Featured Image: Does the bridge to academic freedom at Bristol University have Zionist gatekeepers?

by Stuart Littlewood, VT Scotland

[ Editor’s Note: It appears the Zionist Lobby in Britain has been busy with its academic jihad on university campuses to crush dissent or criticism of Israel’s long abuse of the Palestinian people.

Bristol University has recently shown it is fully on board by providing welcome hunting ground to Israeli activists going after the ‘inconvenient professor’ that waded into the many decades old dispute over the lack of Palestinian rights.

Is this a form of political terrorism, enacted under a safe umbrella by a British political structure that has allowed itself to be compromised?

If the situations were reversed and Palestinian natives had countless Jews being held in an open air prison camps, would not Jewish professors that were covering the crime in the classroom be considered righteous souls? What has England done to its Jewish citizens to have them lynch British professors discussing a now multi-generational controversy?

Stu Littlewood brings us the story today that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. It is a story that VT readers are long familiar with, as we all have informal Ph.Ds. on Zionist abuse in its efforts to continue their crushing the Palestinians into their native soil.

And mind you, the vast majority of Jews living there do not have any more semitic DNA than I do, and I have more that the Russian immigrant Likudites, who have zero.

The atheist and communist Jews that attacked and conquered Palestine by force have DNA from the Khazarian region where there is no record to their connection to the land of Israel whatsoever, other than their theft and exploitation.

Anti-semites did not force post WWII Jews to do this. The latter volunteered to do it to the Palestinians. The problem historically when this happens is the perpetrator tends to like what he is doing and claims a right to it… Jim W. Dean]

The storming of the Temple

by Stuart Littlewood, VT Scotland

David Miller is – or was until the other day – professor of Political Sociology at the University of Bristol. He specialises in terrorism and propaganda.

According to Wiki, he’s a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which gained attention and attracted criticism for disputing reports about the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War and for its claims that the Syrian White Helmets staged false flag attacks in order to trigger Western retaliation against the Syrian regime.

His recent research has focused on sources of Islamophobia in the UK and the Israel lobby’s role in this. In February, Miller wrote a piece for The Electronic Intifada in which he said that “Britain is in the grip of an assault on its public sphere by the state of Israel and its advocates”.

He referred to “the time-honoured tactic of smearing any critic of Israel or Zionism as an ‘anti-Semite’ or a ‘self-hating Jew’ on the basis that Zionism is somehow a facet of Jewish identity rather than a racist, modern political ideology with secular origins premised on ethnic cleansing and anti-Arab racism.”

He explained how he established the UK’s lobbying watchdog, Spinwatch, which has spent 15 years “tracking the nefarious effects of the fossil fuel lobby, the pharmaceutical lobby, the tobacco lobby, as well as state lobbies that promote Islamophobia, such as those of Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

“And it is this exposure of Zionist Islamophobia that most terrifies Israel’s fanatical advocates, particularly as the Israel lobby repositions itself from defending against accusations of Israeli war crimes to an offensive designed to rebrand Zionism – absurdly and ahistorically – as a “Jewish liberation movement.”

Incoherent excuse from Uni management

He was summarily dismissed earlier this month, the University saying in a statement that,

“A disciplinary hearing found Professor Miller did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff…. The University regards the principle of academic freedom as fundamental and would like to reiterate that we take any risk to stifle that freedom seriously.

The investigation included an independent report from a leading Queen’s Counsel who considered the important issue of academic freedom of expression and found that Professor Miller’s comments did not constitute unlawful speech.” Miller himself said the unnamed lawyer’s report “explicitly determined” that his remarks “were not anti-Semitic.”

The stated reason for sacking him doesn’t add up, so why do it? Because pressure from the Israel lobby had been mounting. According to Jewish Voice for Labour “the termination of Miller’s contract results from continuing pressure over two full years.

The initial complaint came from an activist Jewish student not registered on his course who had nevertheless taken the decision to attend one of his lectures.

“But pressure for his dismissal only became intense in February 2021 following remarks he made during a webinar, which exaggerated the power and reach of Israel and its supporting ideology of Zionism…. The Campaign Against Antisemitism has throughout played a particularly active part in the claims that Professor Miller had promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Following the webinar Bristol’s mayor Marvin Rees took up the issue, and Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire described Miller’s conduct as “completely unacceptable….I’m following this appalling behaviour by a Bristol university lecturer up with the university”.

Debbonaire has an MSc in Social Responsibility, but judging from her remark we’ll get little of that from her.

On top of this over 100 MPs and peers wrote to the University saying “Professor Miller has brought your university into disrepute, you must now act before any further damage is done”. And Education Secretary Gavin Williamson weighed in with “I do not expect universities to tolerate racists”.

