IHRA vs Jerusalem Declaration

Public meeting, April 21, 6.30pm

with introductions by Moshe Machover and Tony Greenstein

The widely discredited IHRA misdefinition has been used to purge thousands of left-wingers from the Labour Party and continues to “chill free speech” across the globe. But is the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ better? And should we campaign for it to be adopted by the Labour Party, universities etc?

Join this important debate – register here

  • Jerusalem Declaration here
  • IHRA working definition of antisemitism here
  • Labour Against the Witchhunt: Why we oppose the IHRA misdefinition of antisemitism here

Fantastic lobby in support of Professor David Miller and Free Speech

Labour Campaign for Free Speech
info@labourfreespeech.org.uk, www.labourfreespeech.org.uk 

Press release
March 31 2021

A coalition of Labour Left organisations and speakers came together outside Bristol University on March 31 for a ‘lobby in defence of academic freedom and Professor David Miller’. Around 50 protesters assembled at 2pm outside the Wills Memorial Building to express “solidarity and support for Professor Miller”.

Some of those present then moved on to Senate House to present the vice chancellor of the university with a petition in support of David Miller. Bristol University is currently investigating Professor David Miller, teacher of political sociology, for alleged antisemitism. 

Esther Giles of the Labour Campaign for Free Speech, which organised the event, reminded the audience that, “You don’t have to agree with Professor Miller. The point is that we want to defend Academic Freedom. These attacks on academic freedom are part of a pattern of restrictions advancing in society including attacks on freedom of speech and freedom to assemble and to protest. David Miller is under threat of suspension from his University job because he has expressed views with which some people disagree. Those who seek to get David fired from his job won’t stop there. Other academics will be targeted and possibly fired. And it won’t take much of this to persuade academics to stop speaking out for fear of losing their careers.” 

ESTHER GILES ©Simon Chapman 2021

Tina Werkmann from Labour Against the Witchhunt said: “David Miller merely stated the very unexciting fact that Jewish student societies (J-Socs) and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) are acting in support of the Israeli government. Surely that’s one of the main reasons why they exist. The UJS constitution states that the organisation’s core values include “inspiring” Jewish students to make an “enduring commitment” to Israel. The Al-Jazeera documentary ‘The Lobby’ showed that the Israeli government helps to fund the Union of Jewish Students.” 

Tina Werkmann ©Simon Chapman 2021

She further explained that “the Union of Jewish Students does not represent all Jewish Students, probably not even a majority. There are thousands of secular and non-Zionist and anti-Zionist Jewish students who are outraged by the crimes committed by the Israeli government against the Palestinians. Just like the Board of Deputies represents only a small percentage of all Jews in Britain, the UJS only represents a percentage of Jewish students. Many supporters of David Miller and the campaign for free speech are indeed Jewish.”

Dr. ELDIN FAHMY ©Simon Chapman 2021

Dr. Eldin Fahmy, Senior Lecturer of Policy Studies at University of Bristol and a colleague of Professor Miller, pointed out that “David Miller is a highly regarded expert on Islamophobia. He has been given pretty much the same lecture for many many years. There have never been any complaints. He has only come recently under fire, because the university has come under pressure and has been forced to adopt the working definition of antisemitism published by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. This conflates anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel with antisemitism. This is an important test case – should David Miller be sacked, this will result in even more attacks on academic freedom.”

Former Bristol graduate and member of Brighton Palestinian Solidarity Campaign Dr. SANDY KENNEDY ©Simon Chapman 2021

Sandy Kennedy, a former graduate from Bristol University, who has worked in an Israeli Kibbutz, made a very moving contribution: “The checkpoints in Israel are not there to check anything. They are there to dehumanise and oppress a whole people. I find it hard to believe that students in Bristol live in fear because of what David Miller has said. Real fear is the little boy, standing in front of one of these checkpoints, clutching the hand of his little sister, while a soldier shoves a gun in his face.”

Other speakers at the event included 

  • Rita Cangialosi, co-founder of Bristol’s Museum for Palestine
  • Dr.  Ron Mendel
  • Dr Rowland Dye
  • Pete Firmin of the Labour Representation Committee
  • Dr. Joseph O’Neill from Interfaith for Palestine
  • Hedley Bashforth, retired academic and chair (suspended) of Bristol North West CLP
  • Tony Gosling, Investigative Journalist from Bristol

Jewish Voice for Labour sent a message of support, which was read out at the lobby:  “The University of Bristol has come under huge pressure to sack one of its senior academics, Professor David Miller. The attack has concentrated on his public statements, which reiterate forcefully his analysis of the role and influence of Israel and of Zionism, its supporting political ideology. The demand for David Miller’s sacking has been substantially based on the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, a widely criticised document that should have no role in university governance. Undoubtedly there are people who have been offended by what he has said. But, in our view there is no supporting evidence to suggest that Miller’s views are motivated by antisemitism. And of course, there is no right not to be offended. Indeed, the freedom of expression of staff, of students and of visiting speakers is expressly protected by law. For the university to “cancel” his job would be a truly extreme case of no platforming. Jewish Voice for Labour calls on the University of Bristol to resist calls to sack David Miller.”

Film director Ken Loach sent a message of solidarity, which was read out: “Universities depend on the freedom within the law to challenge all ideologies and political movements. Professor Miller is renowned and respected for his rigorous analysis and considered judgements. His voice is important.  All are free to challenge his opinions but none should advocate their suppression. Everyone who cherishes free speech should stand with David Miller.”

