A Pro-Palestinian professor who was accused of antisemitic comments has won a landmark case against his dismissal from his post at Bristol University.
Professor David Miller was “unfairly dismissed” from his role at the Russel Group University, following remarks he made about Israel where he stated that “Zionism has always been racist”, the tribunal said.
An employment tribunal found that anti-Zionist beliefs count as a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act and therefore people cannot be fired from their jobs for expressing them.
Lawyers represented Miller said the 108-page ruling was a “landmark decision”.
Professor David Miller was “unfairly dismissed” from his role at Bristol University, a tribunal found
The Union of Jewish Students were disappointed with the judgment.
They said it “may set a dangerous precedent about what can be lawfully said on campus about Jewish students and the societies at the centre of their social life. This will ultimately make Jewish students less safe”.
Miller worked at Bristol University as a political sociology professor from 2018 until 2021, when he was dismissed.
He claimed that he was victim to an organised campaign by groups and individuals who were opposed to his anti-Zionist views.
Jewish students first complained against Miller after he gave a lecture describing the “Zionist movement” as one of the “five pillars of Islamophobia”.
David Miller was fired in 2021 from Bristol University after making anti-Zionist comments
In an email to Ben Bloch, a student and news editor of The Bristol Tab university newspaper, the professor said: “Zionism is and always has been a racist, violent, imperialist ideology premised on ethnic cleansing. It is an endemically anti-Arab and Islamophobic ideology. It has no place in any society.”
He was then fired in 2021, after Jewish students claimed that he made them feel “uncomfortable and intimidated”.
Since being sacked, the professor has described Israel as “the enemy of world peace” and claimed that “Jews are not discriminated against”.
Yesterday, the Bristol employment tribunal found that Miller was discriminated against by the University who chose to fire him because of his beliefs.
Jewish students first complained against Miller after he gave a lecture describing the ‘Zionist movement’ as one of the ‘five pillars of Islamophobia’
Zillur Rahman, partner at law firm Rahman Lowe, who represented Prof Miller, 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.”
Prof Miller said: “I am extremely pleased that the tribunal has concluded that I was unfairly and wrongfully dismissed by the University of Bristol.
“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.”
Miller said he felt “very proud” at the employment tribunal’s ruling from Judge Rohan Pirani. He added: “This is not just a victory for me, but also a victory for pro-Palestine campaigners across Britain.”