David Miller targets Jewish primary school online

The anti-Zionist former Bristol professor posted the name and address of Jewish primary school


G2YGFX London, UK. 4th June, 2016. David Miller, Professor of Sociology at the University of Bath and co-founder of Public Interest Investigations, addresses the PREVENT, Islamophobia and Civil Liberties National Conference 2016 at Goldsmiths, University of London. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News

The anti-Zionist former Bristol professor David Miller has posted the name and address of Jewish primary school online, claiming it was promoting ethnic cleansing.

The north London school – which the JC has decided not to name – has been forced to take extra advice from both the police and the Community Security Trust (CST) to protect its children and staff.

It is understood that the school has taken on additional security guards, while its premises are swept regularly for bombs. The headteacher said he could not discuss the matter following advice from the police.

Miller’s article has prompted claims that a recent employment tribunal – which ruled he was unfairly dismissed by Bristol University and that his anti-Zionist beliefs were “protected” – has emboldened Miller in his attacks on the Jewish community.

There is now mounting pressure on Bristol University to appeal the tribunal’s ruling but no sign it is prepared to do so.

Lord Mann, the government’s Adviser on Antisemitism, told the JC he was appalled by the online article and said it created “an increased risk of violence”.

The JC understands that Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is also deeply concerned.

A CST spokesman told the JC: “Ever since David Miller won his tribunal, he has become even more extreme and emboldened in his attacks on the Jewish community. 

“Rather than satisfying him, his victory seems only to fuelled his obsession. We have provided security advice and support to the school in question and to other people who Miller has targeted in his increasingly bizarre online rants.”

Miller’s article was published on the English website of the pro-Iranian Lebanese TV channel Al Mayadeen. Its headline said: “British charities and companies [were] funding the genocidal occupation forces in Gaza”.

The article went on to allege that members of “the British Jewish community” were “involving children in the promotion of genocide”, and that the “Jewish business class” was donating money to help Israel perpetrate its alleged crimes in Gaza.

According to Miller, “Zionist groups and organisations need to either disband, or immediately disaffiliate from the Zionist movement, and ordinary decent British citizens can help that process by having nothing to do with Zionist firms and groups until they do the decent thing.”

The school, Miller wrote, “appears to be a Zionist indoctrination centre. Let’s remind ourselves that this is a school for Jewish children aged 5-11, and the school appears to directly foster indoctrination and radicalisation of the young children who attend.”

Lord Mann said: “To start targeting primary schools hits a new low and creates an increased risk of violence. The police needs to examine whether this crosses into their powers of action. Miller would in normal times be seen as a fringe comedian, but in today’s tense atmosphere, there is a danger that sone fools will follow his lead.

“Having gone from targeting Jewish students to targeting Jewish primary schools, Miller is clearly in need of sone help.”

A government spokesman said: “This government has zero tolerance for antisemitism. Children and staff should feel safe when they are at school and we are in contact with the school to offer our support.”

Miller was sacked after Jewish students and the CST complained about lectures in which he claimed that Zionists, including the CST, were promoting anti-Muslim prejudice, and that Israel was “by definition a racist endeavour”. Among numerous further inflammatory statements, he also claimed that Jewish students were “being used as political pawns by a violent, racist foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing”.

The tribunal ruled three weeks ago that Miller had been unfairly dismissed because he had experienced discrimination for his anti-Zionist beliefs, which were protected as “philosophical belief” under the Equality Act. It found that any damages should be reduced by half because Miller had contributed to his own sacking, and was “culpable” for comments about Jewish students.
If Bristol is to appeal, it must begin the process by mid-March.

Jonathan Turner, Executive Director of UK Lawyers for Israel, said he believed Bristol would have grounds for appeal – the only legal mechanism for getting the case back into court: “Miller was sacked because of what he said about Jewish students, not his anti-Zionist views in themselves.” While the tribunal assumed he was dismissed because of his views, he added, the version of them contained in its ruling was “sanitised”.

Bristol University said it nothing to add to a statement it issued aftyer the ruling, when it said it was reviewing it.

Miller told the JC: “What puts the children of the school in danger is precisely the disgraceful radicalisation process which appears to have been going on at the school for some years. My reporting of the details of this issue is an attempt to protect young Jewish children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and – let us hope not – to being eventually recruited into the occupation army and engaging in genocide in the future.

“There are a large number of Jewish schools in the UK which are either openly ‘Zionist’ or significantly engaged in radicalising their students. Some of them abuse the children in their care by having them sing Hatikvah at morning assembly. This has to stop.”

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