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters also supports David Miller: “The Israeli Lobby and its supporters in certain factions of Keir Starmer’s “Blairite” apology for a Labour Party, use of false accusations of anti semitism, as its only defense of Israel’s illegal, racist, apartheid policies. That would be laughable were it not so insidious and effective. David Miller, like many other good men and women, who Keir Starmer has purged from the Labour Party, are the life blood of a real labour movement that believes in human rights, a party that must be free from censorship and foreign influence. Support David Miller and the rest of the good and true – the Labour movement depends on it”

For editors:

– Organisations in support of the March 31 action include Jewish Voice for Labour, Labour Campaign for Free Speech, Labour Against the Witchhunt, Labour Left Alliance, Labour in Exile Network, Support David Miller Campaign, Labour Representation Committee, Labour International Left Alliance, Bristol and West Labour Left Alliance and a number of local left groups.

– David Miller is also supported by the rapper Low Key, comedian Alexei Sayle, former Labour MP Chris Williamson and Middle Eastern expert, Professor Moshe Machover and messages of support from them were read out – they are available here: https://www.labourfreespeech.org.uk

– Hundreds of academics and Jewish supporters have signed two open letters in support of Miller, which are available on the website here: https://supportmiller.org

– More information about the day of action here:
https://www.labourfreespeech.org.uk/we-will-not-be-silenced-march-31-national-day-of-action-to-defend-academic-freedom-free-speech-and-the-right-to-protest-defend-david-miller/

We will not be silenced! March 31: National day of action to defend academic freedom and free speech! Defend David Miller!

Download the leaflet here in PDF format

The right to free speech and the right to protest are coming under increasingly brutal attack. Professor David Miller’s job at Bristol University is at stake, because he dared to speak out on Zionism. This is an important test case – should he be sacked, this will result in even more attacks on academic freedom.

Organisations in support include Jewish Voice for Labour, Labour Campaign for Free Speech, Labour Left Alliance, Labour in Exile Network, Support David Miller Campaign, Labour Representation Committee, Labour International Left Alliance, Bristol and West Labour Left Alliance and a number of local left groups.

The government is already threatening to defund universities who do not adopt the IHRA mis-definition of antisemitism, which even its author Kenneth Stern has described as having been abused to “chill free speech”.

The proposed policing bill would make it illegal to cause “serious annoyance” – with punishment of up to 10 years in jail. Worse than that, the law is to be applied even if “somebody is put at risk” of so-called “serious harm” (like ‘annoying’ somebody) – ie, if no action has taken place. The bill would make it an offence if just one person complains about feeling “serious distress…annoyance…[or even] inconvenience”.

Wednesday March 31
2pm: Lobby outside Wills Memorial Building, Bristol University, Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1QE

Right to protest under attack: We are more than ‘seriously annoyed’!

The right to protest, like the right to free speech, is coming under savage attack by the Tory government. 

The government’s 296-page policing bill would make it illegal to cause “serious annoyance” – with punishment of up to 10 years’ jail. Worse than that, the law is to be applied even if “somebody is put at risk” of such so-called “serious harm” – ie, when no action has actually taken place! 

The bill would make it an offence if just one person complains about feeling “serious distress…annoyance…[or even] inconvenience”.

This law could open the floodgates to vexatious complaints similar to what happened with the antisemitism smear campaign in the Labour Party – somebody could for example report “feeling at risk” by a criticism or a protest, which could result in police action and a prison sentence. 

We are more than ‘seriously annoyed’ by the bill – and because of the brutal enforcement of Covid restrictions by the police, we are not even allowed to protest against the plans (at least until March 29, when the ban on public demonstrations will be lifted – watch this space!)

The ruthless policing of the women’s protests at Camden, and the detainment of pro-Palestine protesters in Wolverhampton who were on their way to a protest, show that the government is already massively tightening the screws.

The right to free speech and to protest are the fundamental cornerstones of any democratic society. If we cannot protest, we are robbed of the most basic and elementary method of holding government to account.

Asa Winstanley: Don’t let the Israeli lobby fire David Miller

by Asa Winstanley, article first published in the Middle Eastern Monitor here

I first met sociology professor David Miller a decade ago. His depth of knowledge and thoughtful research impressed me right away.

At the time, I was reporting on the story of Raed Salah, a Palestinian Muslim preacher and political activist who was doing a small speaking tour in the UK. He had been the victim of a deliberate smear campaign and was briefly imprisoned.

Salah, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, had been granted a visa to the UK and entered the country in the normal fashion. But soon after, something changed. Israel’s agents and proxies in the UK were used to mount a smear campaign against Salah.

Disturbingly, it turned out that a British charity called the Community Security Trust (CST) was used as a go-between from Israel to the Home Office. Much of the information that the Home Office relied on upon its decision to rescind Salah’s visa seemed to have come from Israeli disinformation campaigns. For example, a poem that Salah wrote was mangled and twisted to make it appear anti-Semitic.

Israel’s long disinformation war against Salah was ultimately successful, and he is currently a political prisoner in Israeli jails, convicted on trumped-up charges of “incitement”. In reality, Israel considers any form of Palestinian existence to be “incitement” and any form of Palestinian resistance – no matter how non-violent – to be “terrorism”.

READ: Israel seeks diplomatic allies against the ICC

David Miller provided an expert testimony in Salah’s trial. He was able to give the proper context to the CST’s particular slanted views on Palestinian political activism, which has a long history of smearing and attacking. As Miller put it, the CST has a: “Tendency to treat denunciation of Israel or Zionism as evidence of anti-Semitism.”

