Ben Reiff Profile picture
21 Feb, 12 tweets, 3 min read
Bristol lecturer David Miller’s antisemitism is subtle, and the whole affair provides an excellent example of why it’s so important to listen to Jews on the left when discussing antisemitism on the left. [THREAD]
The right-wing/mainstream Jewish bodies are focusing on his desire to “end Zionism”, which is not inherently antisemitic. Miller and his acolytes know that, and so they argue that the antisemitism accusations are just a pro-Israel smear campaign.
Nothing new here so far. And if that was all, Jews on the left would be coming to his defence - as we have done for a number of others. But Miller goes further than simply a critique of Zionism.
There is something slightly insidious in the way he talks about “the Zionist movement” which is probably imperceptible to many non-Jews on the left (though Palestinians tend to be much better at this than middle-aged white cranks).
When talking about Zionism it is important to be precise: in 2021 it refers to either the regime of control in Israel-Palestine or to the ideology underpinning it, or both. Miller isn’t referring to either of these things but rather something far more broad and all-encompassing.
A couple of examples illustrate this.

1) When talking about Jewish societies on uni campuses, he reduces their role to “political pawns” and “lobby groups” as if they exist only to defend Israel. This totally mischaracterises the purpose of Jsocs.
While it’s true that Jsocs are able to access funds set aside by the Israeli embassy (specifically for Israel-related events) many Jsocs avoid this and, regardless, it’s not something that is unique to the Israeli embassy. Target missed.
2) As per the image below, he tries to argue that the Jewish people involved in interfaith events with Muslim communities in London (specifically, an annual Mitzvah Day event from 2018) are sent by Israel in order to normalise Zionism.
Mitzvah Day is about local social action and building bridges between communities. Israel plays no role in it. The fact that some of its organisers or donors have had involvement in separate, Israel-related causes is completely irrelevant here.
Put simply: suggesting that all Jewish activities on campus or within interfaith frameworks are about promoting or normalising Zionism is both infantilising and conspiratorial. Miller is not actually fighting Zionism; he’s fostering antisemitism.
A final addendum: putting aside his obsession with “the Zionist movement”, Miller has also promoted pro-Assad conspiracy theories denying the Syrian regime’s war crimes. Any serious person on the left should have dropped this guy years ago.
Postscript: this from @jewdas fills in a few more gaps

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ben Reiff

Ben Reiff Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @ben_reiff

3 Oct 20
[Thread:] Throughout his career Netanyahu has maintained power by inciting Jewish Israelis against Palestinians in Israel and the OPTs, which has resulted in countless acts of racist violence by his supporters. Who’ve been the second biggest target of his incitement? The left.
It’s no surprise then that since the current wave of mass anti-government demonstrations began in June, protestors (who Bibi called “anarchists” & “aliens”) have sporadically been targeted with violence by pro-Bibi groups and individuals, especially Beitar ultras “La Familia”.
Earlier this week Netanyahu extended the lockdown regulations to include a ban on protesting further than 1km from home. While stifling the regular demonstrations at Balfour and other epicentres, protestors responded by demonstrating at every street corner across the country.
Read 11 tweets
6 Sep 20
[THREAD] Gideon Levy won’t join the current anti-gov protests because, rather than Bibi’s corruption, “the occupation is what makes the Israeli regime clearly undemocratic”. He’s right, but he’s blinded by his own cynicism and failing to recognise an opportunity.
Let’s leave aside the fact that these protests are also dealing with other important issues like the gov’s terrible support for those who’ve lost their livelihoods because of the pandemic, and that mass mobilisations like this are inherently good for politicisation and democracy.
In stark contrast to the much maligned social protests of 2011 which deliberately ignored Palestine/the occupation in order to avoid “politicisation” (one of several fatal flaws to that movement), this time anti-occupation groups are coming strong.…
Read 10 tweets
30 Aug 20
This evening @NaamodUK is hosting a unique webinar in which we’ll be discussing the ongoing anti-government protests in Israel from an anti-occupation angle.

Our excellent panel includes @aj_iraqi (@972mag), @sally_abed (@omdimbeyachad) and @SaharMvardi (Free Jerusalem)

Link 👇
Read 4 tweets
29 Aug 20
Saturday night in Jerusalem means thousands of Israelis are marching again from the entrance of the city to the Prime Minister’s residence at Balfour St in protest against the government. New for this week: Israelis abroad are demonstrating simultaneously in 18 cities worldwide.
“Justice for Solomon [Teka], Justice for Eyad [al-Hallaq]” (Ethiopian and Palestinian victims of police violence respectively) has been the call of the leftist bloc at these protests since the beginning; it’s now become one of the central chants of this protest movement
Another issue that has been absorbed into this amorphous protest movement is that of rape culture and violence against women, following a shocking rape in Eilat recently. “Which part of no didn’t you understand yet? No is no is no is no is no”
Read 32 tweets
22 Aug 20
Saturday night in Jerusalem means another thousands-strong protest against Netanyahu’s government. This time, however, rather than spending the evening at Balfour, we’re marching to Bibi’s house from Meitarim Bridge at the entrance to the city
Protestors blocking roads en route to Balfour
The police refused to grant a permit for this march but it hasn’t stopped thousands from joining. Some police here running to catch up with the front of the march
Read 27 tweets
20 Aug 20
A few hundred metres further down King George Street, an emergency protest organised at short notice in response to the news this morning of a gang rape of a 16-year old last week in Eilat. Chants of “it’s dangerous to be a woman”.
“Women demand safety in the streets”
“When she says no she means no”
Read 10 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!