Materials on the David Miller case

This is a collection of materials, from different perspectives, on the case of David Miller of Bristol University.

Updated 28 April 2021

Sections:
1. News items
2. Opinion pieces
3. Statements by students
4. Statements in parliament
5. Collective and organisational statements: critical of Miller
6. Collective and organisational statements: supportive of Miller
7. Statements by Miller cited in calls for action against him

  1. News items

Conservative MPs call Bristol University a ‘hotbed of antisemitism’, Guardian, 27/4/21

British university campuses feel like ‘1930s Germany’ for Jewish students, minister warned, Telegraph, 27/4/21

Tory MP says Bristol Uni bosses should resign as they ‘care nothing about anti semitism’, The Bristol Tab, 27/4/21

Government accused of failing to take action to combat anti-Semitism at universities in England, The i, 27/4/21

Government urged to take tougher action to protect students from anti-Semitism, Evening Standard, 27/4/21

Professor David Miller wins legal bid to unmask critical Twitter user, Jewish News, 14/4/21

BBC Arabic anchor defends David Miller, Jewish Chronicle, 13/4/21

Rally set to defend Bristol ‘end Zionism’ academic, Jewish News, 31/3/21

Who are the Israel lobbyists that want David Miller fired? Asa Winstanley, Electronic Intifada, 31/3/21

UK professor who called Jewish students ‘pawns’ of Israel may have committed crime, Jerusalem Post, 26/3/21

Hate crime probe launched into UK prof’s anti-Semitic remarks, Arutz Sheva, 26/3/21

UK police: Academic calling Jewish students ‘pawns’ of Israel may be hate crime, Times of Israel, 26/3/21

Police launch hate crime investigation at Bristol University, Jewish News, 25/3/21

Police launch ‘hate crime’ probe into Bristol university professor accused of antisemitic lectures: report, The Algemeiner, 25/3/21

Government condemns professor Miller’s ‘ill-founded and reprehensible’ remarks, Jewish News, 25/3/21

Professor Miller being investigated by police over ‘hate crime’ allegations, Jewish Chronicle, 24/3/21

Baroness Deech: a professor making comments like David Miller’s ‘at black students’ would have been ‘off campus by the evening’, Jewish Chronicle, 24/3/21

UK university launches investigation into educator targeting Jewish students, Jewish News Syndicate, 19/3/21

Bristol University: David Miller comments spark formal investigation, Bristol Live, 18/3/21

Brian Eno and Roger Waters defend Ken Loach and David Miller against ‘made up’ antisemitism charges, Jewish Chronicle, 17/3/21

British uni launches investigation into prof accused of lashing out at Jewish students, Arutz Sheva, 17/3/21

Bristol University anti-Semitism row ‘putting Jewish students off applying, Telegraph, 17/3/21

Bristol University confirms formal investigation into Professor David Miller is ‘underway’, Jewish Chronicle, 17/3/21

Bristol University launches formal investigation into Professor David Miller, Jewish News, 17/3/21

Bristol University: Professor David Miller investigation launched, BBC News, 17/3/21

Public figures speak out to defend Bristol professor David Miller, The Canary, 13/3/21

Bristol University: politicians urge action over professor’s comments, BBC News, 8/3/21

Support for David Miller grows, Asa Winstanley, Electronic Intifada, 6/3/21

100 MPs and peers write to Bristol University over Professor David Miller, Jewish News, 5/3/21

Cambridge academics sign open letter condemning Bristol University professor’s comments about Jewish students, Varsity, 5/3/21

MPs and peers call on Bristol University to condemn academic in antisemitism row, Times, 4/3/21

Over 100 MPs and peers sign letter accusing Miller of ‘inciting hate’, Jewish Chronicle, 4/3/21

Parliamentarians write to Bristol University calling for action on Antisemitism, Epigram, 3/3/21

British university accused of ‘absolute failure’ to address professor’s biased conduct, Jewish News Syndicate, 4/3/21

More than 500 academics sign letter against Bristol ‘end Zionism’ professor, Jewish News, 3/3/21

