One day someone will write a book about racism in the 21st century in the UK. Such a book will include aa chapter about online hate during the pandemic; and perhaps another about Brexit’s consequences.
And almost certainly, there will be a full chapter about David Miller. The former Labour Party member maintains that Sir Keir Starmer took “Zionist money”, that Jewish students societies are part of a worldwide Zionist conspiracy. From his Chair he calls for a (violent?) end of Israel and of Zionism “as a functional ideology of the world”, and while campaigning for free speech, stated: “It’s an all-out onslaught by the Israeli government.”
The readers of such a book will wonder how was it possible that in 2021 conspiracy theories were peddled by a Professor of Political Sociology. Someone will notice that most of his colleagues, Jewish and not, stood silently when a renowned sociologist gave this stuff academic respectability.
Someone else will wonder why there was almost no protest from the Jewish Left. You know: the colourful crowd of (mainly) Twitter accounts, such as Na’amod, JewDas, Yachad, Socialist Against Antisemitism that, we were authoritatively told, were “revitalising the Jewish Left”.
Almost no one of the driving forces behind such a massive revitalisation has taken a position against David Miller’s repulsive teaching, let alone spend words in defence of Bristol University’s Jewish students (I have been told there is one JewDas meme around. One meme. A massive effort, really)
Someone will wonder why those militants used to go up in arms against a cab driver when he occasionally retweets a saying by an Israeli politician, have allowed a University lecturer to teach for years that the local Union of Jewish students was part of a worldwide Islamophobic conspiracy.
Someone else will wonder why those who are on permanent mobilisation against the eviction of Bedouin families (only in Israel; discriminations against Bedouins in other countries do not matter, apparently) have literally nothing to say about a lecturer whose academic activity is shaped by the moral and political commitment “to end Zionism.”
How this goal will be achieved, one wonders. By locking the Zionists in a gulag in Siberia, the way things used to be done during the good old red days?
These are the questions that will be asked one day. And perhaps the answer will be that answer that we all already know. These non-Zionist entities remain silent in front of the abominable case of David Miller because it is proof of their failures.
Since Jeremy Corbyn’s times, we have been told that the right way to tackles antisemitism was “education and not repression”. A plethora of ambitious training programs set up by non-Zionists, anti-Zionists, and apologetic Zionist, has been advertised once they have been forced to admit that there is an antisemitism problem on the Left. With no result. Today, no one can mention one single individual whose antisemitic views have changed thanks to these educational efforts.
Indeed by now, on social media at least, someone already preaches that “we (that is they, ) must accept the company of “people who in the past have said antisemitic things”, a convoluted way (not) to say “antisemites”. They are so precious allies after all. And as per antisemitism, it will magically disappear after the revolution, together with all the other forms of abuse and intolerance. Meanwhile, let us suffer abuses from our comrades, because -you know-, it may sound more Christian than Jewish, but suffering antisemitism makes us Jews free.
David Miller’s uninterrupted antisemitic teachings show how antiZionism and anti semitism are nowadays largely indistinguishable. There is not “educational program” that can hide such a reality. Moreover, be serious: do you expect a Leftist academic such as David Miller Professor of Political Sociology in the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol. to admit he’s in need of education about antisemitism?
Members of JewDas, Na’amod, Yachad and similar organisations, together with their mentors, desperately hope that little attention will be paid to David Miller. Because they don’t like being told about their own failure.
But we see such a failure. And we hear their silence.
And we take notice.