Salah was ultimately vindicated by the British court system. He never intended to stay in the UK, but after being arrested, he knew that if he were to be deported, it would have been used by the Israeli occupation authorities against him back home. So he fought the case, enduring almost a year of house arrest.

The judge finally ruled that the then-Home Secretary Theresa May had been “misled” as to the facts on Salah’s poem. Somewhere along the lines, the word “Jews” had been inserted into a translation of Salah’s poem – a word he had not used and, as the original Arabic showed, he had not implied. It was a poem criticising “oppressors”, implicitly denouncing Israeli occupation forces as criminal bombers of mosques.

Miller played a key role in thwarting the Israeli plot to have a popular Palestinian leader deported from the UK. But today, Israel and its lobby are running an all-out campaign to have Miller fired from his job at Bristol university.

It’s hard to escape the impression that they have long memories – long and vindictive.

Since 2011 Miller, an expert researcher into the shadowy machinations of corporate and state lobbying and influence networks, has commissioned and written a series of major reports on the Israel lobby.

In 2013, his organisation Spinwatch published an important report on BICOM, a major Israel lobby group in the UK. Contrary to the Zionist smears which falsely claim that Miller and people like him (including this author) promote “conspiracy theories” about some “all-powerful Jewish lobby”, Spinwatch’s report on BICOM showed how the group has actually lost the battle to influence British public opinion and was actually retreating on that front, which had been its initial main goal.

In 2016, Spinwatch published another ground-breaking report, this time on the Israel lobby in the European Union. This one showed how anti-Muslim groups in the US had funded the Israel lobby in Europe. The links between the Zionist movement and the global anti-Muslim network have been a major theme in Miller’s work for years.

As revenge for Miller’s exposure of their activities, pro-Israel networks in the UK are currently waging a war against Miller. This is part of what he, accurately, describes as Israel’s war on British universities.

Pro-Israel activists, both on and off campus, are demanding that Miller be fired. Emboldened by their successful campaign to purge Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party and hold veto power over the party’s membership, the Israel lobby is growing in ambition.

It now demands nothing less than the power to veto membership of British academia. Any opponent of Zionism, Israel’s racist state ideology, is to be purged. Make no mistake: Miller is merely a test case.

This is nothing less than an attempt at state capture by a hostile foreign power.

But despite the powerful forces arrayed against Miller, including influential MPs and academics, there is a growing groundswell of support for the professor, including from his academic colleagues at British university.

An important online rally with rapper and activist Lowkey, journalists Jonathan Cook and Matt Kennard and anti-Zionist Israeli Moshe Machover will be held at 5 pm on Saturday afternoon.

Please register and join here if you can.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210313-dont-let-the-israeli-lobby-fire-david-miller/

Ken Loach, Alexei Sayle etc: We stand with Professor David Miller!

Ken Loach: “Universities depend on the freedom within the law to challenge all ideologies and political movements. Professor Miller is renowned and respected for his rigorous analysis and considered judgements. His voice is important.  All are free to challenge his opinions but none should advocate their suppression. Everyone who cherishes free speech should stand with David Miller.”
Continue reading Ken Loach, Alexei Sayle etc: We stand with Professor David Miller!

Press release: Support for David Miller grows; Ken Loach and Alexei Sayle speak out

Labour Campaign for Free Speech
www.labourfreespeech.org.uk

PRESS RELEASE
March 12 2021

Free Speech campaign grows to defend Bristol Professor David Miller – public figures including Ken Loach and Alexei Sayle speak out in his support

A campaign is growing to defend Professor David Miller against attempts to get him sacked from Bristol University. 

Continue reading Press release: Support for David Miller grows; Ken Loach and Alexei Sayle speak out

Support David Miller!

https://supportmiller.org/open-letter

Public intellectuals, educators and researchers speak out against the censorship campaign targeted at Bristol’s David Miller

Professor Hugh Brady

President and Vice-Chancellor

University of Bristol

Re: Academic freedom and the harassment and victimisation of Professor David Miller

Dear Professor Brady,

We wish to express our serious concerns about the unrelenting and concerted efforts to publicly vilify our colleague Professor David Miller.

Professor Miller is an eminent scholar. He is known internationally for exposing the role that powerful actors and well-resourced, co-ordinated networks play in manipulating and stage-managing public debates, including on racism. The impact of his research on the manipulation of narratives by lobby groups has been crucial to deepening public knowledge and discourse in this area. 

The attacks on Professor Miller stem from a lecture on Islamophobia that he gave to students at the University of Bristol two years ago. In the most recent instance of this harassment, Professor Miller was approached to provide a statement on Israel-Palestine. When he responded honestly to the query, well-orchestrated efforts were made to misrepresent these responses as evidence of anti-Semitism. A call was then made to the University of Bristol to deprive him of his employment. 

We oppose anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism. We also oppose false allegations and the weaponisation of the positive impulses of anti-racism so as to silence anti-racist debate. We do so because such vilification has little to do with defeating the harms caused by racism. Instead, efforts to target, isolate and purge individuals in this manner are aimed at deterring evidence-based research, teaching and debate. 

Prolonged harassment of a highly-regarded scholar and attempts to denigrate a lifetime’s scholarship cause significant distress to the individual. Such treatment also has a broader pernicious effect on scholarship and well-informed public discourse. It creates a culture of self-censorship and fear in the wider academic community. Instead of free and open debate, an intimidatory context is created and this can be particularly worrying for those who do not hold positions of seniority, influence or stable employment, particularly in times of job uncertainty and in a sector with high levels of casualised employment. As a result, important scholarship is omitted, and this curtails the public’s and students’ right to learn and to engage in thoughtful debate. 

