The Karolinska University Hospital made the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list due to bullying and harming the reputations of Jewish doctors in one of its departments.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is “awarding” the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, with a place on its upcoming 2018 Top Ten list of anti-Semitic incidents worldwide, Haaretz reported Tuesday.
The reason for the dubious distinction, said the center’s associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper, is the delay on the part of hospital authorities in dealing with a department head who allegedly bullied three Jewish doctors to the point that two of them left the department. The authorities are said to have known of the problem since February. Cooper himself only got involved in November, when the remaining Jewish doctor contacted him regarding what he said was an ongoing poisonous work atmosphere. The rabbi then flew to Stockholm to discuss the matter with management, according to the report.
The alleged perpetrator is a senior surgeon at the prestigious health-care facility that is closely linked to a medical institute of the same name that awards the Nobel Prize in Medicine. He also teaches at that university. According to the victim, his superior intimidated and verbally attacked the Jewish doctors and harmed their professional advancement. He also backed up his anti-Semitic actions with posts and pictures on Facebook that reflected his anti-Jewish beliefs.
In a follow-up letter to the hospital’s acting CEO, Annika Tibell, Cooper wrote that the investigation that the hospital had promised was in essence “a cover-up,” since the professor in charge — who is a colleague of the accused — ignored “inconvenient truths” and did not find any problem of anti-Semitism in the department. His basic demand, he told Haaretz, is that the hospital “must ensure that those who have exhibited their bias never have any supervisory control over the Jewish doctors. That is a baseline for all other actions.”
In a statement to the paper, Tibell defended the administration’s actions, claiming that an external investigation is still ongoing. When it is completed in January, she said, the hospital “will take all necessary actions…in accordance with Swedish legislation.” She added that she takes very seriously the listing of Karolinska among the Wiesenthal Center’s worst anti-Semitic incidents this year, as the institution “has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of discrimination, victimization and other offensive behavior. It goes without saying that this also includes all forms of anti-Semitism.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global human rights organization that confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, saying that it stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. Its Top Ten list of offenders is due to be published on Thursday.