After much criticized delay, Bristol University has initiated a formal investigation into a professor who slandered Jewish students as "pawns of a racist regime engaged in ethnic cleansing."
Professor David Miller also accused Jews on campus of running a "campaign of censorship" for the Israeli government.
The U.K. school ignited a firestorm when it initially made the decision to stand by the academic, who is a professor of political sociology. Jewish community organizations were especially critical of the school's lack of response.
Today's announcement comes after the matter was brought before the U.K. government, with the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism delivering a letter signed by more than 100 MPs and Peers to Bristol University's vice chancellor. The letter accused Miller of "inciting hatred against Jewish students."
Writing that the university has displayed a "failure to act", they go on to say that Miller has “undermined the safety and security of Jewish students under the pretence of free speech”. They were especially critical of a letter in support of Miller signed by 200 academics.
In a statement announcing the opening of the investigation, Bristol University said, "We recognise that this matter has caused deep concern for some members of our community, and also that people hold very different views on the issues raised. The University has offered support to both students and staff who have been affected by it.
"Our freedom of speech policy underlines the vital importance of the right of staff and students, as members of a free and democratic society, to speak openly without fear of censorship or limitation, provided that this right is exercised responsibly, within the law, and with respect for others who may have differing views.
"The University's clear and consistently held position is that bullying, harassment, and discrimination are never acceptable. We remain committed to providing a positive experience for all our students and staff, including by providing a welcoming environment for Jewish students, and to fostering good relations and an inclusive University community."
The Bristol Jewish Society (JSoc) issued a statement saying that to their knowledge David Miller has not been suspended pending the results of the investigation.