An Ohio doctor accused of making hostile online comments against Jews has drawn widespread scrutiny and condemnation, with her former college expressing shock and a major Jewish group calling for her medical license to be revoked.
Lara Kollab, a graduate of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, came under fire for dozens of online 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.
Other tweets from the same time period — which were documented by the anonymous website Canary Mission, before they were deleted — claimed that the Holocaust was “exaggerated,” alleged that “zionists are the spawn of hitler,” and expressed support for the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
In one 2013 tweet, Kollab wrote, “look, Haifa is sweet (nice), but it’s full of Jewish dogs, and it looks like America, meaning, it wasn’t that special to me,” according to a translation by Canary Mission, which aims to expose antisemitic and anti-Zionist bigotry.
The Cleveland Clinic, where Kollab worked as a supervised, first-year medical resident starting this past July until September, confirmed on Wednesday that her “departure was related to those posts.”
“When we learned of the social media post, we took immediate action, conducted an internal review and placed her on administrative leave,” the hospital said in a statement.
First-year residents are subject to “multiple safeguards” when dealing with patients, and “there have been no reports of any patient harm related to her work during the time she was here,” the statement noted.
Kollab, whose Twitter and other social media accounts have since been taken offline, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center — a Jewish human rights group — applauded the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday for doing “the right thing,” and encouraged authorities to “immediately revoke” Kollab’s medical license.
“[This] person remains a menace to the community-at-large and has made a mockery of the Hippocratic Oath through her hatred,” Wiesenthal officials Rabbi Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement. “To protect the public, her Medical License should be revoked.”
“We urge authorities to investigate if her threats could be prosecuted,” they continued.
Kollab has also been disavowed by her alma mater Touro College, which has Jewish roots and a large Jewish student body.
In a statement shared on social media on Monday, the school said it was “appalled” by Kollab’s comments and “shocked that one of our graduates would voice statements that are antithetical to Touro and to the physicians’ Hippocratic Oath.”
“The mission of Touro College is to educate, perpetuate and enrich the historic Jewish tradition of tolerance and dignity,” the statement added.