Added to which a long list of right-wing figures, anti-Palestinian activists and Israel lobbyists pressed for Miller to be fired. The university responded by announcing it had launched an investigation.

But more than 300 academics and public intellectuals pushed back with an open letter to the University in support of Miller and his work, signed by well known figures such as Noam Chomsky, dissident Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, filmmaker Ken Loach and comedian Alexi Sayle.

“We feel duty-bound to express our solidarity with Professor Miller and to oppose such efforts to crush academic freedom,” the letter stated, and went on:

“The attacks on Professor Miller stem from a lecture on Islamophobia that he gave to students at the University of Bristol two years ago. In the most recent instance of this harassment, Professor Miller was approached to provide a statement on Israel-Palestine.

When he responded honestly to the query, well-orchestrated efforts were made to misrepresent these responses as evidence of anti-Semitism. A call was then made to the University of Bristol to deprive him of his employment.

“We oppose…. false allegations and the weaponisation of the positive impulses of anti-racism so as to silence anti-racist debate…. Efforts to target, isolate and purge individuals in this manner are aimed at deterring evidence-based research, teaching and debate.”

Jewish students ‘made to feel unsafe’?

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, as usual, threw their weight around. In February the BoD’s website stated that in a letter to Vice Chancellor Professor Hugh Brady, president Marie van der Zyl said that Miller’s “increasingly hysterical attacks on British Jewish organisations are now raising the prospect of real physical harm.”

She added that some of his rants “would not look out of place on the pages of Der Stürmer”, the propaganda newspaper of Nazi Germany.

In August she emailed Brady requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the British Jewish community’s “deep concern at the ongoing situation regarding David Miller” and his “inflammatory behaviour”.

She found it unsettling that the University seemed set to “allow Mr Miller to resume his teaching for the coming academic year while the investigation into his deeply disturbing conduct is still ongoing…. Mr Miller must be suspended from his position while the investigation into his conduct is ongoing.

Failure to do so will cause the UK Jewish community to assume that either the University is not taking the behaviour exhibited by Mr Miller seriously, or, perhaps even worse, that this entire investigation is a sham…. The University appears to be suggesting it believes that by pretending no problem exists, the anger and disquiet surrounding this issue will disappear. I feel the need to emphasise that this is not going to happen.”

Later, reacting to the decision to sack Miller, van der Zyl said: “The University of Bristol has made the correct – albeit long overdue – decision…. This announcement sends a clear message to any academics who use their positions at respectable institutions in order to spread conspiracy theories and make Jewish students feel unsafe. Free speech should not include hate speech.”

At no point does van der Zyl explain what is anti-Semitic about Miller’s comments or why Jewish students are entitled to special protection to ward off any discomfort they may feel from other people’s legitimate views about the Jewish State’s crimes.

Reason for sacking vague and unexplained

JVL notes that the University’s statement on the sacking is “vague in almost every respect” but “crystal clear” that the investigation included legal opinion from a Queen’s Counsel who found that Miller’s comments did not constitute unlawful speech.

“The University’s statement in fact does not attribute Miller’s sacking to anything that he has said either in lectures or public pronouncements (nor indeed to the content of his research).

Despite the impression given by The Times and Times Higher Education, Bristol University’s decision is not based on a finding of antisemitism, or of any other form of hate speech…. The grounds that we are offered by Bristol are just these: that the hearing ‘found Professor Miller did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff’. This is the sum total of explanation.”

Jonathan Cook, writing in his blog, warns that “the Israel lobby appears to be readying for a campaign to root out left-wing academics in the UK critical of Israel’s continuing oppression of the Palestinian people – echoing its efforts against the previous leader of Britain’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn”.

He refers to an editorial in the Jewish Chronicle headlined “Miller’s sacking should be the beginning, not the end” and concluding that “Miller is not some lone voice but representative of a school of thought embedded in almost every part of academia.”

According to the JC David Miller was already “a dangerous crank” before he was hired by Bristol and the University “spent years defending him on spurious grounds of free speech…. treating those who raised objections to his behaviour with contempt”.

The JC’s simultaneous front page story ‘Miller is gone but he is only tip of the iceberg’
reports that Jewish student groups have hailed the sacking of “incendiary” David Miller by the University of Bristol as the conclusion of “months and years of tireless campaigns”.

Campus leaders from the Union of Jewish Students and Bristol JSoc expressed their “delight” that action had finally been taken over the “harassment, targeting, and vicious diatribe” by the professor.

The story roundly condemns the numerous academics who have publicly supported Miller and quotes the Campaign Against Antisemitism as saying they had launched proceedings against the university over alleged unlawful harassment on the basis of Jewish ethnicity and Judaism, which could potentially have breached the Equalities Act, and that several Bristol students were acting as complainants in the litigation.