At a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has reinvigorated public consciousness about the structural factors entrenching racism, attempts to stifle discourse on Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism are particularly regressive and inconsistent with the values the University of Bristol espouses.

As public intellectuals and academics, we feel duty-bound to express our solidarity with Professor Miller and to oppose such efforts to crush academic freedom. Given your roles within the University and your responsibilities to the wider academic community, we urge you to vigorously defend the principle of academic freedom and the rights to free speech and to evidence-based & research-informed public discourse. We hope that you will uphold the integrity of academic debate.

cc:

Professor Simon Tormey, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Professor Sarah Purdy, Pro VC (Student Experience) 

Professor Tansy Jessop, Pro VC (Education) 

Professor Judith Squires, Provost 

Mr Jack Boyer, Chair, Board of Trustees 

Dr Moira Hamlin, Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees

Ms Jane Bridgwater, Director of Legal Services 

Yours truly

Professor Noam Chomsky, University of Arizona, Linguistics

Dr Ahdaf Soueif, Writer and Retired Professor in English at Cairo University 

Professor Sami Al-Arian, Istanbul Zaim University, Director, Center for Islam and Global Affairs

Professor Ilan Pappé, University of Exeter, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies

Mr John Pilger, Journalist, Author and Filmmaker

Dr Norman G Finkelstein, Political Scientist and Author

Dr François Burgat, Emeritus Senior Research Fellow at French National Centre for Scientific Research

Professor Deepa Kumar, Rutgers University, Communication and Information

Dr Françoise Vergès, Political Scientist, Historian and Feminist

Professor Emeritus Seamus Deane, University of Notre Dame

Mr Sami Ramadani, London Metropolitan University, Social Sciences (Retired)

Professor Peter Kennard, Royal College of Art, Photography

Professor Ali Rattansi, City, University of London, Sociology  

Professor Anand Pillay, University of Notre Dame, Mathematics 

Professor Bryan McGovern, Kennesaw State University, History

Professor Cahal McLaughlin, Queen’s University Belfast, School of Arts, English and Languages  

Professor Chris Knight, University College London, Anthropology

Professor Craig Brandist, University of Sheffield, Languages and Cultures

Professor Cyra Choudhury, Florida International University, Law

Professor Daniel Boyarin, University of California at Berkeley, Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric

Professor Daniel Broudy, Okinawa Christian University, Rhetoric and Applied Linguistics

Professor David H. Price, St Martin’s University, Society and Social Justice

Professor David Randall Roediger, University of Kansas, American Studies

Professor David Whyte, University of Liverpool, Sociology 

Professor Des Freedman, Goldsmiths, University of London, MCCS

Professor Elizabeth Poole, University of Keele, Humanities  

Professor Eshragh Motahar, Union College, Schenectady NY, Economics 

Professor Frank García Hernández, Juan Marinello Cuban Institute for Cultural Research

Professor Haim Bresheeth-Zabner, SOAS, Palestine Studies Centre

Professor Hamish Cunningham, University of Sheffield, Computer Science

Professor Hans Klein, Georgia Institute of Technology, Public Policy 

Professor Harry Hemingway, UCL, Institute of Health Informatics

Professor Hatem Bazian, Zaytuna College and University of California, Berkeley, Islamic Law and Theology 

Professor Helen Colhoun, University of Edinburgh, IGMM 

Professor Iain Munro, Newcastle University, Business

Professor Iftikhar H. Malik, Bath Spa University, History 

Professor Izzat Darwazeh, University College London, Engineering 

Professor James Dickins, University of Leeds, Languages, Cultures and Societies

Professor Janet C.E. Watson, University of Leeds, Languages, Cultures and Societies  

Professor Jared Ball, Morgan State University

Professor Jeff Goodwin, New York University, Sociology 

Professor Jeremy Keenan, Queen Mary University London, Law

Professor John Parkinson, Maastricht University, Philosophy 

Professor Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Bristol, Sociology, Politics and International Studies 

Professor Julian Petley, Brunel University London, Social Sciences 

Professor Kevin O’Neill, Boston College, History  

Professor Mario Novelli, University of Sussex, Education

Professor Maurice L. Wade, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, Philosophy

Professor Megan Povey, University of Leeds, Food Science and Nutrition   

Professor Michael Rowlinson, University of Exeter, Business     

Professor Michael Wayne, Brunel University London, Media

Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio, University of Manchester, Humanities 

Professor Mohan Dutta, Massey University, Culture-Centered Approach to Research & Evaluation  

Professor Mujahid Kamran, Former Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University

Professor Nacira Guénif, University of Paris VIII, Education Sciences

Professor Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Professor Nigel Patrick Thomas, University of Central Lancashire, Social Work, Care and Community

Professor Paul McKeigue, University of Edinburgh, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Professor Ray Bush, University of Leeds POLIS 

Professor Richard Jackson, University of Otago, New Zealand, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies

Professor Salman Sayyid, University of Leeds, Sociology and Social Policy  

Professor Sandra Eldridge, QMUL, Institute of Population Health Sciences

Professor Siobhan Wills, Ulster University, Law

Professor Steve Tombs, The Open University, Social Policy and Criminology

Professor Susan Newman, The Open University, Economics

Professor Tariq Modood, University of Bristol, Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Professor Tim Hayward, University of Edinburgh, Social and Political Science  

