On Thursday 29th April, UJS released a statement exclaiming our 'contempt and outrage' over the news that David Miller is back on campus and teaching, after having been on sick leave since the 17th March. UJS calls on the University of Bristol to suspend David Miller, pending the completion of the investigation, to prevent further harassment to Bristol Jewish students.
UJS full statement:
"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 at the University of Bristol. The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol Jewish Society (JSoc) together call 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. 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"
Click here to view on Twitter
On Tuesday 27th April, the Chair of the Education Select Committee, Robert Halfon MP, called for the Universities Minister to take a tougher approach when tackling antisemitism on campus, specifically at the University of Bristol.
Robert Halfon exclaims: “I think it’s become such a serious national issue, been raised in Parliament a number of times, that you should take a proactive role and do what you can to speak to the senior management and tell them to get a grip and deal with this once and for all.”
Click here to watch the Education Select Committee.
"UJS welcomes support from Chair of the Education Select Committee, Robert Halfon, along with multiple parliamentarians, who regularly hold the Universities Minister to account and question what actions the government should be taking to ensure Jewish student safety at Bristol University"
Click here to view UJS full statement on Twitter.
On Wednesday 24th March, a debate in the House of Lords was sparked by an oral question from Lord Austin of Dudley: "To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statements by Professor David Miller about Jewish students; and what discussions they have had with (1) the University of Bristol, and (2) the police, about the steps being taken to ensure the safety of such students."
Click here to view UJS update on Twitter .
Read article by Dave Rich: Why “academic freedom” is no defence of the Bristol University professor David Miller
On Wednesday 17th March, the University made a statement confirming that they had "initiated an investigation" into Professor David Miller. To see the University's full statement click here. UJS and Bristol J-Soc welcome this announcement, though it has come far too late and we hope the University will take appropriate and speedy action.
On Tuesday 2nd March, an open letter condemning Prof. Miller and signed by over 700 academics was publicised. The academics said they "believe that Prof. Miller’s depiction of Jewish students as Israeli-directed agents of a campaign of censorship is false, outrageous, and breaks all academic norms regarding the acceptable treatment of students."
They continued: "we believe his classification of Bristol Jewish Society and the Union of Jewish Students as part of a movement he has described as an “enemy” to be “targeted”, and his singling out of individual student leaders within those organisations, emphasises the threatening nature of his remarks. His claim that Jewish students are engaged in activities on behalf of Israel that endanger Arab and Muslim students increases the reckless and inflammatory nature of Prof. Miller’s comments."
On Wednesday 24th February, UJS and Bristol Jewish Society hosted a virtual rally to come together and show solidarity to Bristol Jewish students. Over 5000 people watched our speakers demand the University of Bristol to take action and get #hateoffcampus:
- James Harris, Union of Jewish Students President
- Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West
- Lord John Mann, Independent Government advisor on antisemitism
- Leah Martindale, Postgraduate and Education Officer at Bristol University Student's Union
- Marie Van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews
- Rachel Riley, TV personality and campaigner on antisemitism
- Edward Isaacs, Bristol Jewish Society President
On Tuesday 23rd February, Bristol J-Soc and UJS met with members of the senior management team at the University of Bristol, see our full statement below:
"Today Bristol JSoc and UJS met with members of the senior management team at the University of Bristol, to relay our concerns over the current situation and to hear their proposed next steps. Yet again, the University has failed to give concrete steps on what they can do to protect their Jewish students from hatred and racism both physically and digitally. We will not let this go and will continue to hold the University to account and get hate off campus."
After continuous inaction from the University of Bristol, we ask you to come together with us to show solidarity with Jewish students. We will not let this go, we will not be silent, we will stand together with one voice to call on the University of Bristol to get HATE OFF CAMPUS. Click here to see his pattern of behaviour
On Saturday 13th of February, Professor David Miller, a lecturer from the University of Bristol, criticised Jewish students and the Jewish society for daring to speak out about antisemitism. For a member of staff to abuse his position and launch a personal attack on the J-Soc President, is unjustifiable. His words, directly, led to the president of the Jewish Society (J-Soc) being targeted for abuse online.
This is not the first time issues have arisen over Prof. Miller and his antisemitic comments, two years ago a complaint was made against him, for spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories to students by calling Zionism one of the pillars of Islamophobia. This type of language, hatred and intimidation has no place on our campus and its time to call for HATE OFF CAMPUS.