Glasgow University Lecturer Decried for Accusing Jewish Student of Working for the ‘Lobby’
A Glasgow University lecturer has been caught making antisemitic statements on Twitter toward a student and others, prompting complaints but no action from the school, the Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.
A student news reporter asked Dr. Muir Houston in March 2021 about his signing a letter in support of University of Bristol academic David Miller, who was fired after accusing Jews of being “pawns” of a “foreign regime.”
Referencing her email, Houston posted on his “Muir TDM” Twitter account: “email received from the Lobby.”
“After signing letter in support of David Miller — a member of the student lobby asked me for statement — given their previous reporting I will decline,” read a subsequent tweet.
The student complained to the university, which expressed understanding that Houston’s statements “have caused offense to you and other members of the Jewish community.”
The response said the university is “pursuing this issue,” but no official action has yet been taken.
Further antisemitic tweets by Houston were subsequently discovered, including one accusing MP Louise Ellman, an opponent of antisemitism in the Labour party, of working “at the behest of a foreign power” — presumably Israel.
Houston also responded to a post on the Holocaust with the hashtag “#FreePalestine.”
University of Glasgow Chief Operating Officer David Duncan eventually told the student in question, “the matter was dealt with informally; Dr. Houston has not been the subject of formal disciplinary action.”
After the student sent further offensive tweets by Houston, Duncan replied, “Following further investigation of the Twitter feed you complained about, I have concluded that some of the contents are problematic” and said the matter had been referred to higher-ups.
About some of the tweets, however, including the post on Ellman, Duncan said they “simply take a political perspective on developments in the Middle East — that to my mind is not problematic.”
“The complaint has been upheld and action is ongoing. We are unable to comment further at this time,” a spokesperson for the University of Glasgow told the Chronicle.
Louise Ellman told the paper, “It simply doesn’t make sense to me that the university can admit that this lecturer’s comments are wrong and then take no real action over it.”
Houston himself doubled down on his statements, telling the Chronicle, “The Israel lobby is an actually existing phenomenon composed of witting and unwitting assets of a hostile and illegitimate foreign state.”
“That state, Israel, can only continue to exist because of a slow genocide being committed against the Palestinian people,” he claimed.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism pledged to continue to seek action on the matter, commenting, “If the University continues to fail to take action or obfuscate, we shall be reporting it to the Office for Students.”