Statement on The Jewish Chronicle’s mischaracterisation and misquotation of Professor David Miller’s views on Salman Abedi
“On 6 September, The Jewish Chronicle published another sensationalist article about Professor David Miller and his teaching, this time on the much-explored question of the relationship between Manchester bomber Salman Abedi and British intelligence.
“Professor Miller’s lecture on the subject featured news articles from The Guardian, BBC News, The Independent, The Telegraph, and The Daily Mail. The lecture examined information that is already in the public domain about how, during the British government’s assault on Libya, Mr Abedi was facilitated to join forces with al-Qa’ida combatants and was then ‘rescued’ at the end of the operation by HMS Enterprise.
“Prior to the atrocity he perpetrated in Manchester, Mr Abedi had been reported numerous times and was well-known to both MI5 and MI6. It is also plainly true – and has been admitted by the British government – that British intelligence has funded and facilitated violent opposition to the Syrian government which, in the UK, would be regarded by the British government as ‘Islamic terrorism’.
“These matters must be explored in the open and should be discussed in academic settings. That The Jewish Chronicle seeks to present these facts as controversial only further highlights how they are intent on laundering the nefarious acts of the British state in addition to the racist State of Israel.
“The Jewish Chronicle also seriously misquotes Professor Miller throughout its article, yet again living down to its reputation as an ideologically extreme smear factory. Those misquotes strip Professor Miller’s words of their original nuance, and even make it appear as if he endorses certain notions, like the Islamophobic term ‘Islamic terrorism’, when the opposite is true.”
JC misquote: The government have supported the moderate armed opposition… In other countries Britain is supporting [Islamic terrorism] while opposing it here.
DM quote: The government have said that they have supported the moderate armed opposition. It’s not always clear that that is a meaningful concept or that the opposition in Syria could be described in such a fashion. So, there is the distinct danger, as Jane Corbin put it in her Panorama programme, that the British government is opposing what they call ‘Islamic terrorism’ in this country but in other countries it supports it, because it meets its foreign policy objectives.
JC misquote: [Miller] also mentioned 2015 reports from Turkish pro-government media outlets that a British spy helped to smuggle British schoolgirls, including Shamima Begum, into Syria. Women who wanted to join Isis were “escorted across the border by British intelligence,” said Prof Miller, “for who knows what purpose we can only guess.
DM quote: And here, the case of these young women who went to Syria and it seems were monitored and were known about, and were escorted over the border, by a British intelligence operative. Now, we know that MI5 has a child protection policy. Presumably MI6 does too. It’s not very clear that young girls like this are being protected by MI6 if they are being escorted across the border from Turkey into Syria, for what purposes we can only speculate. It’s not really clear that this is what they should be doing in terms of young people who might need to be protected.
JC misquote: Never believe what the government says without thinking it through.
DM quote: Never take official discourse at face value. Never believe what the government says without thinking it through and working out what’s going on.
Statement on the Campaign Against Antisemitism's legal claim against the University of Bristol:
“The self-styled and misnamed ‘Campaign Against Antisemitism’ is purportedly in the ‘final stages’ of bringing, what we consider to be, a baseless and vexatious legal claim against the University of Bristol about Professor David Miller.
“The CAA seems to be using the same playbook that it employed against the Labour Party in its submissions to the EHRC in 2019, attacking freedom of expression by falsely labelling pro-Palestine and anti-Zionist views as ‘antisemitic’. The pro-Israel group asserts that Professor Miller’s credible, lawful, and truthful positions amount to ‘harassment’ against Jews, in what we believe to be a malicious misreading of the Equality Act 2010.
“The supposed success claimed by the CAA through last year’s EHRC report on ‘antisemitism’ in the Labour Party has apparently emboldened its resolve to pursue lawfare tactics to smash academic freedom on British university campuses. The EHRC, however, is not a court of law, but a politically motivated, discredited quango with close links to the Conservative Party.
“In our consideration, this case would result in total failure if brought before the courts. The CAA’s hubris would prove to be as embarrassing and disastrous as the 2014 Employment Tribunal case of Fraser v UCU, in which Zionist activists failed miserably in their apparent attempt to criminalise anti-Zionism.
“The Chief Executive of the CAA, Gideon Falter, has previously been involved in a legal case about ‘racially aggravated harassment’ in which an ‘antisemitism’ claim he made was found to be bogus. Falter had accused a senior Foreign Office diplomat of shouting an anti-Jewish profanity, which resulted in a prosecution that was later overturned after a Crown Court judge determined that no such remark was ever made.
“This case about Professor Miller highlights that the UK’s Israel lobby is continuing its endeavour to pursue any avenue it can, no matter how hopeless, to further its anti-Palestinian censorship campaign across the UK. This interference from a hostile foreign regime should be called out and defeated.”
Statement on the police complaints made against Professor David Miller:
“Far-right Zionist hate groups around the country are known to use spurious police complaints to intimidate pro-Palestine activists.
“The recent complaint against Professor David Miller appears to have originated from Jonathan Hoffman, who was convicted in 2019 of ‘disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress’ after he hectored a woman who was campaigning for Palestine.
“Professor Miller enjoys widespread support from academics and students at Bristol and beyond. Any vexatious complaint that has been made against him should be treated with contempt.
“Ever since Israel’s massacre of Gaza in 2014, far-right Zionist thugs have been at the centre of manufactured ‘antisemitism’ smears targeting political parties, activists and universities in the UK. Now, an international movement is developing that will at last expose and defeat the racism that fuels Zionist thuggery. All anti-racists should join us.”
Statement on the University of Bristol’s deeply irresponsible decision to launch an investigation into Professor David Miller’s well-evidenced comments:
“We are appalled to learn that the University of Bristol has wilted to the demands of pro-Israel campaign groups by launching an unnecessary investigation into Professor Miller’s well-evidenced comments. Every academic and student in the country should be deeply concerned about this coordinated attack on academic freedom.”