NRI doctor in Bahrain sacked over pro-Israel tweets, issues apology on X



A doctor’s ‘anti-Palestine’ comments cost him his job in Bahrain. Dr Sunil Rao, of Indian origin, working at Royal Hospital Bahrain was sacked for posting comments targeting Palestinians on social media. This happened in the midst of the raging war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Dr Rao found himself at the centre of the controversy after he tweeted indirectly justifying Israeli brutality and humiliation of Palestinians. Dr Rao’s tweets went viral after a user on microblogging site X (formerly Twitter) posted them asking the Bahraini authorities to take note.

Royal Hospital Bahrain took immediate action and announced on October 19 that it had terminated Dr Sunil Rao’s services on the grounds that his tweets were “offensive to our society”. The hospital took to X and clarified that Dr Rao’s views were personal and not in alignment with the institution’s opinions. In response to this violation of the hospital’s code of conduct, “immediate legal actions were taken, resulting in the termination of Dr Rao’s employment”, the tweet said.

Dr Rao had earlier issued an apology on social media, acknowledging the ‘insensitivity’ of his statement. “I would like to apologise about the statement that I posted on this platform. It was insensitive in the context of the current event. As a doctor all lives matter. I respect this country, its people and its religion deeply as I have been here for the past 10 years,” he said in the post.

Rao, a doctor with 20 years of experience, worked as Specialist in Internal Medicine at Royal Bahrain Hospital .

Dr Rao’s profile was also deleted from Royal Hospital Bahrain’s website. As per his bio on X, he is an alumni of Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam, and Kasturba Medical College in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

The doctor’s comment and his sacking come as the world is fearing a spill-over of the Israel Hamas war which could lead to a larger regional conflict in the Middle East. An escalation could force countries like the UAE and Bahrain to reduce their contacts with Israel to the minimum.

Saudi Arabia’s alliance with Israel has already turned bitter. Some Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, reacted to the October 7 attacks saying that they had warned of severe consequences due to Israel’s Palestinian policies. The principal demand of Arab countries at the moment is to allow aid to enter Gaza.


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