This page includes UJS' statement following the judgment of David Miller's Employment Tribunal, and background on the tribunal.
"UJS is disappointed by the Employment Tribunal's judgment in relation to David Miller. UJS believes this may set a dangerous precedent about what can be lawfully said on campus about Jewish students and the societies at the centre of their social life. This will ultimately make Jewish students less safe. However, despite overall finding in favour of Miller, the Tribunal has found that he contributed to his own dismissal and that he was “culpable and blameworthy”. UJS will continue to work to maintain a vibrant Jewish life on campus in Bristol and across the UK and Ireland."
In November 2018 it was reported that David Miller had denied the reports of antisemitism in the Labour party. Miller claimed that ‘It’s not Jewish students who feel unsafe, it’s specific Jewish students who are part of a particular political tendency who are saying that they feel unsafe’. From the start he was twisting his antisemitic viewpoints to suggest that they were simply anti-Zionist.
The issues within the University of Bristol began around February 2019 when images of Miller’s ‘Harms of the Powerful’ lecture emerged. The lecture contained a complex spider web of Jewish charities and community members that all traced back to the Israeli government. Miller used this in order to try and prove that Zionism was one of the ‘five pillars of islamophobia’. He had first given a version of this thesis in 2015.
It was after this that CST made a complaint to the university which was denied as they were not university members. One was then made on behalf of the students in the lecture by Edwards Isaacs, the then presidents of the Bristol Jewish Society.
In the August of that year, Miller crowdfunded on behalf of Chris Williamson, who was expelled from the Labour party for claiming that it was ‘too apologetic’ over antisemitism.
In August 2020 Miller claimed that CST is “at the forefront of pursuing the witch hunt. A group which is unable to distinguish between anti-Zionism & antisemitism which purposely blurs together those two concepts in order to pursue the left, that’s been its raison d’etre… since it was created”. (https://www.jewishnews.co.uk/bristol-professor-cst-is-a-case-of-influence-peddling-by-a-foreign-state/ )
What has happened since
Miller regularly appears on ‘Palestine Declassified’ a weekly programme on Press TV an Iranian backed channel which he used to espouse his conspiratorial anti-Zionist views.
In August 2023 Miller posted a Twitter thread that claimed that not only were Jewish people not discriminate against but, in fact, were overrepresented. The tweets below speak for themselves.
In the wake of 7th October, Miller has repeatedly denied what has happened and sought to undermine the horrific realities of what happened on that day.
The initial, local stages of the tribunal were deemed to be unsatisfactory. The lawyers refused to use the IHRA definition of antisemitism. It was claimed that antisemitism could not be directed towards Jewish organisations, only groups of Jewish people. It was then that procedures were moved to a university level, once IHRA was adopted.
The initial tribunal took place on 28th October 2020, the result of which suggested that nothing was going to come of it as no one was informed of any particular outcomes.
However, in February 2021, a new video emerged of Miller smearing UJS and Bristol Jewish Society. In the same video he tried to link Zionism to Islamophobia. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrAlJl73NCQ )
What then followed were months of back and forth between the university and the Jewish society. The JSoc repeatedly attempted to get the university to agree to put in place measures to protect its Jewish students. It took four months to receive a reply.
On 20th October 2021, the University of Bristol announced that David Miller had been made redundant with a private apology from the university.
It was then escalated to a Stage 2 employment tribunal, the result of which was announced today with Miller.