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NYu nurse fired from hospital after referring to ‘genocide’

NYu nurse fired from hospital after referring to ‘genocide’
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By Karen Matthews | Associated Press

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NEW YORK — A nurse was fired by a New York City hospital after she referred to Israel’s war in Gaza as a “genocide” during a speech accepting an award.

Labor and delivery nurse Hesen Jabr, who is Palestinian American, was being honored by NYU Langone Health for her compassion in caring for mothers who had lost babies when she drew a link between her work and the suffering of mothers in Gaza.

“It pains me to see the women from my country going through unimaginable losses themselves during the current genocide in Gaza,” Jabr said, according to a video of the May 7 speech that she posted on social media. “This award is deeply personal to me for those reasons.”

Jabr wrote on Instagram that she arrived at work on May 22 for her first shift back after receiving the award when she was summoned to a meeting with the hospital’s president and vice president of nursing “to discuss how I ‘put others at risk’ and ‘ruined the ceremony’ and ‘offended people’ because a small part of my speech was a tribute towards the grieving mothers in my country.”

She wrote that after working most of her shift she was “dragged once again to an office” where she was read her termination letter and then escorted out of the building.

A spokesperson for NYU Langone, Steve Ritea, confirmed that Jabr was fired following her speech and said there had been “a previous incident as well.”

“Hesen Jabr was warned in December, following a previous incident, not to bring her views on this divisive and charged issue into the workplace,” Mr. Ritea said in a statement. “She instead chose not to heed that at a recent employee recognition event that was widely attended by her colleagues, some of whom were upset after her comments. As a result, Jabr is no longer an NYU Langone employee.”

Ritea did not provide any details of the previous incident.

Jabr defended her speech in an interview with The New York Times and said talking about the war “was so relevant” given the nature of the award she had won.

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“It was an award for bereavement; it was for grieving mothers,” she said.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health says that more than 36,000 people have been killed in the territory during the war that started with the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. Around 80% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million has been displaced and U.N. officials say parts of the territory are experiencing famine.

Critics say Israel’s military campaign amounts to genocide, and the government of South Africa formally accused the country of genocide in January when it asked the United Nations’ top court to order a halt to Israeli military operations in Gaza.



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