Sacked Bristol professor's sick 'Zionist lies' slurs are unfathomably cruel

Watching the footage David Miller shared of my family's terror and loss filled me with fear and fury

November 03, 2023 11:20

On Tuesday night my husband picked up his Israeli cousin and aunt from the train station in Brighton. They had fled their Tel Aviv home shortly after sitting shiva for their 18-year-old relative Ma’ayan Idan – murdered in front of her parents in her home in Nahal Oz by Hamas terrorists. The terrorists then live-streamed the family’s trauma on Ma’ayan’s mother’s Facebook for all the family to see. Hamas gorged on their grief. They wanted to torture everyone that loved the family.

It was one of the first horrific videos that many saw after the news of the 7/10 attacks came out. Ma’ayan’s traumatised siblings and parents, still in their pyjamas. Sitting on the floor as shots ring out and sirens blare. The youngest child, Shachar, pleads: “I wanted her to stay alive.”

Ma’ayan’s father Tsachi, who had tried desperately to save her as she died in his arms, attempts to comfort the children. He is visibly broken. Hamas abducted him to Gaza still drenched in the blood of his eldest. Stole him from them when they needed him most. 

Four days earlier it had been Ma’ayan’s 18th birthday. The balloons that still floated in the house transformed from reminders of joy and celebration to eerie echoes of a life before terror. The home now harboured horrors.

Yesterday, as I prepared to see our refugee Israeli family, David Miller – a sacked University of Bristol professor – posted on X that the maltreatment of hostages taken by Hamas were “Zionist lies”. He shared an interminably long thread of hostage imagery from a Hamas propagandist: An elderly woman forced to hold a weapon and grin. A baby with a pale traumatised face, covered in cuts and scratches, bounced on the hip of a masked murderer. A thread constructed to whitewash Hamas as caring kidnappers. 

Video after video of hostages brutalised and humiliated. Then I saw a familiar sight that cut to my heart and sank my stomach. Clothing I recognised. A scene burned into my subconscious forever. It was the video that Hamas had live-streamed from Ma’ayan’s mother’s phone to her Facebook. The video of their fear and loss and terror. 

The clip on the thread Miller shared is accompanied by the sick claim that Hamas are reassuring the family they won’t kill them. Just out of shot is Ma’ayan’s lifeless body. You can see the blood on Tsachi’s hands. Nausea spiralled and after a few seconds I had to stop watching. I still feel the bone-deep chill. The tremor of both fear and fury. 

This is not the first time our family has come into David Miller’s sights. He identified my husband by name on the Iran state-affiliated PressTV show in which he appears regularly. He accused my husband of being a “lobbyist” and part of a conspiracy to “bully the BBC” into retracting a claim that young Jewish victims of an antisemitic incident on Oxford Street were themselves racist. It was a shocking incident and the BBC eventually recognised failures in their reporting. They were chastised by both internal review and Ofcom.

Miller identifying my husband in this manner was deeply unsettling. Yet, sinister as that was, it did not feel as painful or as threatening. To spit on Ma’ayan’s murder as “Zionist lies”. To claim that her father Tsachi was treated well as he was stolen from his family covered in his daughter’s blood. Hamas still hold him. Gali, his wife, says she will bleed until he is back: “Tsachi has to be here and to mourn his daughter. I need to hug him.” 

Since I voiced my outrage online today about Miller’s post, he has responded by saying “no-one wishes your family ill will”. The most obscene gaslighting given one is dead and the other a hostage.

Today we will be with our family. Together in love and loss. David Miller should be ashamed to erase that pain in service of the psychopathic perpetrators. It is an unfathomable cruelty. How dare he.

November 03, 2023 11:20

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