David Miller was cleared of anti-Semitism, leaked document shows

Collage: Bristol university campus and a photo of a man

Investigations cleared the professor before the university fired him. (Bristol University/Support David Miller)

A lawyer hired by the UK’s University of Bristol to investigate allegations of anti-Semitism against Professor David Miller concluded that the academic had “no case to answer,” a leaked document shows.

The document, obtained by The Electronic Intifada, shows the investigation concluded that, “there is no basis for any disciplinary action against Professor Miller.”

Despite this, the university fired Miller on 1 October, citing unspecified “standards of behavior.”

Miller has been the target of a long-running and ferocious campaign to have him sacked, run by the Israel lobby and backed by the state of Israel itself.

The university’s statement firing Miller earlier this month stated only that an independent report by a leading lawyer had “found that Professor Miller’s comments did not constitute unlawful speech.”

Document screenshot

But the document itself explicitly concludes that Miller is not guilty of anti-Semitism.

It states that “Professor Miller is at pains to distinguish between Zionism and Israel, on the one hand, and Jewish people, on the other.”

The lawyer concluded that “his conduct cannot reasonably be categorized as misconduct.”

The document also shows that the complaint which resulted in Miller’s firing was instigated by two pro-Israel lobby groups and only later adopted by two pro-Israel students on campus.

The two students acted in collusion with the Community Security Trust – which has links to Israel’s deadly spy agency Mossad – and the Union of Jewish Students – which is funded by and acts as a front for the Israeli embassy in London.

You can read extracts from the leaked document on this page.

David Miller has previously told The Electronic Intifada that he will be taking the university to an industrial tribunal for unfair dismissal if they do not reinstate him.

The Support David Miller campaign group said: “It could not be clearer: the University of Bristol has worked hand-in-glove with the UK’s Israel lobby to terrorize one of its own academics.”

The spokesperson accused the university of breaking its own rules to sack Miller even though there was no case to answer.

The group told The Electronic Intifada that the lawyer’s report “blows the lid off the University of Bristol’s corrupt indulgence of the political campaign against Professor Miller. The university now has serious questions to answer over its failure to protect its academics.”

Document screenshot

A spokesperson for Bristol university declined to answer when asked why they had fired Miller despite the lawyer’s findings.

They claimed that Miller “is fully aware of the reasons why the decision was made to terminate his employment,” claimed this was “confidential” and said “we do not intend to make any further comment at this time.”

The 47 page document examines the complaints against Miller. These began in March 2019, with the Community Security Trust, or CST.

While the CST portrays itself as the guardian of Britain’s Jewish community, in fact, as The Electronic Intifada has reported for years, it also lobbies for Israel.

As Tony Lerman – who previously worked closely with the CST – told us in 2011, the group receives training from the Mossad, Israel’s brutal global kidnapping and death squad.

Document screenshot

In 2012, the CST helped established the Fair Play Campaign Group, which was set up to campaign against boycotts of Israel.

The leaked document shows Bristol university rejected the CST’s initial complaint against Miller on the basis that it was made by an outside group rather than a Bristol student.

The next day, the document says, the university “received a complaint from two individuals one of whom identified themselves as a university student. I refer to those individuals as AA and BB.”

But the document makes clear that neither AA or BB were in any of Miller’s courses and had not even talked to anyone who was.
Screenshot of a Hannah Rose tweet

Celebratory Tweets posted soon after Miller’s sacking by current and previous Union of Jewish Students presidents Nina Freedman and Hannah Rose suggest it’s likely that they were “AA” and “BB”.

Shortly before publication of this article, Rose set her Twitter account to private, soon after this reporter tweeted a screenshot of her celebratory tweet.

Freedman was a Bristol student at the time of the complaint in 2019, while Rose – sister of former Israeli embassy employee Ella Rose – had studied at the university until 2018.

The Union of Jewish Students is an Israel lobby group whose constitution commits it to “inspiring Jewish students to making an enduring commitment” to Israel. In 2017, an undercover investigation by Al Jazeera revealed that the group is directly funded by the Israeli embassy in London.

