Chabad rabbis have been given security training in the wake of “disgraceful slurs” republished online by former Bristol university professor David Miller.
The political sociology professor, who was sacked from Bristol University amid claims he incited hatred against Jewish students, has republished on Twitter segments of a show aired on Iranian Press TV that calls Chabad a “supremacist organisation at the extreme end of the settler movement”.
The segment also claimed that Russian Chabadniks in 1777 were the original Zionist settlers.
The programme, Palestine Declassified, was launched in February and exists to “investigate the Israeli regime’s global war against solidarity with the illegally occupied people of Palestine”.
Miller works as a producer on the show, and has featured on the programme alongside its host, the former Labour MP Chris Williamson who was suspended from the party over accusations of antisemitism, and Electronic Intifada blogger Asa Winstanley.
In an early Palestine Declassified episode, it was claimed Chabad runs a children’s group called the Army Of Hashem, which “is dedicated to waging war against non-Judaism”.
The Community Security Trust called the comments about Chabad “disgraceful slurs” and has run security briefings for the movement’s rabbis in the UK.
Dave Rich, CST’s director of policy, said: “The episode of Palestine Declassified that focused on Chabad was full of disgraceful slurs and we felt it risked encouraging antisemitism or other hostile attention towards Chabad, so we held a tailored session for Chabad rabbis regarding their own security and that of their communities.
“This is something we often do for a range of communal bodies on a precautionary basis and was not based on any specific threat to Chabad.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.