David Miller Victory Against Zionism: Letter to Weekly Worker

In the light of David Miller’s victory at the Industrial Tribunal against Bristol University, this letter was sent to the Weekly Worker, a publication which had previously solidarised with witchhunting allegations coming from some on the ‘left’ that David Miller’s views were ‘anti-Semitic’. They published it, but cut it virtually in half, and though of course they make their own editorial decisions, it has to be said that the portions cut out of the letter would have posed some pretty embarassing questions to their supporters about their own history of witchhunting those to their left on the question of Zionism. The socialist public can judge them (and us) on these issues, and we are quite content that they do. Whether they are so content is somewhat doubtful however…

Dear Editor,

It is magnificent news that David Miller has won his Industrial Tribunal against Bristol University. He had been sacked for his anti-Zionist views, and commented after his victory, in a statement agreed with his lawyers, that:

“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.


“I also want to note that this verdict is a massive vindication of the approach I have taken throughout this period which is to say that a genocidal and maximalist ideology like Zionism can only be effectively confronted by a maximalist anti-Zionism.  Apologies, debate, and defensiveness of the sort illustrated by many on the left, and even in the Palestine Solidarity movement will not work.  The Zionist movement cannot be negotiated with.  It must be defeated.” (https://www.rllaw.co.uk/rahman-lowe-secures-landmark-victory-in-employment-case-for-professor-david-miller-against-bristol-university/)

In particular, the legal precedent that anti-Zionist views are a protected characteristic under British law is a real advance and conquest, and complements the previous victory won by Keith Henderson in a 2013 Industrial Tribunal that left-wing socialist beliefs are also such a protected characteristic under the same laws.

I would observe that David Miller’s victory is no thanks to some sections of the left, including Jewish Voice for Labour, the SWP and the Weekly Worker, who even when David was waging his ultimately successful campaign, joined in the witch-hunting by denouncing him as ‘anti-Semitic’ for making factually correct statements about the material basis of Zionist social power in countries outside Israel. All of those attempted to scandalise him for the following observations in a tweet:

“1. Jews are not discriminated against. 2. They are over-represented in Europe, North America and Latin America in positions of cultural, economic and political power.

3. They are therefore, in a position to discriminate against actually marginalised groups.”

While covering itself in a bourgeois-libertarian position of defending the supposed democratic rights of all racists including even fascists, the Weekly Worker solidarised with the SWP’s own wretched attacks on David Miller thus:

“Socialist Worker offers good grounds to suppose that the tweet was anti-Semitic: e.g, his words ‘lump together all Jews without any recognition of class or other differences. Miller targets Jews, not the actual ruling class, and plays on the idea of Jews as ultra-rich and manipulative’”

This is simply a smear and a non-sequitur, an example of liberal-moralist, Zionist-influenced prejudice on the part of the SWP, WW and JVL who make similar points. Far from ‘ignoring’ class differences, this analysis is based on them, when properly understood. The social composition of the Jewish population, its disproportionate representation in positions of property and financial power, has obvious bearing on the influence of Zionist Jews in capitalist society today, simply because the dominant ideology of bourgeois Jews is political Zionism, and disproportionate Zionist influence in ‘high places’ flows inexorably from that.

Nowhere in this analysis does any alleged characteristic of Jews as being ‘manipulative’ manifest. Such psychologising is not remotely necessary since the behavioural traits of classes, not ethnic groups, are being discussed here. The unique history of the Jews is marked by an earlier evolution before capitalism, as in the main a commodity trading people-class (analysed by the Jewish Marxist theorist Abram Leon) which to historical materialists explains much today about the class structure of the Jewish population. There is no need for racialised stereotypes to explain such things, it has always been a matter of class, something which no genuine Marxist can ignore.

David Miller’s views on Zionism appear quite close to my own. He has won an enormous victory for the basic democratic right to make the most trenchant criticism of Zionism and humiliated all the Zionist Tory, Labour, Lib Dem, Green and Scottish Nationalist politicians who earlier signed an outrageous letter basically demanding that he be sacked. But at least he was victimised by ruling class politicians and their open servants.

I recall that I experienced similar victimisation in 2014 from ostensible communists (the CPGB/Weekly Worker). Having thrown me out of the Communist Platform, a bloc within Left Unity that I was one of the founders of, for supposed ‘anti-Semitism’, WW ran a disgusting cartoon that tried to equate my Marxist views on the Jewish question, derived from Abram Leon – who was murdered in Auschwitz – with the Nazi genocide. That cartoon was worthy of the sinister Zionist ‘Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’ which now cheers for the holocaust in Gaza.

In 2020 I, along with Gerry Downing, was expelled from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign for similar reasons. The architect of this purge was PSC secretary Ben Soffa, who for the first three years of Starmer’s reign of terror against the remnants of the Corbynite left on behalf of the Zionist lobby, worked for Starmer as his Head of Digital Communications. A huge conflict of interest! He was only removed after 7 October. The PSC leadership expelled me, but put Emily Thornberry on its platforms as a Zionist they could have ‘dialogue’ with. When questioned on Yoav Gallant’s 8th October order to starve the Gaza population even of drinking water at the beginning of this genocide, she refused to condemn this and said it was “appropriate”.

Even some elements who were supposed to be my co-thinkers capitulated to the pressure. That’s how insidious the all-encompassing Zionist attack on democratic rights is, and was, and how weak the left has been in standing up to it. This has to change. This victory of David Miller is a straw in the wind. Of change. Now that the Zionists have been exposed before the masses as akin to Nazis there needs to be a counter-attack. There needs to be an end to fratricidal capitulationism and witchhunting on the left, and instead zero tolerance for Zionist genocidal racism and attacks on democratic rights. Zionism needs to be fought the same way as fascism!

Finally, I would note that even though they made the right decision, the Industrial Tribunal is still weak in trying to ‘partly’ blame David for his victimisation. Presumably for being too ‘uppity’ in defence of his protected beliefs! It’s typical that even when a bourgeois court gets things right, they still genuflect before Zionist ideological terrorism. We saw something similar at the ICJ. Even when they get things right, they flinch.

Ian Donovan

Consistent Democrats

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