Doctor’s personal apology
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ANTISEMITIC JIBE

Doctor’s personal apology

'Our hope is that after the meeting Dr Nasis fully understands the harm caused by his abhorrent and outrageous words, and that his inaction only made a bad situation worse'.

Monash Health in Clayton where Dr Nasis consults.
Monash Health in Clayton where Dr Nasis consults.

A MELBOURNE cardiologist has personally apologised during a face-to-face meeting with the sister of a Jewish man he had antisemitically slurred in a private email to another person. It follows the doctor’s public apology earlier this month.

As reported in The AJN last week, Dr Arthur Nasis, a Monash University associate professor who consults at Monash Heart, Victoria Heart and Cabrini Health, had emailed his sister Gina in July about how to handle negotiations for a reduction in rent with Paul Micmacher, a tenant at her property.

His advice had been for her to stall negotiations and if she sold her property, “tell him to pack his jew bags and f**k off”. The email inadvertently remained in a chain that found its way back to Susannah Swiatlo, Micmacher’s sister, who was negotiating for him. Shocked at the jibe, Swiatlo had contacted Gina Nasis through the property agency and received her emailed apology for what she termed “loose language”.

A prominent Melbourne cardiologist who said a Jewish tenant should “pack his jew bags and f**k off” following a request…

Posted by The Australian Jewish News on Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Unsatisfied, Swiatlo raised the matter with the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) – and with Monash Health and Monash University – but when the two institutions responded they would not act on what they regarded as a private incident, the ADC publicised it. 

After consulting with Dr Jack Green, president of the Australasian Jewish Medical Federation and with Mike Zervos, CEO of Courage To Care, Dr Nasis issued a public apology, stating, “I now understand why what I said was so offensive. I am grateful for the opportunity to discuss this and apologise.”

Micmacher reportedly did not attend Tuesday’s meeting at Cabrini due to ill health. At the meeting, Dr Nasis personally apologised to Swiatlo, who asked him why he had not apologised earlier.

ADC chair Dvir Abramovich, who attended the meeting, later stated, “We accept Dr Nasis’ apology and welcome his acknowledgement that he engaged in antisemitism. Our hope is that after the meeting Dr Nasis fully understands the harm caused by his abhorrent and outrageous words, and that his inaction over four months only made a bad situation worse and deepened the pain felt by the victims.” But he added, “We now consider the matter closed.”

A Monash Health spokesperson told The AJN this week it would provide a statement once an investigation into the matter has been completed and all parties have been communicated with.

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