Landmark Victory for Free Expression: Professor David Miller Triumphs Over Censorship

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David Miller
Anti-Zionist views protected

Academic’s Anti-Zionism Ruled Protected Belief in Landmark Verdict

A great victory has been won for free expression, as Professor David Miller has triumphed over the forces attempting to censor criticism of Zionism. Sacked by the University of Bristol over alleged antisemitic remarks, an employment tribunal has ruled Prof Miller was unfairly dismissed due to his anti-Zionist philosophical beliefs.

In this seminal judgment, the first of its kind, anti-Zionism has been established as a protected characteristic under equality law. Prof Miller sagely argued that Zionism is inherently racist, imperialist and colonial – views now shielded from discrimination. His position echoes the 1975 UN Resolution 3379, which declared Zionism a form of racism and racial discrimination, though it was later revoked under pressure in 1991 by Resolution 46/86.

At the conclusion of proceedings, Prof Miller successfully claimed discrimination “based on his philosophical belief that Zionism is inherently racist, imperialist, and colonial, a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010”,  his legal representatives, Rahman Lowe, announced on Monday.

“This judgment establishes for the first time ever that anti-Zionist beliefs are protected in the workplace,” the firm said.

Prof Miller said he is “very proud” to have established that anti-Zionist views qualify as a protected belief.

“I am extremely pleased that the Tribunal has concluded that I was unfairly and wrongfully dismissed by the University of Bristol,” he said.

“I am also very proud that we have managed to establish that anti-Zionist views qualify as a protected belief under the UK Equality Act.

“This was the most important reason for taking the case and I hope it will become a touchstone precedent in all the future battles that we face with the racist and genocidal ideology of Zionism and the movement to which it is attached.

“The determination that I was sacked for my anti-Zionist views is a huge vindication of my case all the way through this process.

“The University of Bristol maintained that I was sacked because Zionist students were offended by my various remarks, but it was plain from the evidence of its own witnesses that this was untrue, and it was the anti-Zionist nature of my comments which was the decisive factor.”

Zillur Rahman, who represented the academic at the tribunal, said his client has been “vindicated”.

He said: “This is a landmark case and marks a pivotal moment in the history of our country for those who believe in upholding the rights of Palestinians.

“The timing of this judgment will be welcomed by many who at present are facing persecution in their workplaces for speaking out against the crimes of the Israeli state, and the genocide taking place in Gaza.

“I am delighted for our client, David, who has been vindicated.”

The lawyer said his client will be seeking “maximum compensation” for the impact the events have had on his career.

The University of Bristol remains committed to fostering a positive working and learning environment that enriches lives and where the essential principles of academic freedom are preserved

Prof Miller drew controversy during a lecture at the university in 2019, when he said the Zionist movement was one of five pillars driving Islamophobia in the UK, the tribunal heard.

The University of Bristol subsequently received a complaint from the Community Security Trust charity, which said his lecture was a “false, vile… antisemitic slur”.

After an investigation of the complaint, no further action was taken against Scottish-born Prof Miller.

But further complaints were made to the university about him after he took part in an event called “Building the campaign for free speech” in February 2021, in which he spoke of being publicly criticised for his views on Palestine and Israel.

This led to the launch of disciplinary proceedings that culminated in his dismissal in October 2021.

The campaign against Professor Miller has been specifically designed to conflate criticism of Zionism with hatred of Jews. It is also designed to shut down teaching about Islamophobia and the harms posed by Zionism.

Electronic Intifada website records Professor Miller stating: ‘There is a real question of abuse here, of Jewish students on British campuses being used as political pawns by a violent, racist foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing.’

The Kent University staff member who had been in the room told The Electronic Intifada that Miller’s view that students on British campuses are being used a “pawns” by the Israeli embassy was “100 percent true” from his experience of the event.

Justice prevailed. Professor David Miller was found to have been unfairly dismissed by the University of Bristol in October 2021.

Victory

Professor Miller’s dismissal exposed the hypocrisy of those who pay lip service to academic freedom, yet seek to silence dissenting voices. His principled stand against censorship will hearten others who refuse to bow before prevailing orthodoxies.

This landmark verdict is a victory for open debate and fearless enquiry. But we must remain vigilant – the forces of repression will not cease their efforts to dictate approved thought and speech. The struggle for intellectual liberty is never-ending.

Prof Miller’s only offence was speaking truth to power in lectures and online, bravely exposing Zionism and groups to Zionist lobbying. Though the freedom-denying university first defended his right to academic expression, politically correct outcry soon panicked them into submission maybe this legal precedent will shore up other universities in their legal standing and stop them bowing to extremist pressures.

The tribunal has struck an historic blow for liberty, allowing people to openly criticize Zionism without facing legal retribution. This upholds the hard-won tradition of academic freedom, where controversial ideas can be debated rather than suppressed through coercion and censorship.

Of course, some may argue this licenses antisemitic speech under the guise of anti-Zionism. But we cannot sacrifice the essential freedom to question prevailing orthodoxies and challenge the powerful. If Zionist ideologies cannot withstand scrutiny, the fault lies not with their critics but the bankrupt ideas themselves.

With its craven capitulation to the anti-Zionist witch-hunt, Bristol University has disgraced itself. Thanks to this verdict, Prof Miller emerges with honour and principle intact. His stand for free expression against the forces of unthinking conformity will inspire kindred spirits facing similar persecution. Though the road remains difficult, truth and justice march on.

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