David Miller’s sacking is just the start

Bristol University (File)

Asa Winstanley

Middle East Monitor  /  October 12, 2021

“Britain is in the grip of an assault on its public sphere by the State of Israel and its advocates,” David Miller wrote in February.

Since then, almost as if to perfectly illustrate his point, Miller has been sacked from his job as a sociology professor at Bristol University.

Miller is one of the country’s leading experts in propaganda, as well as in corporate and state lobbying of governments. He knows so much about the Israel lobby that he has probably forgotten more about it than most people will ever know.

His work on the Israel lobby with ‘Spinwatch’ and its Powerbase website has been a vital resource for anyone researching the networks about pro-Israel influence that remain hard at work in this country.

He is also an anti-Zionist, which means that he opposes Zionism, the settler-colonial movement which founded the State of Israel, and continues to sustain it.

His opposition to Israeli racism and his work exposing the nefarious activities of the Israel lobby have meant that that same lobby has turned its guns onto him—illustrating perfectly what Miller’s work has laid out about how the Israel lobby operates.

Their chosen weapon has been the only effective one it has left: a campaign of false allegations and smears of “anti-Semitism.”

After the Israel lobby successfully deposed Jeremy Corbyn last year—using that same weapon—it then turned its focus on Miller. After a sustained campaign of defamation, it has now got its man, with the firing of Miller earlier this month.

But there is a much larger prize to be had here.

The Zionist movement’s in-house British newspaper—anti-Palestinian rag, The Jewish Chronicle—reacted to Miller’s sacking not with glee, but by saying it did not go far enough.

They want all British universities to be purged of anti-Zionists.

“Miller’s sacking should be the beginning, not the end,” their editorial said.

In other words, they did what Zionists always do: refuse to accept yes for an answer. When they achieve their demands, they pocket the concessions and demand more.

“Miller is gone but he is only tip of the iceberg,” their front-page story’s headline read, listing some of the academics “at 74 separate British higher education bodies” who had signed an open statement in support of Miller.

As many as “210 signatories of the letter hold positions at British universities as professors and lecturers, with a significant number representing … the UK’s most prestigious higher education institutions,” the paper fumed.

In a third piece the following day, former Israeli soldier, Marc Goldberg (a British citizen who volunteered in the Israeli Army to potentially kill Palestinians), reflected that “If the hard but successful slog against Miller has taught us anything it’s that there is a lot of work to do … [but] that this is a fight worth fighting and a fight that can be won.”

Lest you get the mistaken impression that these are the rants of irrelevant far-right campaigners with no influence, Goldberg is the head of investigations with the Community Security Trust, a pro-Israel lobby group which is deeply embedded with, and quite influential at, Britain’s Home Office.

The refusal of some on the left to face up to the reality of the power of the Israel lobby means that there is far too much complacency, and we are not resisting as well as we might be.

If the Israel lobby is not stood up to, then we are now facing a full-on purge of British academia. It is time to stop this defamation campaign in its tracks.

Re-instate David Miller; stop the witch-hunt in British universities.

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist living in London who writes about Palestine and the Middle East