Professor T. J. Demos, UC Santa Cruz, History of Art and Visual Culture

Professor Tom Cockburn, Edge Hill University, Social Sciences

Professor Emeritus Alex Callinicos, King’s College London

Professor Emeritus Bill Rolston, Ulster University, Transitional Justice Institute  

Professor Emeritus Colin Webster, Leeds Beckett University, Social Sciences 

Professor Emeritus Daniel Cornford, San Jose State University, History

Professor Emeritus David Emmons, University of Montana, History   

Professor Emeritus Dennis Leech, University of Warwick, Economics 

Professor Emeritus G Rex Smith, University of Manchester, History  

Professor Emeritus Hartmut Logemann, University of Bath, Mathematical Sciences

Professor Emeritus Henry Maitles, University of the West of Scotland, Education and Social Sciences

Professor Emeritus Kerby Miller, University of Missouri, History

Professor Emeritus Laurence Dreyfus, University of Oxford, Faculty of Music 

Professor Emeritus Mark Duffield University of Bristol, School of Politics and International Studies  

Professor Emeritus Mike Gonzalez, University of Glasgow, Latin American Studies

Professor Emeritus Mike Tomlinson, Queen’s University Belfast, Social Sciences, Education and Social Work  

Professor Emeritus Moshé Machover, King’s College London, Philosophy (Retired)

Professor Emeritus Oliver Boyd-Barrett, Bowling Green State University, Journalism and Public Relations

Professor Emeritus Paddy Hillyard, Queen’s University Belfast, Sociology 

Professor Emeritus Phil Scraton, Queen’s University Belfast, School of Law  

Professor Emeritus Timothy Gorringe, University of Exeter, Theology  

Professor Emeritus William Nolan, University College Dublin, Geography

Associate Professor Anthony J Langlois, Flinders University, Business, Government and Law

Associate Professor Issam Aburaya, Seton Hall University, Religion

Associate Professor Yusuf Ahmad, University of the West of Bristol England (Retired)

Honorary Professor Iain Ferguson, University of the West of Scotland

Assistant Professor Tim Kelly, Coventry University, English

Former Honorary Visiting Professor Roy Greenslade, City, University of London, Journalism

Dr Adam Broinowski, Australian National University, Asia and the Pacific 

Dr Adam Holesch, Barcelona Institute of International Studies

Dr Adrian Budd, London South Bank University, Social Sciences  

Dr Ahmed Elgindy, University of Salford, Languages, Cultures and Society  

Dr Alim Baluch, University of Bath, Politics, Languages an International Studies

Dr Allister Mactaggart, Writer 

Dr Amanda Sackur, Independent researcher

Dr Amy De’Ath, King’s College London, English 

Dr André Bittar, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Dr Andy Mullen, Northumbria University, Social Sciences

Dr Angelo Martins Junior, University of Bristol, Sociology, Politics and International Studies  

Dr Anisa Mustafa, University of Sheffield, Sociology Researcher

Dr Anne Alexander, University of Cambridge, CRASSH 

Dr Anthony Sullivan, London College of Fashion (UAL), Cultural and Historical Studies  

Dr Ayman Omar, University of Leicester, Business

Dr Bee Hughes, Liverpool John Moores University, Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr Bob Jeffery, Sheffield Hallam University, Sociology 

Dr Bob MacCallum, Imperial College London, Life Sciences

Dr Brenna Bhandar, Allard Law Faculty, UBC Law 

Dr Brian Kelly, Queen’s University Belfast, History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics 

Dr Camilla Royle, King’s College London, Geography 

Dr Carlo Morelli, UCU Scotland President

Dr Christian Henderson, Leiden University, LIAS 

Dr Christian Høgsbjerg, University of Brighton, Humanities 

Dr Claire English, University of the West of Scotland, Business and Creative Industries

Dr Conor Kostick, Trinity College Dublin, History 

Dr Corinna Mullin, CUNY, Political Science 

Dr Cormac Ó Gráda, University College Dublin, Economics 

Dr Dani Jiménez-Franco, University of Zaragoza, Social Sciences 

Dr David Cromwell, Media Lens  

Dr David McQueen, Bournemouth University, Communications

Dr Deepa Govindarajan Driver, University of Reading, Henley Business School and UCU NEC  

Dr Deirdre O’Neill, University of Hertfordshire, Humanities

Dr Derek Summerfield, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Dr Des O’Rawe, Queen’s University Belfast, Film 

Dr Dieter Plehwe, Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), Germany, Center for Civil Society Research  

Dr Don Crewe, Leeds Beckett University, Social Sciences 

Dr Duncan McLaren, Lancaster University, Lancaster Environment Centre

Dr Elizabeth Lawrence, Former President of Sheffield UCU

Dr Emerita Sheila Delany, Simon Fraser University, English 

Dr Emily Heath, Lancaster University, Lancaster Environment Centre

Dr Ewa Sidorenko, University of Greenwich, Education 

Dr Farah Ahmed, University of Cambridge, Education 

Dr Farid Hafez, Universität Salzburg, Political Science and Sociology

Dr Fearghal Mac Bhloscaidh, St Mary’s University College Belfast, History 

Dr Féilim Ó hAdhmaill, University College Cork, Ireland, Applied Social Studies

Dr Feyzi Ismail, Goldsmiths, University of London, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Dr Florian Zollmann, Newcastle University, Arts and Cultures  