Document screenshot

The lawyer’s investigation shows that the pro-Israel groups’ claims that Miller’s Jewish students were “terrified” of the professor were baselsss.

The document states that “no complaints have been made against Professor Miller to the university by any of his students.”

The lawyer interviewed AA and found that “the entire focus of AA’s discussion” of their complaint was on a lecture by David Miller “which AA had not attended [and] which AA did not appear to have discussed with any other student who did attend.”

“Entirely without merit”

The leaked document also shows that AA acted in collusion with Israel lobby group the CST, who had made the initial, rejected complaint, as well as Israel lobby group the Union of Jewish Students.

The lawyer recounts that, “AA stated that CST had made a third party complaint about Professor Miller and then AA, being aware of the CST complaint, had decided to make a complaint [too].”

Document screenshot

“This was done in conjunction with the national UJS which had helped AA to write the complaint.”

In other words, AA was effectively acting as an on-campus front person for two Israel lobby groups – themselves acting as cut-outs for the state of Israel.

“This complaint was not brought in relation to matters which had affected AA in his/her capacity as a student,” the lawyer concludes, explaining that all except one of the talks and articles by David Miller that AA was complaining about had occurred before AA was even a student at Bristol.

One of these articles was a long 2013 piece co-written by Miller and three others for the website OpenDemocracy.

The lawyer concluded that in their view, the statements in the article “do not appear to me to be properly characterized as tropes or conspiracy theories but are, instead, specific and apparently defensible assertions of fact.”

The only part of the complaint which had to do with anything Miller had taught in class was an optional essay question he had set: “Critically discuss the idea that lobbying might be considered a form of corporate harm.”

Although the question didn’t even mention Israel or Zionism – let alone Jewish people – AA claimed that the question could lead to a discussion of “anti-Semitic tropes.”

The lawyer concluded that this aspect of AA’s complaint was “entirely without merit.”

Indeed, the lawyer, who was hired by the University of Bristol to look into the case against Miller, concluded that there is, in fact, “no basis for any disciplinary action … in connection with any of these matters.”

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All characteristic of fascism. The ability of the followers of Herzl to lie is typical of the purblind ideologue's twisting reality to their ends. The essence of fascism is the denial of objectivity: there is the fascist view of reality, all else is dismissed. Sickening irony of course that fascism annihilated 5.1 million Jews and now Jewish defenders of Israel's racism swallow its techniques. AA and BB are obviously lying, at the level of "the dog ate my homework". Patently they have been put up. Clearly, they have no experience of Dr Miller's teaching. Without doubt they have never heard him say anything anti-Semitic nor read anything he has written which is anti-Semitic. Thus, we have fascism marching boldly through UK academia. No one is safe. Criticize "Only Yesterday" as a flawed novel, you are certain to be guilty of anti-Semitism. Point out the failings in the Israeli economy, likewise. The public have no idea what is going on. They are fed by the MSM the notion that anti-Semitism is rife and therefore, no smoke...In fact it's all smoke, and mirrors. These, AA, BB and their backers, are morally debased people to the degree that they will sacrifice anyone in pursuit of their false view. The public will not be presented with the facts because the MSM, like almost the entire political class, is in cahoots with Israel's racism and oppression. The USA backs Israel, we must do the same. Israel is a doughty democracy surrounded by vile Arab dictatorships. What it all comes down to, of course, is the rights of the rich. The MSM and the politicos are assisting fascism. The Israeli lobby will extend the range of comments which can be construed as anti-Semitic as far as it can. Make no mistake, that will take us to a destination where what we are allowed to say is decided by the Israeli State, the CST, the B o D, LFI. Before long it will be an offence to read Chomsky, Flapan or Pappe. Fascism is winning. By the time people wake up, it may be too late.

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Problem is, there has never been a cost or risk associated with making false accusation or using labels such as 'racist' and 'antisemite'. Sometimes such labels are appropriate if the claims are proven - or if they are indeed provable (many are not).