Union of Jewish Students and Bristol JSoc accuse University of “absolute failure of their duty of care”, Jewish Chronicle, 3/3/21

Israel backs campaign against David Miller, Asa Winstanley, Electronic Intifada, 3/3/21

UK’s Union of Jewish Students denounces ‘absolute failure’ by Bristol University over antisemitic professor, The Algemeiner, 3/3/21

200 academics back lecturer under attack from ‘proud Zionists’, Middle East Monitor, 3/3/21

Nearly 200 U.S. and U.K. scholars back British lecturer who called Jewish students ‘pawns’ of Israel, Haaretz, 2/3/21

Warwick academics sign open letter defending “anti-Semitic” Bristol professor, The Boar, 2/3/21

Don’t sack University of Bristol professor accused of antisemitism, academics demand, Times, 27/2/21

Nearly 200 scholars back lecturer who called Jewish students ‘pawns’, Jerusalem Post, 27/2/21

Countdown’s Rachel Riley accuses University of Bristol lecturer of ‘racist nonsense’, Bristol Live, 27/2/21

The Miller defenders’ letter shows how deep the issues around antisemitism go in academia, David Hirsch, Jeiwsh Chronicle, 26/2/21

Jacob Rees-Mogg describes Bristol professor’s comments as ‘deeply wicked’, Epigram, 26/2/21

Academic ‘list of shame’ defends lecturer accused of targeting Jews, Jewish News, 26/2/21

Miller campaign of hate is enabled by Bristol University, Rachel Riley tells online rally, Jewish Chronicle, 24/2/21

Thousands of students and campaigners against antisemitism expected at online protest over Professor David Miller, Jewish Chronicle, 24/2/21

Bristol Uni ‘has failed to give concrete steps’ to protect Jewish students, say UJS and Bristol JSoc ahead of online rally, Epigram, 24/2/21

‘Hatred has no place in our city’: Thangam Debbonaire and Rachel Riley call for action to be taken against Bristol professor, 24/2/21

Even conspiracy theorists must have freedom of speech, Frank Furedi, Spiked, 23/2/21

Bristol University ‘again fails’ to act on ‘end Zionism’ professor, Jewish News, 23/2/21

Israel lobby demands firing of professor who opposes Zionism, Electronic Intifada, 23/2/21

Bristol University anti-Semitism row deepens as MPs urge vice-Chancellor to take action, 22/2/21

UK Jewish students plan virtual rally as Members of Parliament join outcry against antisemitic Bristol professor, The Algemeiner, 22/2/21

Bristol Uni professor makes ‘appalling’ comments in Zoom call, Bristol Live, 19/2/21

Bristol University say they ‘do not endorse’ Professor Miller’s comments ‘about our Jewish students’, Jewish Chronicle, 19/2/21

Pressure mounts on Bristol Uni over academic accused of ‘antisemitic tropes’, Jewish News, 19/2/21

Bristol JSoc urges university to take action after professor calls for ‘end’ to Zionism ‘as a functioning ideology of the world’, Epigram, 18/2/21

Now ‘end of Zionism’ academic says Bristol JSoc is ‘Israel’s pawn’, Jewish Chronicle, 18/2/21

Bristol University sociology professor who quit Labour party amid anti-Semitism row calls for an ‘end’ of Zionism in online debate — sparking calls for him to be sacked, Mail Online, 18/2/21

Action urged over Bristol academic who called to ‘end Zionism as an ideology’, Jewish News, 16/2/21

Bristol University offers to meet JSoc to discuss ‘upset’ over professor’s Zionism comments, Jewish Chronicle, 16/2/21

Bristol University professor calls for ‘end’ of Zionism as ‘functioning ideology of the world’, Jewish Chronicle, 15/2/21

Bristol professor: CST is a case of ‘influence-peddling by a foreign state’, Jewish News, 3/8/20

Bristol University criticized for lukewarm response to antisemitism claim, Jerusalem Post, 10/9/19

