Prof. Miller, a conspiracist whom Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring for years, recently added to his record of inflammatory comments about the Jewish community with the assertion that “Zionism is racism” and a declaration that his objective is “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world”. Most egregiously, he also suggested that Jewish students, by virtue of being Zionist, “encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”.
Prof. Miller’s comments and the University’s reaction have been the subject of a great deal of attention from the Jewish community as well as Parliament, including a written question by Lord Austin, an honorary patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has been providing ongoing support to students at Bristol.
Now, the University of Bristol has confirmed that it is investigating Prof. Miller. In a statement, the University said: “We can confirm that the University has already initiated an investigation into this matter. The investigation is being carried out in accordance with the University’s internal process and, as we have explained in a previous statement, that process is confidential. In particular, it is not appropriate for the University to make any comment on this matter while the investigation we have referred to is underway.
“Our freedom of speech policy underlines the vital importance of the right of staff and students, as members of a free and democratic society, to speak openly without fear of censorship or limitation, provided that this right is exercised responsibly, within the law, and with respect for others who may have differing views.
“The University’s clear and consistently held position is that bullying, harassment, and discrimination are never acceptable. We remain committed to providing a positive experience for all our students and staff, including by providing a welcoming environment for Jewish students, and to fostering good relations and an inclusive University community.”
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.
“You do not need to be a member of the Jewish community to understand that this crank conspiracy theorist has no place in academia. We are pleased to see that the University has opened an investigation and await the results. In the meantime, we will continue to provide support for Jewish students on campus and take steps to ensure their wellbeing.”
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].