Noam Chomsky defends anti-Semitic Bristol University professor

Chomsky was one of hundreds of academics to recently sign an open letter to the university in support of Miller.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Prof. Noam Chomsky, American linguist and political activist, defended his support of Prof. David Miller, the British sociologist who has been accused of “inciting hatred against Jewish students” at the University of Bristol, London’s The Jewish Chronicle reported Monday.

“I have strongly defended the right of genuine war criminals like [former secretary of state] Henry Kissinger, [former White House adviser] Walt Rostow, and others to spew forth their hateful and murderous propaganda in universities,” said Chomsky.

“This is a much milder case, and I think the same principles should apply,” he said.

Chomsky was one of hundreds of academics to recently sign an open letter to the university in support of Miller.

“At a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has reinvigorated public consciousness about the structural factors entrenching racism, attempts to stifle discourse on Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism are particularly regressive and inconsistent with the values the University of Bristol espouses,” said the letter.

“As public intellectuals and academics, we feel duty-bound to express our solidarity with Professor Miller and to oppose such efforts to crush academic freedom,” the letter said.

Over 100 members of British parliament disagreed and sent their own letter to the university.

“Hundreds of academics have, in our opinion, disgraced your profession, shaming themselves by signing a factually inaccurate letter, supporting a man who has undermined the safety and security of Jewish students under the pretense of free speech,” the letter said.

The members of parliament accused Miller of promoting an “anti-Semitic conspiracy fantasy” and “inciting hatred against Jewish students.”

In a videoconference last month, Miller said he wanted to “end of Zionism as a functioning ideology” and said that Jewish students were “being used as political pawns by a violent, racist, foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing.”

In regard to Miller’s quotes, Chomsky told The Jewish Chronicle, “I don’t like what is reported, most of which seems to be in reaction to condemnations of him.”

Chomsky himself is no stranger to anti-Israel rhetoric.

In a November 2018 interview with i24 News, Chomsky spoke of “Judeo-Nazis” and said that Gaza was a “concentration camp.”

“The Palestinians are in a very grim situation now. The Trump administration is the most extreme in its support of Israeli expansion and repression. It’s the first administration to have accepted Israel’s takeover of Jerusalem,” Chomsky said.