A doctor in the Bronx who was accused earlier this week of making a number of racist and anti-Semitic comments on a white supremacist message board has apologized, and says that the experience has "been very painful for me overall."
On Monday, Dov Bechhofer, a resident radiologist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, was identified in a Medium article as a prolific commenter on the the blog for white nationalist publishing house Counter-Currents. Writing under the name "Dov," the doctor repeatedly expressed his support for the creation of a white ethnostate through the forced deportations of people of color, and spoke positively of the lethal violence committed by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, according to the anonymous article.
"Dov" also frequently defended anti-Semitism, at one point writing that "in White ethnostates (which I hope to see materialize ASAP), Jews must be considered foreign elements." Elsewhere, he proposed "A Jewish Defense of Anti-Semitism," and aruged that Jewish people "need to be considered either non-White or perennially anti-White concerning aspirations of and strategies for the White race moving forward."
— New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) July 23, 2018
On Thursday, Bechhofer, who is Jewish, admitted to the Associated Press that he was responsible for the posts.
"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 to them in an email. "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, the Associated Press notes, and a leader of the group Orthodox Jews Against Racism and Discrimination.
Bechhofer—who spoke glowingly online of white nationalist figures like Jared Taylor, Gregory Hood, and Spencer Quinn—told the outlet that he initially became involved in the white supremacist forum due to a "scared curiosity about what was being said on these forums about Jews."
"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 added. "It's been very painful for me overall."
On Wednesday, following news stories about the initial allegations, a spokesperson for Montefiore said that Bechhofer was taken off duty, pending an investigation by the hospital. Asked Friday whether his admission impacted the status of that investigation, a spokesperson told Gothamist that there are "no new updates at this time."