Phoenix hospital sued for firing doctor for anti-Israel post
Arizona Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, along with several law firms, represent doctor after she was fired from Phoenix Children’s Hospital following Facebook post condemning Israel and accusing the Zionists of being “thirsty to kill our Palestinian children.” “
Screenshot broadcast online from Dr Fidaa Wishah’s Facebook post on Monday in which she said the Palestinians would “denounce the #massacre and #genocide that you #sionists are proud of.”
“A state based on atrocity, inhumanity, racism and cannibalism never lasts long,” Wishah continued. “Hey #israel … your end is coming sooner than you think.”
Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire in May after 11 days of military clashes that left hundreds dead and sparked international concern. At least 230 Palestinians, including 65 children, and 12 Israelis, including two children, have died in the conflict.
The violence wreaked much more havoc in Gaza than in Israel, with an estimated 58,000 Palestinians displaced from their homes and untold damage to the territory’s infrastructure, which was already dilapidated by a 14-year blockade.
The Israeli attacks damaged at least 18 hospitals and clinics and destroyed a health facility, according to the World Health Organization. WHO officials also said the central COVID-19 testing laboratory in Gaza City had been almost completely destroyed and the violence had caused “severe restrictions” on the delivery of medical supplies.
The results of Gallup’s annual world affairs poll, released in March, show that while most Americans still sympathize with Israel, favorable views on the Palestinians are on the rise. About 30% of all respondents said they have a favorable opinion of the Palestinian Authority, up from 21% in 2018 and above the annual average of 19% since 2001.
Council on US-Islamic Relations, others join lawsuit for wrongful dismissal
Cindy Saltzman, editor of Arizona Jewish Life magazine, said she was one of many people who contacted the hospital earlier in the week to express concern about the publication, describing the language used by Wishah as anti-Semite.
“If you are swapping to another ethnic group or country, I think people will understand why this is so offensive,” Saltzman said of Wishah’s post, adding that she would have informed the hospital even if the post was about a group of which she was not one. part of.
Phoenix Children’s Hospital said on twitter Wednesday that children in care “receive hope, healing and the best possible health care, regardless of race, color, disability, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or of national origin “.
“After a careful examination of the facts of this matter, this person is no longer providing care at Phoenix Children’s,” the hospital said.
The hospital on Thursday denied the Arizona Republic’s request for further comment on the matter.
Azza Abuseif, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Arizona, said in a written statement Thursday to The Republic that CAIR, along with several private law firms, is representing Wishah in a wrongful dismissal case against the hospital. .
“Her post on her personal Facebook page, while critical of the Israeli government, was intentionally taken out of context to portray Dr. Wishah as an anti-Semite rather than what she has been throughout her career, a civil rights activist Abusive said.
Abuseif said Wishah had been a doctor since 2010 and had spent the “vast majority” of his career as a pediatrician.
“Although she cares for thousands of children, many of whom are Jewish, she has never been accused of discriminating against her patients or colleagues,” Abuseif said.
Abuseif said Wishah was born and raised in Gaza and knew many friends, families and neighbors who died at the hands of the IDF, adding that she “naturally felt compelled to speak out against these same atrocities” in the midst of the recent escalation in violence.
“Dr Wishah has not called and is not calling for the end of the State of Israel,” Abuseif said. “She calls on the Israeli government to change its brutal treatment of the Palestinian people. She believes that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in dignity, in peace and free from oppression.
Wishah confirmed details of CAIR’s statement to The Republic, but declined to comment further on the matter.
Abusif called the hospital’s decision to fire Wishah “shameful and an attack on free speech for all Americans.”
Saltzman said she did not view the issue as a free speech issue, calling it a “completely different scenario.”
“I don’t think a minority or a human being should be attacked in this way,” she said. “We are grateful that they took action and investigated.”
State Representative Alma Hernandez, D-Tucson, also thanked the hospital for its decision in a tweet Monday.
Hernandez called Wishah’s post “very despicable behavior from someone who has sworn to help ALL”, and said: “I know I’m not the only one worried.”
USA TODAY reporters Deirdre Shesgreen, Kim Hjelmgaard and Marc Ramirez contributed to this article.
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