Bristol lecturer taught students ‘parts of Zionist lobby’ bankroll Islamophobia, Jewish News, 9/9/19

CST calls Bristol University an ‘utter disgrace’ for response to complaint about lecture, Jewish Chronicle, 9/9/19

Bristol University accused of ‘failure’ to seriously consider charge by Jewish students, Jewish News Syndicate, 9/9/19

Bristol University accused of failing to heed Jewish students’ complaints, Sunday Telegraph, 8/9/19
(See also response: David Miller rebuts Daily Telegraph smears, Free Speech on Israel, c. 10/9/19)

Academic tells university event Jewish students’ campus fears are ‘propaganda’, Jewish Chronicle, 20/11/18

2. Opinion pieces

No professor should be antisemitic, Sharonna Karni Cohen, Times of Israel, 5/4/21

Why “academic freedom” is no defence of the Bristol University professor David Miller, Dave Rich, New Statesman, 22/3/21

‘Zionist’ and ‘Jew’ aren’t interchangeable words, Melanie Goldberg, Glasgow Guardian, 14/3/21

Don’t let the Israeli lobby fire David Miller, Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor, 13/3/21

Professor David Miller and Bristol University, Geoffrey Alderman, Jewish News, 11/3/21

The David Miller case: a textbook example of anti-Zionism becoming vicious antisemitism, David Feldman, Haaretz, 4/3/21

What will it take for Bristol to sack this lecturer? Sabrina Miller, Jewish Chronicle, 4/3/21

The case of David Miller, Caroline Lucas, 4/3/21

Why does a U.K. academic spewing antisemitic conspiracies attract eager apologists on the US left? Nicole Lampert, Haaretz, 1/3/21

The Meaning of David Miller, David Hirsh, Fathom 3/21

A few of the antisemitism enablers who signed the pro-Miller letter, Antisemitism from the Dark Side, 28/2/21

A war is being waged against academic freedom in Britain, Malia Bouattia, Al Jazeera, 28/2/21

Frequently asked questions, supportmiller.org, c. 26/2/21

David Miller may be a loon, but sacking him would open a Pandora’s Box, Toby Young, The Critics, 25/2/21

Bristol University should sack conspiracist professor, Daviel Finkelstein, 23/2/21

Into the flatlands with Professor David Miller, Keith Kahn-Harris, Jewthink, 22/2/21

David Miller’s anti-Semitic invective is an affront to academic inquiry — and his university should say so, Oliver Kamm, CapX, 22/2/21

As a Jewish student at Bristol University, David Miller’s anti-Semitic comments make me worried, Sabrina Miller, Telegraph, 22/2/21

When freedom of speech is under attack, what do we do? Sit down, write a blog post, Rose Schneiderdamn, Jewdas, 21/2/21

Jewish students ‘intimidated’ by professor’s comments as Williamson defends ‘free speech’, Huffington Post, 20/2/21

We must resist Israel’s war on British universities, David Miller, Electronic Intifada, 20/2/21

I’m tired of waiting for my uni to act against conspiratorial hatred, Sabrina Miller, 19/2/21

The Professor Miller scandal is entirely of Bristol University’s own making, Dave Rich, Jewish News, 19/2/21

Bristol University says it is ‘academic freedom’ to wrongly accuse us of spreading Islamophobia, Mark Gardner, Jewish Chronicle, 12/9/21

5. Collective and organisational statements: critical of Miller

Letter to VC of Bristol University, All Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, 4/3/21
Calls on Bristol to ‘act before any further damage is done’

Response to recent comments by Prof. David Miller, open letter, launched c. 1/3/21
Does not call on Bristol to take any specific action

Letter to VC of Bristol University, officers of All Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, 19/2/21
Calls on Bristol to ‘take action’ to end Miller’s ‘disturbing behaviour’

Letter to VC of Bristol University, Board of Deputies of British Jews, 19/2/21
Calls on Bristol to dismiss Miller

Get David Miller off Bristol Uni campus, Change.org, launched 18/2/21
Calls on Bristol to take disciplinary action against Miller

