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April 29, 2021 2:05 pm
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UK’s Jewish Student Union Blasts Reinstatement of Bristol Professor Accused of Antisemitism

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The University of Bristol campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The UK’s Jewish student union expressed “contempt and outrage” on Thursday after the University of Bristol reinstated a professor accused of violent antisemitic rhetoric, pending an investigation.

David Miller, a Professor of Political Sociology and member of the university’s School for Policy Studies, has been criticized by Jewish student groups and members of parliament for “inciting” antisemitism, promoting conspiracy theories, and calling for the “end” of Zionism.

The controversy began in 2019 when a slide show from one of Miller’s classes was revealed, which had charged that a massive Jewish-Zionist conspiracy is “one of the five pillars of Islamophobia.”

Miller has claimed that the criticism of him is “directed by the State of Israel.”

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Britain’s Union of Jewish Students and the Bristol Jewish Society said in response to Miller’s reinstatement, “It is with contempt and outrage that we have learned that David Miller and the environment of hate which he creates has returned to campus.”

Both groups called on the University of Bristol to “immediately suspend Miller, pending the completion of its investigation.”

“Hate has been allowed to fester at Bristol and Vice Chancellor Hugh Brady is ignoring the pleas of his Jewish students in not taking action to suspend Miller,” they added. “It is high time that the university acted to prevent further harassment of its Jewish students, and avoid another mark against the university’s record.”

The reinstatement came a day after an Education Select Committee session in the British parliament that saw the Minister of State for Universities intensely questioned on the Bristol controversy and the issue of campus antisemitism in general.

The committee’s chairman, MP Robert Halfon, said of the University of Bristol, “There’s been some awful things going on in terms of Jewish students. They feel unsafe, they feel unprotected, they feel that now the university is a hotbed of antisemitism, and yet all the government can do is say, ‘We’ll wait for a review and not intervene.’”

“I mean, surely you should look at things like funding,” he said to the minister, “or at least meet with the vice-chancellor early on and say ‘What on earth is going on here? Why do thousands of Jewish students feel that Bristol University is not a safe place for Jews?’”

“Do something,” Halfon urged. “Protect these students, which is your duty to protect them.”

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