Back when students did not mobilise and organise to get staff sacked to support the agendas of other states, identity or lobby groups, we could accept robust university discourse as something that was part of the deal. This was in the day when unions and institutions supported free speech and academic traditions.

Today, we need to level the playing field so that false accusations have a legal remedy. That cost needs to be equivalent to the loss of income and reputation of those that suffer. Hence, if you are over 18 years of age and go after someone's integrity and livelihood without good basis, and make false or unwarranted accusations, you should be held accountable. If you form a mob to do so, the mob needs to be held accountable. If the institution bends to false accusations from the mob, they must also be made to pay the largest amounts of compensation.

This is sad, but it must happen to redress an imbalance that comes from student's weaponising social media against people who hold ideas they don't like - and administrators bending to them. If students physically assault academics on campus they are not immune from the law. Neither should it be the case if they slander and conspire to destroy a person's reputation; there is no reason why they should be protected by notions of academic freedom.

I detest litigious remedies, but when undergraduates have conjoined with foreign nationals and lobby groups to get people sacked, their targets must be given the capacity to fight back and there must be a major cost for getting it wrong.

Very sad that it has been allowed to come to this. Jellyback administrators have done massive damage to universities.

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And those consequences should include the following: any administrator who puts his or her signature to an article of dismissal in a case such as David Miller's must face economic penalties, among which I would suggest immediate loss of employment along with all future emoluments including pension benefits. Punishment must be so broad and harsh that no managerial functionary will entertain demands of the sort to which Bristol's administration have so cravenly capitulated. As a matter of fact, I've just read the university's formal announcement of his dismissal. It's unsigned:
https://www.bristol.ac.uk/news...

If his own notification of this action is also unsigned, Professor Miller may choose to regard the statement as fraudulent, adding that charge to his complaint. Surely some individual or corporate body must be accountable, in which case the assenting persons are required to identify themselves in order to authenticate the document. Institutional anonymity is not to be countenanced in this matter.

In a more immediate, less aspirational context, I would also hope that charges can be leveled against the two stooges who publicly rejoiced at Miller's defenestration. Their accusations were exposed as both base and baseless, and they should be required to appear in court to answer for their part in this smear.

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Totally agree and can't believe that it has come this far .Baseless smearing members of academia should not happen without consequences because after all ,it is a no brainer .Baseless accusations should not be left to stand.

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So who is the puppeteer who told Bristol University that it should sack Professor Miller, even though the University (assuming it had read the report it had commissioned) knew that he was innocent of all charges?
What is the legality of this sort of malicious lobbying?

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Presumably the disciplinary panel. What are their names, anyone know?

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Big shame on Freedman and Rose to Tweet their delight with the unlawful sacking of Ptofessor David Miller and what he stands for.

Their actions and those of pro-Israel supporters blinded by Zionism, are strong justifications for public opinion to be anti both: Israel and Zionism.

Enough of playing the Anti-Semitism card. Boring.

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We have been lulled into accepting that one should prove innocence .In all of my 70 plus years I have thought that accusations must be proven or dismissed out of hand .
We find ourselves having to prove that we are innocent of an accusation .Any accusation .We have seen this cynical hypocrisy gaining ground in Western society . So who is the driver of such malevolence .

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This is great news for Prof Miller's tribunal case and I genuinely hope sues for massive damages. But I still want to know where is the outcry and support from Bristol Students Union, the National Union of Students and Prof Miller's union. The silence is deafening.

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This action by Bristol is unforgivable but sadly hardly surprising. As I have found from personal experience there is no real academic freedom and most academics have the integrity of an empty crisp packet. Hope Miller takes them to the cleaners financially and then uses some of it to take on the CST…

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Of course there is one player with sufficient clout to lean on Bristol University and cause them to act unlawfully, and they have already meddled in this affair in an unhelpful way. The British Government might have been behind this. It would be very interesting to know if they were. But then again if that was the case there would likely be no criticism from the corporate media or even Starmer and his cohorts. They would probably all rally round to congratulate the government for combating racial hatred and support for terrorism.

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Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist who lives in London.

At The Electronic Intifada he is associate editor and co-host of our podcast.