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July 28, 2021 5:12 pm
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UK Jewish Students Charge Bristol University With ‘Silence’ Over Professor Accused of Antisemitism

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Photo: StockVault

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) criticized the University of Bristol administration on Wednesday over a lack of details on an investigation into sociology professor David Miller, who accused Jewish student groups of being “pawns” of the State of Israel.

A review into Miller’s conduct was announced in March, after it emerged that he had advocated the “end of Zionism” in a lecture and accused Jewish students on campus of being “directed” by Israel to pursue a campaign of censorship.

“This week Bristol JSoc and UJS met with Vice-Chancellor Professor Hugh Brady to discuss its failure to provide basic duty of care to its Jewish students in regards to Professor Miller,” UJS tweeted on Wednesday.

“The university refused to discuss the case and remained silent on when a decision would be made despite the consistent pressure for a timely result. It has now been 165 days since Professor Miller publicly attacked Jewish students, and still nothing,” it continued. “When does the clock run out?”

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A spokesperson for University of Bristol said that its meeting with UJS was “productive,” but that it was unable to reveal details of the ongoing investigation, according to the JC.

“While we appreciate there is a great deal of public interest in this matter, we cannot jeopardize the integrity and rigor of what is a confidential process by discussing it with third parties or the media,” the school said. “We remain committed to providing a positive experience for all our students and staff, including by providing a welcoming environment for Jewish students, and to fostering good relations and an inclusive University community.”

Miller’s remarks sparked outrage among British Jews, drawing condemnations from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and from the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.

In a March letter to Vice Chancellor Brady, British MPs wrote that Miller had “incited hatred” against Jewish students on campus.

“Professor Miller has brought your university into disrepute,” the letter said. “You must act now before any further damage is done.”

Members of parliament also brought the issue before an Education Select Committee session in April, which saw the Minister of State for Universities facing tough questions over the ongoing probe.

Committee chairman MP Robert Halfon said of the university, “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.’”

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