A former Cleveland Clinic resident’s apology for anti-Semitic remarks in Twitter was initiated and written by her, her lawyer said Jan. 7.
Lara Kollab, whose apology has been widely criticized by online commenters, hopes to move on in her life and her career, Ziad Tayeh told the Cleveland Jewish News.
“The apology was all hers,” Tayeh said. “She didn’t give an apology based on legal advice. She sincerely felt that she needed to apologize for some of the stupid things she said as a young lady barely out of her teens. She wants the world to know unequivocally that that’s absolutely not who she is. And off the cuff remarks, stupid, insincere jokes by people 18, 19, 20 years old are not something that she should be judged on at this stage of her life and her career, seven years later.”
Tayeh said Kollab hopes to practice medicine notwithstanding her predicament. She was fired from Cleveland Clinic as a resident and her future is uncertain.
Kollab will likely lose her licensing based on severing ties with Cleveland Clinic.
“Obviously, we want to get her career on track,” he said. “We want to help her establish herself as someone who is an honest and caring person, a reliable physician, and we’re hopeful we can do that.”
Kollab’s apology was released on her website, larakollab.com, but was initially disseminated through Tayeh’s office.
Kollab’s Twitter feed was photographed by Canary Mission, an anonymous online watchdog group, which is continuing to release her tweets, including one from 2013 where Kollab allegedly wrote, “People who support Israel should have their immune cells killed so they can see how it feels to not be able to defend yourself from foreign invaders.”
Kollab’s apology reads as follows:
“My Sincerest Apologies
“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.”