Phoenix hospital sued for firing physician over anti-Israel put up

The Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, along with several law firms, represents a doctor after she was released from Phoenix Children’s Hospital after a Facebook post condemned Israel and accused Zionists of “being thirsty for our Palestinian children.” kill”. “

Screenshots of Dr. Fidaa Wishah’s Monday Facebook post saying the Palestinians would “expose the #massacre and #genocide that you #Zionists are proud of”.

“A state based on atrocity, inhumanity, racism and cannibalism never lasts long,” Wishah continued. “Hey #israel … your end will come sooner than you think.”

Israel and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire in May after an 11-day military confrontation that left hundreds dead and sparked international concern. At least 230 Palestinians, including 65 children, and 12 Israelis, including two children, died in the conflict.

The violence wreaked far more havoc in Gaza than in Israel, with an estimated 58,000 displaced Palestinians and immeasurable damage to the territory’s infrastructure, which had fallen into ruin after a 14-year blockade.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 18 hospitals and clinics were damaged and one health facility was destroyed in Israeli attacks. 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 supply of medical supplies.

The results of Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, released in March, show that while most Americans still sympathize with Israel, positive views of the Palestinians are growing. About 30% of all respondents said they had a positive opinion of the Palestinian Authority, up from 21% in 2018 and more than the annual average of 19% since 2001.

Council on American-Islamic Relations, others join lawsuit for wrongful termination

Cindy Saltzman, editor of Arizona Jewish Life magazine, said she was one of several who reached out to the hospital earlier this week to express concern about the mail and label the language used by Wishah as anti-Semitic.

“If you swap a different ethnic group or country, people will understand why it’s so offensive,” Saltzman said of Wishah’s post, adding that even if it was a group, she would have notified the hospital which she wasn’t part of.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital said on Twitter on Wednesday that children in its care will “receive hope, healing and the best possible health care regardless of race, color, disability, religion, gender, gender, sexual orientation or national origin”.

“After a thorough verification of the facts on the matter, that person will no longer be cared for at Phoenix Children’s,” the hospital said.

The hospital declined the Arizona Republic’s request for further comments on the matter on Thursday.

Azza Abuseif, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Arizona, said in a written statement to the republic on Thursday that CAIR is working with several private law firms to represent Wishah in proceedings to unlawfully terminate the hospital.

“Her post on her personal Facebook page, despite criticizing the Israeli government, has been purposely taken out of context to portray Dr. Wishah as an anti-Semite rather than what she has described as her entire career as a civil rights activist.” Abuse said.

Abuseif said Wishah has been a doctor since 2010 and has spent “most of” her career as a pediatrician.

“Although she cares for thousands of children, many of whom are Jewish, she has never been accused of discriminating against any of her patients or colleagues,” Abuseif said.

Abuseif said Wishah was born and raised in Gaza and knows many friends, family and neighbors who died from the Israeli military.

“Dr. Wishah did not and does not call for the end of the State of Israel,” Abuseif said. “It calls on the Israeli government to change its brutal treatment of the Palestinian people. It believes that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in dignity, peace and free from oppression.”

Wishah confirmed the details in the CAIR statement to the republic but declined to comment on the matter.

Abuseif called the hospital’s decision to discharge Wishah “shameful and an attack on freedom of expression for all Americans”.

Saltzman said she did not see the matter as an issue of freedom of expression and called it “an entirely different scenario”.

“I don’t think a minority or any human should be attacked in this way,” she said. “We are grateful that you have taken action and investigated.”

State representative Alma Hernandez, D-Tucson, also thanked the hospital in a tweet on Monday for its decision.

Calling Wishah’s post “very despicable behavior from someone who takes the oath to help EVERYONE,” Hernandez said, “I know I’m not the only one worried.”

USA TODAY reporters Deirdre Shesgreen, Kim Hjelmgaard and Marc Ramirez contributed to this article.

You can reach Breaking News reporter Michael Donohue at [email protected] or on Twitter @ MRDonohue4.

Reach the current reporter BrieAnna Frank at [email protected] or on Twitter @brieannafrank.

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