Jewish Journal | Aaron Bandler | September 21, 2020
Photo: Lennox Wright / Shutterstock.com
StandWithUs wrote a Sept. 17 letter to the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) to investigate and discipline Dr. Walid Khass regarding his alleged anti-Semitic tweets.
The Forward initially had reported that New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital had attempted to remove Khass from its residency program in 2019 after the hospital found tweets from Khass from 2012-17 stating that he hoped that “only Israelis get ebola” and “Go beat up a Zionist.” Some of Khass’ other tweets expressed “anti-gay and racist material,” according to The Forward.
Khass challenged the hospital’s move in court, and the New York State Supreme Court sided with him. The hospital is appealing the decision.
In its letter, StandWithUs argued that Khass’ “alleged statements made contemporaneously during Dr. Khass’ medical studies demonstrate an obsessive and continual spewing of hatred, bias and discrimination against Jews, Israelis and Zionists, spanning years.”
The pro-Israel education organization stated that it is “alarmed by the court’s determination to disregard the health and safety of New York’s Jews, particularly when New York boasts the largest Jewish community in the world outside of Israel. We question the court’s wisdom when Dr. Khass would be in a position to make life and death healthcare decisions during his residency for a population he publicly detests.”
StandWithUs argued that the OPMC should investigate Khass to see if his tweets violated the American Medical Association Principles of Medical Ethics and state law.
“Dr. Khass’ repeated discriminatory statements against Jews and Israelis would appear to establish incompetence to practice medicine as it relates to all patients,” the letter stated. “His biases indicate an unfitness to practice medicine consistent with the standards set forth in New York law and are therefore sufficient for this Board immediately to investigate his actions and determine whether a larger penalty is warranted, including his complete suspension from any dealings with patients.”
The OPMC didn’t respond to the Journal’s request for comment.
According to The Forward, the Khass case partially involves contractual matters because Khass has argued that the hospital has “a binding commitment to offer or to accept an appointment if a match results and to start training in good faith.” Khass’ tweets first were discovered in 2017 while he was in medical school at St. George’s University of Medicine in Grenada in the West Indies. He was let off with a warning, The Forward reported.
Khass’ attorney didn’t respond to The Forward’s request for comment.
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