Bristol professor calls for 'end' of Zionism

David Miller also launched a direct attack on Jewish student groups at a campaign event over the weekend


Bristol University’s Professor David Miller has called for the “end” of Zionism as a “functioning ideology of the world” after launching an astonishing attack on the Jewish student groups who have lodged formal complaints about his conduct.

Speaking at an online campaign event at the weekend Professor Miller said: “It’s a question of how we defeat the ideology of Zionism in practice. How do we make sure Zionism is ended essentially. There’s no other way of saying that.”

He then added: “It’s not enough to say Zionism is racism, Israel is a settler colonial society…  

“The aim of this is not only to say things but  to end settler colonialism in Palestine, to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the word.”

The sociology lecturer, who quit the Labour Party last year after being suspended following a claim Sir Keir Starmer took “Zionist” money, also used his speech at the Campaign For Free Speech event on Saturday to launch a direct attack on Bristol University’s JSoc and the  Union of Jewish Students.

He said he had been “attacked and complained about” by both organisations, but added “JSocs are all part of the UJS which is a direct member of the World Zionist Organisation.”

Professor Miller added: “Those kind of complaints are being made over the country – one against me in Bristol and there’s been one made in Warwick, again by UJS and several others.

“We will continue to see this drive to stop anyone speaking out against Palestine or having any critical account of Zionism as racism, as settler colonialism.…

“We have to fight back against that and the way to fight back is to organise proper debates to understand these issues and not to be fooled that there is some kind of liberal Zionist panacea which is not as bad as the IHRA… This a problem for freedom of speech and also for academic freedom.”

In further comments, Professor Miller claimed Israel was attempting to “impose their will all over the world.”

He suggested: “The enemy we face here is Zionism and the imperial policies of the Israeli state.

“Free speech is not the main problem here, it is a problem but not the main problem. It didn’t start with the Labour Party. It’s not started with the Labour Party and moved to the universities. It’s an all-out onslaught by the Israeli government.”

Jewish communal organisations, including the Community Security Trust, have previously lodged formal complaints to Bristol University about Professor Miller’s conduct.

An investigation by The Times last June also showed he had shared conspiracy theories about the White Helmet rescuers in Syria, the Salisbury bombings by Russia and the origins of coronavirus.

Last week, an investigation by the online publication Vice detailed the complaints made against Professor Miller in Bristol and the reluctance of the university to take action.

One student, named only as Sabrina, told Vice: “The bureaucracy of the university has been incredibly draining.

“It's been a year and a half since the first day we made a complaint, and we still are in the dark. And still, even with the emotional toll of 18 months, the university has offered no emotional support”. 

“The only support we’ve ever got is from specifically Jewish charities and organisations. It's been made the responsibility of Jewish charities to look after Jewish students. If charities weren't funding this, then it will be no emotional support for those students experiencing antisemitism. The university doesn’t know what Jewish students need, they don’t try to know. We’ve been left in the dark.”

The JC has contacted Bristol University for comment.



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