David Miller, a professor of sociology at the University of Bristol was fired after making controversial comments that many alleged were antisemitic.
Miller, who teaches about “how power self-perpetuates through lobbying and propaganda,” said in a lecture in 2019 that the Zionist movement is one of five sources of Islamophobia, presenting a graphic associating Jewish charities with pro-Israel lobbying.
Miller also stated that Israel is “the enemy of world peace” and that the Bristol Jewish Society, the local chapter of the UK’s Union of Jewish Students organization, is an “Israel lobby group.
Additionally, Miller said that Israel wants to “impose [its] will all over the world” and that Jewish students were being exploited as “political pawns by a violent, racist, foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing.”
Numerous politicians and Jewish groups raised concerns that the comments promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews covertly control global politics, but the university initially defended Miller’s academic freedom.
After holding a disciplinary hearing, however, the school concluded that Miller did not meet the behavioral standards expected from its faculty and that his “employment should be terminated with immediate effect,”
The University of Bristol added that it takes “any risk to stifle [academic] freedom seriously.”