Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘Zionism

Lindsey German Joins Defence of David Miller.

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The David Miller affair rumbles on. Arguments about academic freedom, the rights of students, and wider free speech issues have come up. It is not helpful for those who defend the liberty of expression, to find that Miller’s ardent defenders include those who agree with his conspiracist theories about ‘Zionism’. Or indeed the claim by a former President of the NUS Malia Bouattia that the, “Zionist movement’s involvement in promoting Islamophobia, a well-known fact among scholars who study the Palestinian question.” (A war is being waged against academic freedom in Britain)

The line up at this meeting looks likely to include opinions from all these sides of the controversy.

 

Lindsey German, Convenor of Stop the War Coalition, and prominent member of the revolutionary socialist group Counterfire.

With racist lecturers, students etc., the campaign has of necessity to be much longer and has to be as wide as possible. The Harrington campaign was successful both because it was based on very militant tactics and because it involved far wider numbers of students than simply the existing left, including the philosophy students on Harrington’s course.

Similar campaigns against a racist lecturer at Bristol university, and a fascist student at Plymouth need to get similar levels of support if they are to succeed. And they need to mobilise round specific aims – it is no good including a shopping list of demands, including the total abolition of racism in society, in a campaign to get rid of a racist lecturer. The wider issues should be taken up in Socialist Worker Student Society meetings, in Socialist Worker and Socialist Worker Review.

No Platform: Free speech for all?

(April 1986)

 

Here are some of the other speakers:

 

Tariq Mahood on Charlie ‘Hebdo, 2015.

In remembering the Charlie Hebdo attack we must not forget the responsibility that goes with free speech

the ‘free speech’ argument of the last week has not really been about the right to free speech, but about how to exercise the responsibility that goes with free speech. I see no reason to celebrate those who abjure this responsibility or exercise it carelessly, heedless of the consequences of their actions. The defence of Charlie Hebdo – that they did not target Islam but everybody and anybody – is not impressive if the assumption is that targeting minorities and weak groups and being willing to use and strengthen stereotypes and racist imagery is ok, as long as the satirists in question also satirise the powerful.

None of this of course justifies any form of violence let alone the murders of last week, but it at least identifies some of the relevant issues, especially those which are about the uses of freedom and of being mindful of how images can reinforce social divisions.

Harriet Bradley, December 2019.

Harriet Bradley was suspended from the party on Tuesday after she shared a post on her Facebook page, with the message “the right kind of Jews – ie left voters”

Here is a well-wisher.

Here is another well-wisher, extending the field of combat.

Here is a fellow ‘theorist’ on ‘Zionism’:

Here is somebody who is not well-wisher:

Here is somebody who well wishes Miller even less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 4, 2021 at 1:04 pm

As Accusations of “Assad Apologist” Emerge, Call to Defend Professor David Miller Against “full spectrum of Zionist organisations.”

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Old friends rally to Miller’s Cause.

Not everybody agrees with Miller’s approach:

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This has been launched:

Defend Freedom of Speech – Defend David Miller!

This is the group behind it.

On February 13 2021, an online conference of over 300 people set up the Labour Campaign for Free Speech. We agreed a ‘Charter for Free Speech‘, a ‘Charter for Labour Party members’ rights‘ and elected a steering committee of 10 people :

Anita Bennett (Chair of family learning disability charity Rescare, Stockport. Bristol NUJ Exec.) Kevin Bean (Expelled member, Wavertree 4, Merseyside Labour Left Alliance)  John Courtneidge (Co-operator, socialist& Quaker) Terry Deans (Plymouth and region Labour Left Alliance). Deepa Driver (chair Momentum Camden, Free Julian Assange campaign) Esther Giles (suspended CLP secretary, Bristol North West CLP)  Tony Greenstein (author, blogger, expert (!) on Israel/Palestine) Jackie Walker author and anti-racist campaigner Tina Werkman (co-chair, Labour Against the Witchhunt) and…

Chris Williamson (former Labour MP, Resistance Movement).

This is their latest initiative:

 

Professor David Miller of Bristol University called for an End to Zionism and said that the Union of Jewish Students, which is affiliated to the racist World Zionist Organisation, is using Jewish students as pawns and playing on their fears of anti-semitism.

David Miller has come under vicious attack from the Jewish Chronicle and a full spectrum of Zionist organisations including the Board of Deputies of Zionist Jews, the Union of Jewish Students and a multiplicity of Zionist organisations.

 

David Miller is part of the Syria Working Group, a red-brown organ of support for Assad in Syria.

 

INTRIGUE:MAYDAY – BACKGROUND READING

The ‘Useful Idiots’: How These British Academics Helped Russia Deny War Crimes At The UN.

LETTER TO SHADOW HOME SECRETARY DIANE ABBOTT RE ASSAD APOLOGIST DAVID MILLER

Dear Diane,

We are deeply concerned to learn that you are to take part in the launch today, 5th September, of a CAGE publication co-authored by David Miller, a notorious pro-Assad atrocity denier. You previously appeared on a panel with him at a ‘Spinwatch’ panel event back on the 26th March.