David Miller must be dismissed, Change.org, launched c. 17/2/21
Calls on Bristol to dismiss Miller

LAAS statement on David Miller’s latest comments, Labour Against Antisemitism, 17/2/21
Calls on Bristol to ‘review what is happening within their own halls of learning’

7. Statements by Miller cited in calls for action against him

Now ‘end of Zionism’ academic says Bristol JSoc is ‘Israel’s pawn’, Jewish Chronicle, 18/2/21
Responding to the JC, Professor Miller […] said: “The ‘Jewish student groups’ you refer to are political lobby groups overseen by the Union of Jewish Students, which is constitutionally bound to promoting Israel.
“There is a real question of abuse here — of Jewish students on British campuses being used as political pawns by a violent, racist foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing.
“The UJS’ lobbying for Israel is a threat to the safety of Arab and Muslim students as well as of Jewish students and indeed of all critics of Israel.”

Email statement by David Miller to The Bristol Tab, 18/2/21
Zionism is and always has been a racist, violent, imperialist ideology premised on ethnic cleansing. It is an endemically anti-Arab and Islamophobic ideology. It has no place in any society.
Bristol’s JSoc, like all JSocs, operates under the auspices of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), an Israel lobby group. The UJS is constitutionally bound to promoting Israel and campaigns to silence critics of Zionism or the State of Israel on British campuses. This campaign of censorship renders Arab and Muslim students, as well as anti-Zionist Jewish students, particularly unsafe.
The UJS and Bristol JSoc have consistently attacked me with a campaign of manufactured hysteria for two years, attempting to have me sacked. The campaign reached new heights of absurdity when a Zionist activist pretended to be a student in one of my classes for which she was not registered, expressly for the purpose of political surveillance.
This is an age-old Israel lobby tactic imported from the US, where academics are routinely harassed for teaching about Zionism and its effects. To be clear, this campaign of censorship, which has attacked British universities, political parties and public institutions, is directed by the State of Israel. Any similar attempt by another racist, militaristic foreign regime — such as Israel’s allies in Saudi Arabia or the UAE — to decide what is taught and who is employed in British universities would be laughed out of the room. Israel and its advocates deserve the same treatment.

Statement by David Miller at ‘Building the Campaign for Free Speech’ event, 13/2/21
(Transcript from 2:00:) But you know the enemy we face here is Zionism and the imperial policies of the Israeli state […] It didn’t start with the Labour Party. It’s not started with the Labour Party and moved to the universities. It’s an all-out onslaught by the Israeli government, mainly through the Ministry of Strategic Affairs but also other ministries too, on the left globally […] This is an all-out attack by the Israeli government. It’s not something to do with the Labour Party really. The Labour Party is, you know, a mere detail of this attempt by the Israelis to impose their will all over the world, and that’s I think is what we should recognize. It’s not just a question of being allowed to say Zionism is bad or Zionism is racism, which of course we should be allowed to say because, you know, it is. But it’s not just a question of that, it’s a question of how we defeat the ideology of Zionism in practice. How do we make sure the Zionism is ended essentially, and I mean there’s no other way than saying that. It’s not enough for us to say Zionism is racism, Israel is a settler colonial society. These are these are arguments we might make, yes, but the aim of this is not just to say things but to end settler colonialism in Palestine and to end Zionism as an ideology, as a functioning ideology of the world.
(From 6:10) As some of you will know I’ve been attacked and complained about by the head of the Bristol Jsoc, the Jewish society, along with the President of the Union of Jewish Students, both of which organizations are of course formally members of the Zionist movement. The Jsocs are all part of the UJS, and the UJS is a member of the World Union of Jewish Students, which is a direct member of the World Zionist Organization, and in its constitution the UJS of course mentions being pro-Israel. So those kinds of complaints being made across the country in different places, the one against me in Bristol, there’s been one in Warwick again made by a UJS or Jsoc person and there have been several others. And we will continue to see this attempt to drive [out] the possibility of anybody speaking out about Palestine or about what Zionism is or having any kind of critical account of Zionism as racism or colonialism etc.
(From 7:50) You know, the complaint about me was about a lecture that I gave on Islamophobia where I said that one of what I’ve called the five pillars of Islamophobia is parts of the Zionist movement. Now this is simply a matter of fact. The Zionist movement, parts of it, are engaged in deliberately fostering Islamophobia. It’s fundamental to Zionism to encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism too.

