'Gas chamber' jibe

Vic hospital worker sacked over antisemitic remark

Royal Melbourne Hospital: "We stand with and support our Jewish staff members, patients and community."

The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

A clinical assistant at The Royal Melbourne Hospital – who said attendees at last week’s lockdown engagement party should be put in “a gas chamber” – has been removed from her role.

During a discussion about the party in a Facebook group, user Doreen Bonello posted a comment saying: “Put them in a gas chamber.”

Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dvir Abramovich posted a screen capture of the comment which was shared by members of the Jewish community, many of whom contacted the hospital to complain.

On Tuesday morning, the hospital said Bonello had been sacked.

“The staff member is no longer an employee of the hospital and we apologise for the hurt and anger this has caused,” Royal Melbourne Hospital said.

Describing Bonello’s remark as “an abhorrent and disgraceful antisemitic comment”, the hospital added, “The comment does not reflect The Royal Melbourne Hospital and our values.

“We do not tolerate racial or religious hatred, contempt or ridicule.

“We stand with and support our Jewish staff members, patients and community.”

Abramovich said, “This event has given people license to express ugly antisemitic views.

“People are using this as an excuse to scapegoat the Jews. People are pointing the finger as if the lockdown is caused by the Jews. It has reinforced antisemitic myths that Jews cannot be trusted” and other conspiracy theories.

Further coverage in this week’s AJN.

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