Dr Gabriella Alberti, University of Leeds, Business 

Dr Gareth Dale, Brunel University, Social and Political Science

Dr Gary Fooks, Aston University, Sociology and Policy

Dr Georgios Papanicolaou, Teesside University, SSSHL   

Dr Gerard Looker, University of Leeds, Business 

Dr Gerard McCann, St Mary’s University College, International Studies   

Dr Giovanna Gioli, Bath Spa University, Human Geography

Dr Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick, Sociology  

Dr Haroon Bashir, Markfield Institute of Higher Education, Islamic Studies

Dr Hassan Bousetta University of Liege, Social Sciences

Dr Ibtihal Ramadan, University of Edinburgh 

Dr Ismail Patel, Independent Researcher

Dr James Cussens, University of Bristol   

Dr James Hall, University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory (Retired)

Dr James McAleavey, Writer 

Dr Jamie Woodcock, Open University, People and Organisations

Dr Jared Ahmad, University of Sheffield, Journalism Studies 

Dr Javed Iqbal Wani, Ambedkar University Delhi, Law, Governance, and Citizenship

Dr Jeanette Jouili, Syracuse University

Dr Jesse Owen Hearns-Branaman, United International College, International Journalism   

Dr Joanna Boehnert, Loughborough University, Design and the Creative Arts

Dr John M. Regan, University of Dundee, Humanities

Dr John Narayan, King’s College London, Politics and Economics  

Dr Jonathan Scott, CUNY, Bronx Community College, English   

Dr Jon Burnett, Swansea University, Criminology

Dr Jon Symonds, University of Bristol, Policy Studies

Dr Joseph Choonara, University of Leicester, Business 

Dr Joseph Daher, University of Lausanne, Social and Political Sciences

Dr Joshua Shurley, Fresno City College, Political Science 

Dr Juan Francisco Palma, Bristol University, Policy Studies

Dr Judith Naeff, Leiden University, Institute for Area Studies  

Dr Julie Pearn, PhD, University of Sheffield

Dr Karen Evans, University of Liverpool, Law and Social Justice

Dr Kathleen Arnold, DePaul University, Political Science   

Dr Kathryn Brown, Loughborough University, Communication and Media

Dr Kevin Bean, University of Liverpool, Fellow of the Institute of Irish Studies

Dr Khalida Malik, Independent Researcher, Australia

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins, University of Warwick, Global Sustainable Development

Dr Leroy A. Shervington, University of Central Lancashire, Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (Retired)

Dr Les Levidow, Open University, School of Social Sciences & Global Studies (SSGS)

Dr Lindsey German, University of Hertfordshire, Business

Dr Loretta Capeheart, Northeastern Illinois University, Justice Studies (Retired)

Dr Lorna Finlayson, University of Essex, Philosophy and Art History

Dr Lucia Pradella, King’s College London, Politics and Economics  

Dr Marcia Macaulay, York University (Glendon), English and Linguistics   

Dr Marcus Free, MIC, University of Limerick, Media and Communication

Dr Marcus Morgan, University of Bristol, Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Dr Marion Hersh, University of Glasgow 

Dr Mark Abel, University of Brighton, Humanities 

Dr Mark Hayes, Solent University, Criminology 

Dr Mark O’Brien, University of Liverpool 

Dr Martin Maguire, Dundalk Institute of Technology 

Dr Mastoureh Fathi, University College Dublin, School of Sociology

Dr Matthew Alford, University of Bath, Politics, Languages & International Studies

Dr Max Ajl, Wageningen University, Rural Sociology 

Dr Mayssoun Sukarieh, Kings College London, International Development  

Dr Mélissa Mialon, Trinity College Dublin, Public Health

Dr Michael Pierse, Senior Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast, Arts, English and Languages

Dr Michael Szpakowski, Independent Artist and Scholar  

Dr Michal Nahman, UWE Bristol, Social Sciences 

Dr Miloud Chennoufi, Royal Military College of Canada, Defense Studies

Dr Muir Houston, University of Glasgow School of Education  

Dr Muhammad Ikram, Shenzhen University, Management

Dr Myka Tucker-Abramson, University of Warwick, English and Comparative Literary Studies

Dr Myshele Haywood, Independent Researcher

Dr Najeeb Jan, Habib University 

Dr Nalini Vittal, University College London, CLIE   

Dr Narayana Anilkumar, King’s College London, Medicine

Dr Nariman Massoumi, University of Bristol, School of Arts 

Dr Niall Meehan, Griffith College, Dublin, Journalism & Media Faculty

Dr Nicholas Cimini, Edinburgh Napier University, Social Sciences

Dr Nick Evans, King’s College London

Dr Nisha Kapoor, University of Warwick, Sociology 

Dr Nithya Natarajan, King’s College London 

Dr Narzanin Massoumi, University of Exeter, Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology

Dr Olivier Ratle, University of the West of England Bristol, Business and Law

Dr Pam Green Lister, Glasgow School of Social Work (Retired)

Dr Patrick Barrett, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Havens Wright Center for Social Justice

Dr Patricia McManus, University of Brighton, Humanities 

Dr Paul O’Connell, SOAS, University of London, Law   

Dr Paul Willis, University of Bristol, Policy Studies 

Dr Peter E Jones, Sheffield Hallam University, Humanities

Dr Piers Robinson, Organisation for Propaganda Studies  

Dr Rasha Soliman, University of Leeds, Languages, Cultures and Societies 

Dr Remi Brulin, John Jay College, CUNY, New York, Sociology   

Dr Renata Medeiros-Mirra, Cardiff University, Dentistry

Dr Richard Hopper, University of Cambridge, Engineering

Dr Richard Longman, University of the West of England Bristol, Faculty of Business and Law

