Support for David Miller grows

David Miller is being smeared and attacked because of his opposition to Zionism (BetterThanReal)

Asa Winstanley

The Electronic Intifada  /  March 6, 2021

More than 315 academics and public intellectuals have signed an open letter to the University of Bristol in support of Professor David Miller.

Miller is a researcher who has studied the Israel lobby, the Zionist movement and Islamophobia.

A sustained campaign led by Israel and its lobby is calling for Miller to be fired due to his opposition to Zionism, Israel’s racist state ideology.

Among the signatories to the open letter are Noam Chomsky, novelist and retired English professor Ahdaf Soueif, Palestinian scholar and activist Sami al-Arian, dissident Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, and writer Malia Bouattia.

Also among the signatories are more than a dozen of Miller’s Bristol university colleagues.

“As public intellectuals and academics, we feel duty-bound to express our solidarity with Professor Miller and to oppose such efforts to crush academic freedom,” the open letter states.

It says that Miller is the target of “well-orchestrated efforts” to misrepresent his views “as evidence of anti-Semitism.”

His opposition to Zionism has led Israel lobby groups to denounce him using what has now become a habitual smear tactic: false accusations of anti-Jewish bigotry stemming from criticism of Israel and its policies.

The signatories write that they “oppose anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism” and that they “also oppose false allegations and the weaponization of the positive impulses of anti-racism so as to silence anti-racist debate.”

They add that “efforts to target, isolate and purge individuals in this manner are aimed at deterring evidence-based research, teaching and debate.”

On Thursday, there was an online public meeting in support of Miller.

At the public meeting, socialist campaigner Lindsey German said that one of the goals of former Israeli ambassador to Britain Mark Regev had been to break up the alliance between the left and Muslims in Britain, which has grown since 2003 around antiwar campaigns and the Palestine solidarity movement.

Director Ken Loach and comedian Alexei Sayle both sent solidarity messages to the meeting.

Loach said that “Professor Miller is renowned and respected for his rigorous analysis and considered judgments. His voice is important.”

Sayle said, “A healthy society is one where people can speak the truth, even about uncomfortable subjects. No one should lose their job for telling the truth.”

People in the Jewish and Muslim communities are also organizing open letters.

general petition in support of Miller now has almost 2,700 signatories.

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada; he lives in London