Mr Williamson, who was embroiled in scandals over antisemitism when he was in the Labour Party, introduced his Resistance movement several months ago by explaining that with the election of Sir Keir Starmer to the Labour leadership, many felt “politically homeless”, and that his new movement would use “culture, alternative media and street protest” to achieve its aims, with a ‘Resist Festival’ originally planned for June but now postponed to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Resist Festival was due to feature controversial speakers including the rapper Lowkey, the outspoken academic Noam Chomsky, the activist Max Blumenthal and representatives from the ‘yellow vest’ protests in France.
Mr Williamson resigned from the Labour Party in late 2019 after learning that he would not be allowed to stand for the Party in the General Election. His extraordinary letter of resignation from the Party read like a manifesto against Jews. He has described his erstwhile Party’s institutional antisemitism as “manufactured” and part of an “assault on our democracy” by a “hostile foreign government” to “normalise Zionism in the Labour Party”. Recently, he approvingly cited the rescinded United Nations General Assembly resolution that equated Zionism with racism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism can now reveal that the notorious lecturer, Prof. David Miller, is behind the Resistance movement. Prof. Miller is the sole director of a limited company called Festival of Resistance Limited, and he was also the sole director of a limited company called Campaign for Chris Williamson Limited, which was incorporated in July 2019, a few months before Mr Williamson was dropped by the Labour Party and ran as an independent candidate in the 2019 General Election, when he received so few votes that he lost his deposit — a rarity for an incumbent MP.
Prof. Miller, a sociology lecturer at the University of Bristol, has a history of spouting conspiracy theories about various Jewish community organisations and figures that has reportedly discomfited his Jewish students. In a presentation titled “Harms of the Powerful”, for example, Prof. Miller suggested that the “Zionist movement” is one of the “five pillars” of hatred of Muslims (redolent of the five pillars of Islam) and is bankrolled by “ultra Zionist funders”.
He has also claimed that Sir Keir is “in receipt of money from the Zionist movement” and therefore is “obviously not going to” conduct “a proper investigation” into the leaked Labour report into the handling of antisemitism cases at Party headquarters. The remarks were apparently made after he took part in an online broadcast with Mr Williamson. Prof. Miller also talked about what he referred to as the “witch hunt” against Labour members accused of antisemitism, appearing alongside controversial activists Asa Winstanley and Kerry-Anne Mendoza, the editor of The Canary, which is presently under investigation by the Government’s Independent Advisor on Antisemitism.
A recent programme on “Resistance TV”, the Resistance movement’s Youtube channel, featured Mr Williamson and expelled Labour members Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein and Mark Wadsworth, as well as Mr Blumenthal. It is understood that Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London and another former Labour Party member with a history of controversy relating to Jews, was due to participate as well but was too unwell to do so.
In a recent discussion with Mr Winstanley, who also quit the Labour Party following his suspension, Prof. Miller revealed some of his other bizarre conspiratorial ideas, including that Jewish interfaith dialogue with Muslim groups represents an Israeli-backed “Trojan horse” initiative to “normalise Zionism in the Muslim community”.
He stated: “…they’ve done this through interfaith work, pretending that Jews and Muslims working working together will be an apolitical way of countering racism and misunderstandings. No! It’s a Trojan Horse for normalising Zionism in the Muslim community. And we saw it, in East London Mosque for example, where East London Mosque held this project of making chicken soup with the Jewish and Muslim communities coming together. This is an Israeli-backed project to normalise Zionism withiin the Muslim community — and they were doing that at the same time as they were doing the attack on Corbyn”.
Over the course of the discussion, Prof. Miller also accused Israel of working over many years to incorporate anti-Zionism into antisemitism through the International Definition of Antisemitism, which is now, he asserted, being used “as a stick” to beat the Labour Party, universities, students’ unions and local councils.
Were Prof. Miller ever inclined to consult ordinary mainstream British Jews, he would find broad endorsement of the Definition, which captures how the British Jewish community understands antisemitism. British Jews do not, as Prof. Miller implies, take marching orders from the Israeli Government. It is extraordinary how the University of Bristol, which has adopted the Definition, tolerates a professor who not only makes Jewish students deeply uncomfortable on campus due to his conspiratorial ramblings, but who also professes some expertise in the field of antisemitism without doing the most elemental sociological research into the community, relying instead on baseless fantasies.
Campaign Against Antisemitism was proudly at the forefront, along with Lord Pickles, of the effort to secure the adoption of the Definition by the British Government — the first in the world to do so — and is also leading the campaign for widespread adoption of the Definition by public bodies nationwide.
On 28th May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism showed that Labour Party candidates for Parliament in the 2019 general election accounted for 82 percent of all incidents of antisemitic discourse by parliamentary candidates.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.