David Miller, a professor of political sociology at the University of Bristol, is part of a group that systematically denies high profile Assad regime crimes against civilians in Syria, particularly the Assad regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons. David Miller has also sought to deny Russia’s responsibility for the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Evidence of this is included below.

Labour’s 2017 manifesto, when referring to Syria, committed to work for justice for the victims of war crimes.

As Home Secretary in a future Labour government, you would have responsibility for policy towards Syrian refugees in the UK who are victims of—and witnesses to—the Assad regime’s crimes. You would also have responsibility for the UK’s own investigations into war crimes, currently dealt with by SO15, the Counter Terrorism Command of the Metropolitan Police.

If you associate yourself with a committed war crimes denier such as David Miller, this must undermine confidence in the willingness of Labour to work for the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for crimes in Syria, including some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity seen this century.

We hope you will reconsider appearing on this panel and be more careful about who you associate yourself with in future given your responsibilities as an MP and as Shadow Home Secretary.

Yours sincerely,

Batool Abdulkareen and Bronwen Griffiths, Syria Solidarity UK

David Taylor, Vice-Chair, LCID

 

Diane Abbott letter tweets of Miller

This is Beely’s latest campaign:


 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 22, 2021 at 1:11 pm

Chris Williamson stands with David Miller accused of ‘anti-Semitic tropes’.

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Williamson Stands with David Miller.

This is the background.

The Bristol Mayor and Bristol West MP have spoken out on Prof David Miller’s comments.

University of Bristol professor has come under fire for “unacceptable” statements about Israel and Jewish students.

Prof David Miller called for the “end of Zionism” and said Israel is “trying to exert its will all over the world” in a Zoom video call last Saturday.

The sociology lecturer later said Jewish students were being used as “political pawns by a violent, racist foreign regime” and accused his university’s Jewish Society (Bristol JSoc) of a “campaign of censorship” making some students “unsafe”.

Bristol West’s Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire described the conduct as “completely unacceptable”, adding: “I’m following this appalling behaviour by a Bristol Uni lecturer up with the university.”

And Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees told the Jewish Chronicle: “I met students from Bristol Jewish Society [on Wednesday] and am awaiting more details about the incident. But I will be supporting them and meeting the university to discuss this matter.”

Prof Miller was suspended from Labour last year and later quit after claiming Sir Keir Starmer had taken “Zionist” money.

During an online Campaign for Free Speech event last Saturday, he said: “‘This is an all-out onslaught by the Israeli government on the left globally.

This was the Zoom meeting. Contributors included Norman Finkelstein, former Labour MP Chris Williamson (founder Resistance Movement), Jackie Walker (Labour Against the Witchhunt), a speaker from Jewish Voice for Labour, anti-apartheid veteran Ronnie Kasrils, Sami Ramadani (Stop the War Coalition), Jamie Stern-Weiner (expert on IHRA) and David Miller (University of Bristol).

I’m tired of waiting for my uni to act against conspiratorial hatred

Sabrina Miller.

Two years ago Bristol JSoc launched a complaint against Miller after a Jewish student came forward and described their experiences in his classroom (on the condition of anonymity).

“I was one of the only Jewish students in David Miller’s class. Honestly it was scary because he is a teacher so people believed the anti-Semitism he was spreading. I was scared because I am one voice and felt I couldn’t stand up to him or tell him what he was saying was wrong.”

In Miller’s Harms of the Powerful module he claimed the “Zionist movement (parts of)” were pillars of islamophobia. He also attempted to link various British Jewish organisations to the state of Israel. As a Jewish student, this conspiratorial spider’s web of arrows and organisations was grimly reminiscent of antsemitic tropes where Jews are accused of having unique power and influence over political affairs.

This was another response:

This is David Miller.

Syria ‘truther’ heads fundraising campaign to sue British Labour Party

Bristol University professor David Miller – a member of the “propaganda professors” group which defends the Assad regime against accusations of chemical weapons use in Syria and disputes Russia’s use of a nerve agent against the Skripals in Britain – is behind a new campaign to sue the British Labour Party.

Miller is director and sole shareholder in a company called Campaign for Chris Williamson Ltd, which was registered on 17 July.

Williamson, MP for Derby North, has been suspended from the Labour Party over allegations of antisemitism and Miller has launched a crowd-funded campaign through his company to take legal action against the party. The aim is to raise £75,000 to cover the costs.

Miller is a prominent member of the quasi-academic Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which claims that chemical attacks in Syria have been “staged” by rebels in oder to falsely accuse the Assad regime (see previous blog posts). Miller is a co-author of the group’s latest article which claims the OPCW’s investigation into alleged chlorine attacks in Douma was “nobbled”. The group also disputes that Russia was responsible for poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury last year.

 

The route that Chris Williamson has taken.

Labour Against The Witchhunt Retweeted

It will be interesting to see how friends of Williamson, from TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) to the people in the ‘Free Speech’ campaign react in the coming days.

Universities are free to sack staff if they breach their employment conditions.

There seems a strong case against Miller, in the first place because he has launched an attack on students at his own institution.
Once outside his academic post he will be free to pursue his particular hobbies and political bugbears.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 20, 2021 at 12:11 pm