Prof David Miller’s significant tribunal victory: anti-zionism is not racism!

A substantial fly in the ointment for those who are trying to criminalise all criticism of and opposition to zionist Israel and its blood-drenched British enablers.

Lalkar writers

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Although some arms of the justice system may occasionally play ‘fair’ with those involved in anti-zionist work, it is clear that our rulers are seriously contemplating a radical ‘overhaul’ that would prevent the possibility of such outcomes in the future. We must continue to use every means at our disposal to bring the truth to the masses, and to defend their right to hear that truth, while understanding that Britain’s ruling class will increasingly ignore, rewrite or bypass its own ‘rules’ as its interests are more seriously threatened.

Lalkar writers

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Given the British government’s encouragement to the forces of law and order to victimise those who support the Palestinian people in their struggles against the zionist entity that is currently perpetrating genocide in Gaza, it is both welcome and surprising that two judicial proceedings last month actually upheld, at least to some extent, the right of people to express their support for Palestine and their opposition to zionism and the zionist state that is Israel.

The first was the employment tribunal of sacked university professor David Miller. The second was a judge’s refusal to jail three young women for the crime of wearing stickers depicting paragliders on their jackets at a Palestine solidarity demonstration.

David Miller’s employment tribunal

Professor David Miller was sacked two years ago from his post as a lecturer at Bristol university because he had expressed anti-zionist views, much to the distress of zionist-supporting students at the university who, as zionists always do, tried to claim that his criticisms of Israel’s founding ideology were antisemitic.

David Miller went to the employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal contrary to Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010, which protects an individual’s right to hold and express “philosophical beliefs”. The tribunal accepted that anti-zionism is a protected philosophical belief and that therefore, Professor Miller’s dismissal had indeed been unfair.

The employment tribunal determined that the claimant’s anti-zionist beliefs qualify as protected beliefs pursuant to section 10 of the Equality Act 2010.

In doing so, the tribunal applied what are known as the Grainger criteria: (i) The belief must be genuinely held; (ii) It must be a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available; (iii) It must be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour; (iv) It must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance; and (v) It must be worthy of respect in a democratic society.

The tribunal found that anti-zionist beliefs satisfied all these criteria.

Although the tribunal found in Professor Miller’s favour, it did also indicate that there is effectively a limit on one’s right to express one’s philosophical beliefs. While he was perfectly entitled to express them in the course of his work whenever they were relevant to that work, his angry confrontations with students who were demanding his dismissal were felt by the tribunal to be excessively aggressive and justified halving the amount of damages he was being awarded.

The tribunal also thought it might have been justifiable to dismiss him for saying that “jews are not discriminated against”, that they are “overrepresented” in British society, and that “judeophobia barely exists these days”, remarks he had made publicly after his dismissal.

Yet whether one agrees with these statements or not, it is obvious Professor Miller did not make these statements in order to incite hatred of jews and they would not have had that effect. So why is he not entitled to his opinions, especially as he is a professor of political sociology who would have based his opinions on a considerable body of factual information?

Significance of the ruling

Professor Miller was nevertheless delighted with the tribunal’s decision.

“I am extremely pleased that the tribunal has concluded that I was unfairly and wrongfully dismissed by the University of Bristol,” he said.

“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.”

We note that this ruling will make it much harder for the zionists in the British establishment who are falling over themselves to criminalise all criticism of Israel, even as it perpetrates the most heinous and flagrant crimes against humanity in the full glare of global publicity.

Progressive people should take heart from David Miller’s example of standing firm, refusing to buckle under pressure and defending the truth with every means at our disposal.

We are sure that this ruling will, along with our party’s confident ability to argue a case in court, would have been instrumental in persuading police to drop similar charges of ‘inciting racial hatred’ against four comrades who were arrested last year for selling our party’s pamphlet on the history and role of zionism (available to download for free here).

In the case of Palestine, two truths above all others must be kept to the forefront as the government tries to find other ways to silence and suppress opposition to its responsibility for and complicity in the Gaza genocide.

Anti-zionism is not antisemitism!
The Palestinian people have a right to resist and the British workers have a duty to support them!