Professor David Miller has terrified Jewish students for years. It’s time for the university to take action.
The last 24 hours has been a whirlwind for Jewish students at the University of Bristol (UOB). In a video released last week David Miller, a sociology Professor at the University of Bristol, called for an “end of Zionism”. His comments have shaken all Jews and Jewish allies at Bristol.
Since this video was released Miller has doubled down on his comments. In a statement sent to reporters at The Tab Bristol, Miller declared Zionism a “racist, violent, imperialist ideology premised on ethnic cleansing.” He suggested that Bristol JSoc had “manufactured hysteria” and our campaign again his had rendered Arab and Muslim students “unsafe”. He further claims our “lobby tactics” are “directed by the State of Israel”.
As a Jewish UOB student I am appalled and saddened by this. I can personally reassure David Miller that my complaints have not been “manufactured by campus-based lobby groups”. As cool as it would be to be a secret Israeli operative, I can assure Miller that myself and the rest of the JSoc committee are ordinary students and we are not on the payroll of Mossad. I spend most nights writing essays, watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race and doodling. Exciting I know!
Two years ago Bristol JSoc launched a complaint against Miller after a Jewish student came forward and described their experiences in his classroom (on the condition of anonymity).
“I was one of the only Jewish students in David Miller’s class. Honestly it was scary because he is a teacher so people believed the anti-Semitism he was spreading. I was scared because I am one voice and felt I couldn’t stand up to him or tell him what he was saying was wrong.”
In Miller’s Harms of the Powerful module he claimed the “Zionist movement (parts of)” were pillars of islamophobia. He also attempted to link various British Jewish organisations to the state of Israel. As a Jewish student, this conspiratorial spider’s web of arrows and organisations was grimly reminiscent of antsemitic tropes where Jews are accused of having unique power and influence over political affairs.
Since then Miller has faced no repercussions for his comments. Jewish students have felt ignored and neglected by the University of Bristol. I have watched with frustration as the University has failed us time and time again. .
I am tired of waiting for the University to act. Instead of working on my dissertation like any normal third year I have spent the best part of this week dealing with racists because the University of Bristol is too slow to act.
I have decided to take a definitive stand against Miller. Yesterday I started a petition calling for his dismissal. Right now the petition has 1100+ signatures but it needs your help. The Jewish community is beautiful and resourceful. If the university refuses to take action and protect it’s students, then it is up to us Jews to make a stand. Please lend us your support and sign this petition.