Letter from Jewish People in Support of David Miller

University of Bristol

JVL has been asked to draw your attention to this email appeal:

As you are aware, Professor David Miller is under attack for critical remarks he has made about Zionism. Demands are being made for his dismissal from the University of Bristol.

In December 2019, the university adopted the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. The former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, Antony Lerman, has noted that the IHRA definition prevents Palestinians from describing their experience of Zionism and compromises the fight against antisemitism. The author of the definition, US lawyer Kenneth Stern, has warned that it runs the risk of chilling free speech on campus. Earlier this month, this threat to academic freedom caused University College London to reject the IHRA definition.

Please join us in the campaign against censorship in UK universities by circulating this email and by adding your name to this letter (click on the link).

In solidarity

 

Comments (17)

  • Ms Sophie Hall says:

    I support an equal and fair society, therefore I support the right of Palestinian’s to live on their own land.

  • Susanne Levin says:

    If one person suffers we all suffer!

  • christian barnaby says:

    Zionist Israelis should remember history & treat all humans as equals.

  • Eileen Gibson says:

    There is no evidence against David Miller of Antisemitism. The inadequate IHRA definition is being weaponised by those who conflate criticism of Apartheid Israel with Antisemitism.

  • Dave Peck says:

    The IHRA definition should never have been adopted by any institution and should now be universally rejected. Its purpose is clearly to prevent any criticism of Israel and its Apartheid policies. No British university should have its policy dictated by any government and certainly not by Israel.

  • Rob says:

    Just another attack on free speech and another layer aimed at protecting those who should be held to account.

  • Bob Corrick says:

    It is not anti-semitic to criticise the government of Israel for their policies and acts that harm and discriminate against Israeli Arabs and Palestinians.

  • DJ says:

    Maximum solidarity is required here. The Israeli lobby are hell bent on destroying the career of David Miller. They will do literally anything to cancel pro-Palestinian perspectives from our campuses.

  • Thomas says:

    Corbyn is no antisemite.

  • Patrick says:

    Any policy or actions by any government, including that of Israel, that denies justice and human rights is to be condemned without reservation.

  • Jenny Kastner says:

    As a Jew of conscience I take particular offense at the suffocating of free speech by Zionist zealots.

  • Jason Hunt says:

    Solidarity!!!!

  • Tony Booth says:

    I am sorry that this call for support and letter is here. It is not from JVL but there is no indication of who is asking for signatures and it looks as if we in JVL support it. I presume it comes from Labour Against the Witch-hunt. I am uncomfortable with the heading “Letter from Jewish People in Support of David Miller” which tells non-Jewish readers and JVL solidarity members that the letter is not for them.

    There should be no censorship of robust portrayal and criticism of Zionism or of present and past Israeli policies including its foundation and use of propaganda. David Miller’s right to express his views should be defended. However, he states some foolish things with considerable force, which can easily be heard to echo antisemitic conspiracy. In a recent speech to Labour Against the Witch-hunt he overstates Israeli power in claims that Israel attempts to “impose their will all over the world”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrAlJl73NCQ
    I am reminded of Peter Beinart’s comment on Barak Obama’s rationale for the support he gave to Israel during his time in office in which he hides his furthering of US interests and the supply of arms to Israel behind his assertion of the force of an Israel lobby. https://jewishcurrents.org/obama-and-the-israel-lobby/ When David Miller says that we must “end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world”, he seems to be implying that Zionism is more significant than capitalism, or neoliberalism as an ideology constituting the global economic and social order. He appears to repeat an error that was not uncommon in response to the exaggerated allegations of antisemitism against the Corbyn-led Labour Party whereby the Israeli Lobby was thought to be a determining influence. This view underplayed the power of other groups within and beyond the Labour Party which used allegations of antisemitism to further their interests.

    I also have a concern about his castigating of Jewish students at his University for what he sees as their misplaced views when he has a duty of care towards them which requires a persistent readiness for gentle dialogue even while he feels deep disagreement with them.

  • Mat.w. says:

    Just how have we arrived at this position? More to the point why do we put up with it?
    Am I correct in thinking that Zionism is the only political agenda in the world that is not to be criticised in this country?

  • Diane Hughes says:

    All should be treated with respect and dignity. To call out a person or regime that denies any person equality and respect is not in my opinion antisemitism,. We must stop using as as a weapon because we dont want to hear words..

  • Sydney Kaminsky says:

    You are conflating the IHRA with David Miller’s comments which are anti- Semitic by any definition of the word. Prof. David Feldman (a leading expert on anti-Semitism) who opposes the use of the IHRA within the University sector for the reasons you stated, states clearly in his recent Ha’aretz article that Miller’s comments are anti-Semitic. Miller is self-evidently abusing his position as an academic and is intimidating Jewish students at the Bristol campus. His comments about Keir Starmer which saw him removed from the Labour party are part of a continued spate of anti-Semitic and conspiratorial tirades not just against Jewish Students but also anti-Assad Syrians in this country and anybody who opposes his other conspiratorial theories. Any Jewish person who supports the flagrant anti- Semitism of Miller should be ashamed of themselves. You do not in any way or form speak for the vast majority of Jews in this country and the name of your organisation in no way reflects the views of Jewish supporters of the Labour party ( and everybody who has been involved in tackling anti-Semitism within the party).

  • Eric Burke says:

    Many thanks!

Comments are now closed.