The action is being brought over claims made by Miller on a 2021 online seminar (webinar) that the “Zionist movement” is “the enemy” that must be engaged, and that Zionists must therefore be “directly targeted”.

Cook remarks that the lobby struggled to disguise its glee that, apparently fearful of bad publicity, Bristol University capitulated to a campaign of unsubstantiated claims that Miller “harassed” Jewish students.

Sending a chill down the spines of academics who expose Zionist racism

And Asa Winstanley in The Electronic Intifada writes that the Support David Miller Campaign suggests the University, by sacking Miller, is sending a message that it will protect racists, and that Muslims, Black students and Palestinians are not welcome at Bristol.

In a statement the campaign said University’s decision was “designed to send a chill down the spines of academics around the world who expose Zionist racism” and came after pressure from Israel’s assets in the UK. Miller himself said that the decision to fire him was “taken under pressure from the Israel lobby” which he said “lobbies for a hostile foreign state. The university has embarrassed itself.”

While the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation, the Jewish Labour Movement and the Community Security Trust were all baying for Miller’s blood, Winstanley reported that the Israeli government itself got involved in the mudslinging and in February mobilised its troll army Act.IL (Online Community for Israel), which is funded and directed by an Israeli ministry, to attack an opinion piece by Al Jazeera defending Miller and, despite having no evidence, to smear him as guilty of “blatant Jew-hatred”.

Star Chamber methods?

I have two questions:

(1) Who sat on the University’s disciplinary committee? Names please so that they can be held accountable for the hurt they’ve caused. There’s a strong whiff of Star Chamber about all this and I doubt if they’ll have a leg to stand on when it goes to appeal or tribunal.

(2) Can someone please provide the independent report saying David Miller’s remarks “did not constitute unlawful speech” and publish it? Was David given a copy, as he should have been?

The Uni’s management says: “In line with ACAS guidance, such internal processes should remain confidential.” This is cheeky from a top educational institution which has lamentably failed to uphold the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing freedom of expression not only with regard to information or ideas that are inoffensive, but also to those that shock or disturb.

The words of Miko Peled, the Israeli general’s son and now a vocal campaigner for Palestinian rights, should be ringing in the ears of everyone in academia, politics and Parliament:

“They are going to pull all the stops, they are going to smear, they are going to try anything they can to stop Corbyn…. the reason anti-Semitism is used is because they [the Israelis] have no argument….”

Well, the Israel lobby’s vile methods succeeded in stopping Corbyn, a leader with a powerful following, but only due to his own stupidity. Is Academia now going to allow weak leadership to bow to bigots mouthing the diktats of Miller’s ‘hostile foreign state’?

Stuart Littlewood
18 October 2021

Author Details
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.
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5 COMMENTS

  1. They have been licking the feet of Cursed Usurers since the Industrial Revolution. All because they got greedy to make more money and landed up in Usurers’ hell. Have you seen a photograph in which British Crown Prince is pocked in his chest by a Usurer?

  2. ” Well, the Israel lobby’s vile methods succeeded in stopping Corbyn, a leader with a powerful following, but only due to his own stupidity. “. Here I disagree with Stuart Littlewood. Corbyn had to go softly softly because as with Tories so with Labour vast majority of Labour MPs are ” Friends of Israel “. When he was chosen leader by the constituents he found that he could not find enough MPs to form his Shadow Cabinet He was expecting to win by the large majority which did not happen. Not because of him, his manifesto or elections but because of some kind of unknown factor. Do we not see how LIE became Truth in Professor Miller’s case. The same is possible in the politics of ” Parliamentary Democracy “.

  3. I wish that I could claim surprise at this campaign to silence a brave critic of the Zionist onslaught on Palestine and the people there, many of whom have family roots there going back centuries and more even millennia. Their displacement and disenfranchization has rendered them right less and as refugees in their ancient homeland. Are there actually those in the University of Bristol who condone the type of brutal treatment the Palestinians have endurred. The willful shooting & murder of unarmed children peacefully protesting the prison like conditions of life in Gaza to absolute lose of control of their homes & land by the armed IDF forces enforcing an apartheid situation of second class life on every man, woman and child on the land of their birthright. This dismissal is a slap in the face of all who value freedom of life and speech and opinoon’s on violent life under occupation. This must not stand!

  4. Soon Y’all will be bending over and licking
    some Israeli feet.
    I will let Menachen Begin explain:
    “Our race is the Master Race. We J*ews are divine Gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.” – Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a speech to the Knesset quoted in “Begin and the Beasts,” New Statesman, June 25, 1982 by Amnon Kapeliouk

  5. I certainly hope Mr Miller is taking legal action against the evil children of lucifer campaign pressure group success of depriving him of his enshrined freedom of speech. When it starts, I’m quite willing to give a donation to offset legal cost.