CST calls Bristol University an ‘utter disgrace’ for response to complaint about lecture, Jewish Chronicle, 9/9/19
Professor Miller told the Sunday Telegraph [link] that it was “simply a matter of fact” that “parts of the Zionist movement are involved in funding Islamophobia” […]
It was, he said, “a matter of public record that Islamophobic organisations and movements are in receipt of funding from specific groups and individuals. Some of these are also prominent in the Zionist movement.”

Bristol professor: CST is a case of ‘influence-peddling by a foreign state’, Jewish News, 3/8/20
Following the event, Professor Miller responded to Jewish News, saying: “The CST [Community Security Trust] received £14 million this year from public funds. This is an organisation that exists to run point for a hostile foreign government in the UK. Rather than being funded by the British state, it should be under investigation for its ties with the State of Israel.
“This is a straightforward story of influence-peddling by a foreign state. In particular, a state that has tried to dictate the outcome of the past two general elections, and by any yardstick, succeeded to a great extent.”

Statement by David Miller at ‘Campaign for Free Speech’ event, 28/7/20
(Transcript from 46:57) There is of course much we can do to engage in Palestine solidarity work, as many people are doing. But also we must of course engage the enemy in this, which is not just of course the British government and US imperialism, but the Zionist movement. The Zionist movement and the Israeli government are the enemy of the left, the enemy of world peace, and they must be directly targeted. And I know people say “We must just engage in Palestine solidarity”. Yes of course we must but, let’s be clear, that’s not enough. In order for the Palestinians to win, Zionism, as a philosophy, as an idea, as an ideology must be defeated and that seems to me to be the clarity which the current historical moment gives us.

Lecturer David Miller quits ‘Zionist’ Labour Party, Times, 16/6/20
Professor Miller, a professor of political sociology at the University of Bristol, blamed his “targeted harassment” on “the degree of influence that Zionist advocates and lobbyists for Israel have over disciplinary processes and party policy”. He said he had received two letters from Labour warning that he may be in breach of rules and that the allegations had nothing to do with antisemitism but “much to do with my record of evidence-based research on the Zionist movement and its influence on the British left and British politics more widely”.

Bristol professor attacks Starmer over “Zionist” money, Jewish Chronicle, 27/4/20
David Miller — Professor of Political Sociology in the School for Policy Studies — made his remarks after taking part in an online broadcast hosted by former Labour MP Chris Williamson, entitled ‘Debate on the contents of and fallout from the #LabourLeaks document’ […]
Addressing the controversial leaked report, Professor Miller said: “We are obviously not going to get a proper investigation of this by Comrade Starmer or by Lisa Nandy — who have been in receipt of money from the Zionist movement, from Trevor Chinn.
“And connections between the Zionist movement and the current leadership of Labour Party — it’s not the only people they have connections with.
“Many other super rich people have given them money, hedge fund owners and the like — but a significant element of support has come from the Zionist movement.”

The five pillars of Islamophobia, David Miller et al, Open Democracy, 8/6/15
Social movements from above, including the far right and elements of the neo-conservative and Zionist movements, play an important active role in fostering anti-Muslim racism.
We will not turn back the tide of Islamophobia only by confronting the threat of UKIP in politics, or the EDL and other parts of the transnational ‘counter-jihad movement’ on the streets. We also need to focus our attention on elements of the (also transnational) neo-conservative and Zionist movements which provide information, ‘research’ and advocacy which can drag the state and politics to the right and sharpen Islamophobic polices, as we have seen in the UK with the revision of the ‘Prevent’ programme in 2010 (drawing on the material of the neo-conservative Centre for Social Cohesion) and in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Sussex

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