Dear Bristol University Board of Governors,
I have decided to write this in light of everything going on with David Miller.
It takes me back to my own time at Bristol University as a sociology student. I “graduated” in 2010. I did not attend my own graduation since I was so depressed and ashamed when I received my results.
I tried to deny that it could be in any way related to the subject I chose for my dissertation, my last name or place of birth. My dissertation was about the IDF and I even appealed since the grading and feedback made no sense.
I received little help in the matter and actually was even questioned as to whether I have evidence for not attending my graduation ceremony during the appeal process.
I moved back to Israel two months after finishing my studies at Bristol to work on a book after speaking to the historian Martin Gilbert. Today I am an entrepreneur in Tel Aviv with artists and customers from around the world including Palestinians and Israelis.
When I read the news and hear David Miller, I feel saddened. In this video, specifically 5:45, when David says there is not a serious problem of antisemitism in the UK, he is being anti-semitic. By denying it, he is expressing to his audience and followers information that is incorrect. “After the 2019 figures from the Community Security Trust (CST) revealed a record high of 1,805 antisemitic incidents in the UK for the year.” Written by Martin Armstrong in February 2021.
In minute 6:30, Miller explicitly connects between Judaism and Zionism. They are two separate identities. I find it ironic that I need to explain to a sociologist the difference and even more ironic after re-reading my dissertation which is actually diving into the difference.
I actually quote David Miller’s book On Nationality in my dissertation multiple times. Miller argues that even though “every nation must have a homeland, it is by no means that every member should have been born there” and immigrants need to prove to their new society that they are “made of the right stuff” (1975: 26).
I am not proud of all the government’s actions in Israel and await a new leader. I dream of peace. Yet, to quote Miller, I am proud of being “made of the right stuff.” Standing up for my identity, when it is needed. I feel appalled to think I possibly received a lower grade than deserved for a very objectively written dissertation.
11 years later I stand by those that request for David Miller to be removed from the staff of Bristol University.
Currently, a not-so-proud alumni member of Bristol University, yet grateful that you read these words and also grateful for the friends I made in my time there.
Looking forward to your response and thank you!
While I have not heard back from the University yet, I am optimistic there will be a reply. In the meantime, may the words push the fight towards a brighter light.