MEND STATEMENT: DAVID MILLER’S VICTORY IS A MAJOR STEP FORWARD FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday February 06 2024
MEND applauds Bristol Employment Tribunal for ruling that Professor David Miller was discriminated against by Bristol University when he was sacked in 2021 over his criticisms of Zionism.
The ruling is hugely significant, as it firmly establishes legal precedent that anti-Zionism – the criticism of the racist setter-colonial ideology behind the oppression of the Palestinians – is a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act (EA) of 2010.
The outcome will have significant implications for freedom of speech in academia, where some reports have said academics and students have shied away from criticism of Israeli state policy toward the Palestinians over fear of being accused of antisemitism. However, the ramifications of this judgement go beyond academia, and mean that critiquing Israeli state violence and settler-colonialism is a protected right across the workforce. As Professor Miller’s lawyer, Zillur Rahman, remarked:
“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. The timing of this Judgment will be welcomed by many who at present are facing persecution in their workplaces for speaking out against the crimes of the Israeli state.”
MEND calls upon universities and and other employers across the country to heed the implications of this landmark ruling by accepting that holding anti-Zionist views is now a legally protected right, and taking action to ensure that employees who express such views will not be harassed or discriminated against for doing so.