never intentionally cause harm to any patent seeking medical care,” but your remark about “giving yahoods” the “wrong meds” is as clear a contradiction of that Oath as can be found. Why was it that you had this sudden revelation as to your “real views” — the ones that completely contradict everything you have been saying about Jews and Israel from 2011 to 2017 — only when you were found out? Remember how you first solemnly denied having written them, then when confronted with so much incontrovertible evidence, finally admitted you had, and as a result you were then fired from your job at the Cleveland Clinic?
“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.”
Nonsense. I don’t think she’s sorry “for the pain” she “caused.” She’s sorry for the pain that she herself has been caused, by having been found out. What she “learned from the experience” is to watch what you tweet, for all kinds of people may be listening. She learned that, as a doctor, it is inadvisable to make threats to murder your patients. Believe it or not, it could get you in trouble.
Here’s one conceivable way “forward” for Lara Kollab:
Over a period of six years, I wrote many dozens of vile antisemitic tweets, the worst of which was one in which I, a doctor, essentially threatened to kill Jews by prescribing the wrong medications for them. I am a “Palestinian” Arab who every summer would return to the Arab-run parts of Palestine, where I easily picked up the antisemitic attitudes of my extended family and friends, whose extreme view of the Arab-Israeli conflict led many of them — and led me, too — to hate Jews irrationally, even hysterically, as the sole cause of every misfortune. We blamed “the Jews” for everything. The vast corruption of our leaders, the lack of human rights under the Palestinian Authority, the greedy lords of misrule like Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, the tactics of terror the “Palestinians” so willingly employed and praised, the antisemitism that was in the very air I breathed — none of this seemed to matter, made no impression on me. These were the views that festered within, and that kept me from any rational analysis of the situation, prevented me from understanding, in the slightest, the Israeli view of things. I was consumed with victimhood and with hate. And that is what led to those intolerable tweets. I meant them. They expressed what I felt. I first said that these tweets were written “some years ago,” but in truth I continued to write such tweets until 2017, when I finally stopped. And though I mentioned “several” tweets there were, in fact, several dozen.
I am attempting to explain, not to justify, my behavior. It has been intolerable, and I do not think I should be exempt from punishment. I have quite understandably been discharged from my job at the Cleveland Clinic, and I do not intend to try to continue work in the medical field in this country for at least five years. Rather, I will spend that time working as a volunteer — even as a nurse if my medical license is revoked — with medical groups overseas, almost certainly in Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa, but not in the Muslim Middle East. That should give me enough time to learn more, as I sort out my thoughts on what I did, and why I did it. I am convinced that in that time, I will become more understanding of those I had regarded, quite irrationally, as my mortal enemies. I have already acquired a long list of books on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including some that treat of Islamic history and the Jihad, that I intend to read during these next few years abroad. I would like to thank those people, not all of them Jewish, who sent me messages, not just to condemn what I wrote, but also to suggest the possibility that real change was possible, that even I might benefit from study of the conflict. And so I remain both horrified at what I have done in the past, and hopeful about the future.
First published in Jihad Watch here and here.