NEW YORK (AP) — A New York Jewish doctor has apologized for posting comments online supporting a white-only nation and armed racial conflict.
Dr. Dov Bechhofer, a resident radiologist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, was removed from duty this week after an anonymous article on the blogging site Medium identified him as an online commenter on a website that promoted white nationalism.
The online poster, who wrote under the name “Dov,” called himself an ethnic nationalist and wrote about his opposition to racial intermarriage and support for proposals to expel non-whites from the US.
He also said he favored “‘tempered’ anti-Semitism” despite being Jewish himself.
Bechhofer confirmed that he made the comments and expressed remorse in a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Thursday.
“I am ashamed of the hurtful, unjustifiable words that I posted online that showed callous disregard toward certain minority groups and am deeply sorry for these transgressions,” he wrote. “The posts do not reflect how I was raised or how I actually treat others. I will continue to struggle to understand what brought me to write them.”
Bechhofer’s father is a rabbi who is a leader of the group Orthodox Jews Against Racism and Discrimination, according to The Forward, a news magazine with a mostly Jewish American audience.
Bechhofer began commenting on white-supremacist websites in the fall of 2016. The doctor said he became interested in the websites out of a “scared curiosity about what was being said on these forums about Jews.”
“But after spending some time in this toxic corner of the Internet, I eventually became numb to the ugliness of that hateful echo chamber and began participating in the dialogue,” he wrote.
Montefiore Medical Center placed the doctor off-duty pending the results of a thorough investigation.
“It’s been very painful for me overall,” Bechhofer said in a brief phone call with the AP.