Dr Rizwaan Sabir, Liverpool John Moores University, Justice Studies

Dr Rob Faure Walker, SOAS Research

Dr Roderick Galam, Oxford Brookes University, Social Sciences

Dr Ronald Mendel, University of Northampton, International Relations and Politics

Dr Rowland Dye, Nuclear Physicist

Dr Sahar Ghumkhor, University of Melbourne, Social and Political Sciences

Dr Sai Englert, Leiden University, Leiden Institute of Area Studies

Dr Saladin Meckled-Garcia, University College London, Political Science 

Dr Saleema Burney, SOAS, Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies

Dr Sara Bonfanti, University of Trento, Sociology 

Dr Sarah Marusek, University of Leeds, Sociology and Social Policy

Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor, Coventry University, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations

Dr Settimio Fiorenzo Palermo, Middlesex University, Arts and Creative Sciences

Dr Shaida Nabi, Independent Researcher 

Dr Sharri Plonski, Queen Mary University of London, Politics and International Relations 

Dr Simon Behrman, University of Warwick, Law 

Dr Simon Dawes, UVSQ, France IECI 

Dr Steven Rolf, Digit Centre, University of Sussex, Business  

Dr Stuart Tannock, University College London, Education  

Dr Sue Abbott, Newcastle University, Business School 

Dr Tahir Abbas, Leiden University, Security and Global Affairs  

Dr Tajul Islam, University of Leeds, Arabic Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies   

Dr Tali Chilson, Jewish Studies, Blackfriars Hall, Oxford

Dr Tania Saeed, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr Tanzil Chowdhury, QMUL Law 

Dr Tarek Younis, Middlesex University, Psychology 

Dr Teresa Degenhardt, Queen’s University Belfast, Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Dr Thomas MacManus, Queen Mary University of London, Law 

Dr Tina Magazzini, European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Dr Tom Mills, Aston University, Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr Tom O’Connor, Munster Technological University, Applied Social Studies

Dr Trevor Latimer, Princeton University, Politics 

Dr Victoria Canning, University of Bristol, Policy Studies

Dr Will Dinan, University of Stirling, Communications, Media & Culture

Dr William Junker, University of St Thomas, Catholic Studies 

Dr Xanthe Whittaker, University of Leeds 

Dr Yasha Maccanico, University of Bristol

Miss Claudia Radiven, University of Leeds, Sociology and Social Policy    

Miss Jenna Haddad, University of Sussex, Psychology

Miss Jigyasa Sharma, Harvard University, Doctoral candidate, Global Health and Population

Miss Kumiko Shimizu, Delta State University

Miss Malia Bouattia, Red Pepper Magazine

Miss Roxana Massoumi, Bath Spa University, Criminology 

Miss Victoria Turner, University of Edinburgh, Divinity  

Mrs Andrea Boom, University of Leeds, Medicine

Mrs Cecily Blyther, Lecturer, Petroc School of Progressive Studies   

Mrs Elisabeth Bryant, Open University, Health Studies

Ms Arzu Merali, Independent researcher  

Ms Henna Aiman, University of Leeds, Languages, Cultures and Societies   

Ms Jenny Hardacre, Former Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University, Communication Film and Media  

Ms Julia Roberts, Lambeth College, English and Maths

Ms Katja Simončič, Institute of Criminology, Law Faculty in Ljubljana

Ms Lesley McGorrigan, University of Leeds, Psychology

Ms Linda Cronin, University of Roehampton, Life Sciences 

Ms Marian Carty, Goldsmiths, University of London, Educational Studies

Ms Marian Mayer, Bournemouth University, Media and Communication  

Ms Martha Snow, University of York, Women’s Studies 

Ms Rachel Barrett, King’s College London, Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience

Ms Ruth Dar, University College London UCU 

Ms Ruth Humphreys, Heriot-Watt University, Social Sciences    

Ms Saima Shah, University of Bristol, Academic Language and Development 

Ms Vanessa Ogunbowale, University College London, Researcher

Mr Abraham Hayeem, Royal Institute of British Architects and Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine  

Mr Ahmad Fahoum, Graduate Institute, International History 

Mr Aidan White, Founder, Ethical Journalism Network

Mr Arun Kundnani, Independent Researcher  

Mr Benjamin Allen, Northumbria University, International Development

Mr Barry Finnegan, Griffith College, Dublin, Journalism & Media Communications  

Mr Cyril Chilson, Blackfriars Hall, Oxford 

Mr David Edwards, Media Lens   

Mr Eamonn Kelly, University of South Wales, Creative Industries

Mr Eyal Sivan, Filmmaker, Theoretician and Scholar

Mr Gordon Asher, Independent Scholar

Mr Jack R. Williams, MIT, Political Science  

Mr James Kleinfeld, Al Jazeera Investigative Unit 

Mr John Booth, Independent Writer 

Mr Kyle Bailey, York University Toronto, Politics

Mr Louis Allday, SOAS University of London

Mr Marwan Elfallah, University of East London, Education and Communities  

Mr Michael Connolly, University of Stirling, Health Sciences and Sport 

Mr Moaz Abdelrahman, European University Institute, Transnational Governance

Mr Muhammad Rezaur Rahman, University of Asia Pacific, Bangladesh, Law and Human Rights

Mr Nathan Lean, Georgetown University 

Mr Nèdeem Mahjoub, London School of Economics and Political Science  

Mr Noel Douglas, University of Bedfordshire, Art and Design

Mr Peter Evans, South Thames College, Business   

Mr Peter G Phippen, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Anthropology

