‘Pawns of Israel’ Bristol prof ‘teaching next year’ despite five-month probe

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

‘Pawns of Israel’ Bristol prof ‘teaching next year’ despite five-month probe

The Union of Jewish Students slams 'message that academics are free to harass and target Jewish students without any consequences'.

Prof David Miller
Prof David Miller

Bristol’s Professor David Miller is allegedly listed to teach classes at the university next year – despite being under investigation for his inflammatory ‘end Zionism’ comments.

The controversial academic has been condemned across the community and by Parliamentarians, after calling for an “end to Zionism” and labelling Bristol’s Jewish Society “pawns of Israel.”

More than 150 days ago, the university announced an investigation into the professor’s comments, with no verdict yet forthcoming – but now the academic appears to be teaching modules next year to students, says the Union of Jewish Students.

The organisation slammed what it called Bristol’s assumption “of innocence in a very serious case of antisemitic conduct.”

“This assumption sends the message that academics are free to harass and target Jewish students without any consequences or repercussions for their actions,” said UJS and Bristol’s JSoc in a joint letter to Prof Esther Dermot, the head of school in Policy Studies.

“This sets a dangerous precedent of taking it upon yourself to decide the outcome of an ongoing investigation. 

“Your silence will only continue to pit you against your Jewish students and make them feel more isolated from their School and their peers.”

Miller is reportedly listed as teaching ‘Understanding Terrorism’ for third year students, and ‘Harms of the Powerful’ for second year students. 

The latter of the modules has been criticised by Jewish communal figures for containing offensive material.

The letter asks what action the school is going to take to protect Jewish students. “Or will you continue to do nothing and leave them to pick up the pieces?” it asks.

Bristol refused to confirm whether Miller is teaching next year, and previously said it cannot discuss the status of the investigation into Miller.

“We also appreciate there is a great deal of public interest in this matter,” it said last week. “However, we cannot jeopardise the integrity and rigour of what is a confidential process by discussing it with the media or third parties.”

Today, alongside its previous statement, it added: “The letter sent to our School of Policy Studies will be responded to directly in due course.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: