Prof. Miller, a Professor of Political Sociology, has a history of peddling conspiracy theories relating to Jewish students, and the UCU statement was prompted by his latest outburst, when he asserted that “Zionism is racism”, declared his objective “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world” and accused the Bristol University Jewish Society of being part of a worldwide Zionist conspiracy, adding that it is “fundamental to Zionism to encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”. At the same online event, Prof. Miller also observed that the Jewish Society and the Union of Jewish Students are Zionist, thereby implying that Jewish students (and the wider Jewish community) inherently “encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”.
He also portrayed the International Definition of Antisemitism as an attack on free speech and accused the Israeli Government of engaging in an “all-out attack” on the global Left as part of an “attempt by the Israelis to impose their will all over the world”.
In comments reminiscent of the darkest years of the United Nations, Prof. Miller insisted that “Zionism is racism” and asked how “we defeat the ideology of Zionism in practice”, “how is Zionism ended” and about the way “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world”.
In its statement, UCU Scotland showed little regard for the anxieties of the concerned students involved, dismissing them as “Zionist lobby groups”. In addition, UCU Scotland have rejected the widely accepted International Definition of Antisemitism.
Prof. Miller is current being investigated by Bristol police over the incident.
This is not Prof. Miller’s first controversy in relation to Jews, antisemitism and Zionism. Last June, Campaign Against Antisemitism revealed that Prof. Miller was behind disgraced MP Chris Williamson’s Resistance Movement. The group aimed to give a home to the “politically homeless” politicians who had been expelled from the Labour Party for antisemitism, such as Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein and Mark Wadsworth.
Prof. Miller 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 suggested that Jewish interfaith dialogue with Muslim groups represents an Israeli-backed “Trojan horse” initiative to “normalise Zionism in the Muslim community”.
Prof. Miller has previously accused the current leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, of taking “Zionist money”, and he has talked about what he referred to as the “witch hunt” against Labour members accused of antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to the University of Bristol.
Binyomin Gilbert, Programme Manager at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “David Miller is a conspiracy theorist who believes that Bristol’s Jewish Society and the entire nationwide Jewish student body ‘encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism’. His teachings have been going on for years with no action taken despite deep ongoing concerns for the safety of Jewish students at Bristol University.”
Bristol University adopted the Definition in November 2019.
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail [email protected].