Mr Qamar Abbas Jafri, RMIT University Australia, Global Urban and Social Studies  

Mr Richard Gallagher, Queen’s University Belfast, Arts, English and Humanities 

Mr Richard McEwan, New City College, Science and Maths  

Mr Robert Ferguson, Independent Researcher

Mr Roddy Slorach, Imperial College London, Disability Advisory Service

Mr Samir Seddougui, University of Bristol, Policy Studies  

Mr Sean Doyle, University College London, Education

Mr Sean Wallis, University College London, English Language and Literature

Mr Steve Roskams, University of York, Archaeology 

Mr Terry Brotherstone, Emeritus Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen History

Mr Tim Martin, University of the Arts London: London College of Communication, Design Management 

Mr Tom Hickey, University of Brighton, Humanities and Social Science

Mr Tom Whittaker, City of Bristol College, History Lecturer

Unfounded attacks on Professor David Miller

Professor H R Brady,Vice-Chancellor and President
University of Bristol
by e-mail only: vc-epa@bristol.ac.uk

Open Letter by Dr Renato T. Loeffler

Unfounded attacks on Professor David Miller

Dear Professor Brady,

As a descendant of a Jewish family which suffered persecution by the Nazi regime in Germany during the period 1933-1945, and as a graduate and former employee of the University, I feel strongly compelled to defend Professor David Miller against his detractors. Unlike the vast majority of people who are harassing Professor Miller I actually listened, in its entirety, to the Zoom meeting that has caused uproar among a vocal minority of Jewish people in the UK. I agreed with most of what David Miller said in his presentation. Accusation is not the same as proof.

There is no such thing as “the Jewish community” nor is there any organisation that can represent Jewish people in the UK in all their diversity, and particularly not the large number of non-practising Jews. The faith-based organisations (such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews) that claim to represent Jewish people in the UK speak only for those Jewish people who unquestioningly support Israel and the Zionist project.

In the last few years, this vociferous minority of Jewish people in the UK has whipped up a politically-driven propaganda campaign against the Labour Party, while claiming to fight “anti-semitism”. As Professor Miller has clearly demonstrated in his book Bad News for Labour: Antisemitism, the Party and Public Belief these claims are mostly vastly exaggerated, and on occasion wholly invented. The real objective of their campaign has always been to silence all criticism of the reprehensible actions of the state of Israel, particularly in the Occupied Territories. Professor Miller has incurred the particular ire of the extreme supporters of Israeli actions by his methodical identification and reporting of the weaponising of anti-semitism to attack the Labour Party and its leadership.

I am Jewish, and proud of my ancestry and of the long-lasting cultural heritage associated with it. My grandparents were murdered because the Nazi leaders wanted to create an ethnically pure Aryan state in Germany. As a consequence I feel a strong duty to oppose by all possible legal means the similar attempt to create an ethnically pure Jewish state in Israel/Palestine, which is the main objective of Zionism. It is a bitter irony that the victims of racist persecution should now have become its perpetrators.

As far as the University of Bristol Jewish Society is concerned, when I became a student at Bristol in 1967, it would never have entered my mind to join such a group.

I would welcome your assurance that the University of Bristol will continue to defend freedom of speech and to oppose censorship in a way that academic institutions in Germany (to their eternal shame) failed to do in the period from 1933 onwards.

Yours sincerely
Dr Renato T. Loeffler

Defend Freedom of Speech – Defend David Miller!

The Bristol University professor has come under attack by the pro-Israel lobby for demanding the “end of Zionism” at a Conference on Free Speech!

We are deeply concerned about what looks like a coordinated attack on Professor Miller, who appeared at the February 13 launch conference of the Labour Campaign for Free Speech (full video below). The Jewish Chronicle has featured hostile articles about him on their front page for a few days running and a number of Zionist groups such as the Campaign Against Antisemitism and the Community Security Trust organisations have joined in the attacks. 

Clearly, the aim is for David Miller to be dismissed by Bristol University. It is also a warning shot aimed at other academics to keep their mouths firmly shut on the issue of Israel/Palestine. It has to be seen in the context of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s threat to defund universities that  do not adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which in its examples deliberately conflates anti-Zionism with antisemitism. 

This is particularly ironic, as the government is simultaneously talking about installing a so-called “Free Speech Czar”, whose main purpose seems to be to protect right wingers from being criticised by the left.  

The Jewish Chronicle is particularly incensed by two parts of David Miller’s speech: 

  • That David called for an “end of Zionism”. This does not mean he is antisemitic. Zionism is not a religion, it is a reactionary political ideology, based on the systematic and brutal discrimination of the Palestinians and the non-Jewish population of Israel. Large numbers of Jewish people are not Zionists and there are millions of Zionists who are not Jewish.
  • That David correctly pointed out that Jewish Student Societies (J-Socs) on campus are part of the pro-Israel movement. Indeed the umbrella organisation UJS, which represents alls 67 J-Socs, is a member of the Board of Deputies and is affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation, which openly funds the settlements in the West Bank. One of UJS’s four ‘core values’ is “engagement with Israel’, among its ‘Objectives’ is the aim of “inspiring students to making an enduring commitment” to Israel.  

We oppose the attempts to undermine free speech on campus, in the Labour movement and, increasingly, wider society. Freedom of speech and debate are integral to  education, inquiry and a democratic public life. We firmly reject the idea that the Palestinian struggle against oppression and for basic human rights is antisemitic.