Author Archives: admin

“The Jewish Question” in 19th century Europe

By Ian Portman Abstract Faced with increasing  antisemitism in Europe towards the end of the 19th century, many Jews chose to join the great waves of European emigration  to the United States. Since the high middle ages, most of the … Read more here 

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Britain Palestine Israel – 70 years on

Donate A  20-page booklet is now available containing the speeches at the conference of the Balfour Project in partnership with King’s College London (see below). The booklet also includes the Balfour Centenary Declaration, which has now been signed by 141 … Read more here 

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Evangelicals, the Balfour Declaration and Zionism

By Roger Spooner When talking about the Balfour Declaration with a pastor from Bethlehem, he commented,’ the problems for the Palestinians didn’t start in 1917, they started in 1840′. Literal reading of the Bible which had developed in the 17th … Read more here 

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Prophet of Doom: E.T. Richmond, Palestine 1920-1924

John Richmond Ernest Richmond ETR was a an architect who spent many years in the Arab World and was invited in 1920 by Sir Herbert Samuel to join the Palestine administration. His son has written about some of his writings … Read more here 

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The Balfour Declaration, 2 November 1917: A Fateful Improbability

Centenary Lecture to the History Group, The Norfolk Club, 14 September 2017 by William Mathew It is argued here that only a special conjuncture of chance and short-term circumstance made it possible for an effective pro-Zionist policy to be successfully … Read more here 

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Renewed call for justice and reconciliation in the Holy Land on the centenary of the Balfour Declaration

              Catholic and Anglican bishops today, 2 November 2017, called for justice and reconciliation in the Holy Land on the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Bishop Declan Lang, Catholic bishop of Clifton and Bishop … Read more here 

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An interview between Mr Balfour and Justice Brandeis, Paris 1919

Present: Mr. Balfour, Mr. Justice Brandeis, Lord Eustace Percy and Mr. Frankfurter 2 Mr. Balfour expressed great satisfaction that Justice Brandeis came to Europe3He said the Jewish problem (of which the Palestinian question is only a fragment but an essential … Read more here 

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Memories Of The Future: On The Anniversary Of The Balfour Declaration

By His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal Member of the Jordanian royal family “A historian can record what went wrong, but – in his feckless and unhelpful way – he’s not necessarily there to tell them how they … Read more here 

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Balfour Centenary Declaration

Israel/Palestine: Equal Rights The centenary of the Balfour Declaration is the time to reconcile peace with justice for both Israelis and Palestinians, consistent with the principle Britain claims as her own: equal rights for all under the law. Through the … Read more here 

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Report of Britain’s Broken Promise: Time for a New Approach

NEW BOOKLET Britain’s broken promise: Time for a New Approach Extracts of speeches at the Balfour Centenary commemoration, Central Hall Westminster Act of acknowledgement and commitment Balfour Centenary Declaration Printed version can be bought here or downloaded here A video … Read more here 

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Prominent Israelis call for recognition of Palestine

                                                                                    Jerusalem,  26.10.2017 BRITAIN’S BROKEN PROMISE: TIME FOR A NEW APPROACH The 1917 Balfour Declaration, issued by the British Empire at the height of its power, promised to help “facilitate the achievement” of a “national home for the Jewish … Read more here 

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A calamitous promise

The Guardian’s Long Read of 17 October was headlined ‘Britain’s calamitous promise’. Author Ian Black writes ‘The brief document that bears Balfour’s name is seen as marking the beginning of what is today widely considered the world’s most intractable conflict.’ … Read more here 

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Calls for Acknowledgement of Britain’s Role

Nicholas Frayling in the Church Times: British responsibility for the contradictions in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute gives the UK a duty to right a wrong,  A policy of 1917 whose legacy needs addressing. Donald Macintyre in the Guardian Oct 13th ‘A … Read more here 

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The Balfour Declaration: 100 Years On.

At this 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration which arrives on November 2nd many  events, looking at the century of conflict the Declaration has lead to, are taking place around the country. One major one on October 31st at Methodist Central  … Read more here 

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Different ways of seeing the Balfour Declaration – BBC Radio 4 “Sunday” 1st October 2017

“The BBC Radio Four ‘Sunday’ programme on October 1st included this very fair and balanced report on the forthcoming centenary of the Balfour Declaration.   Chris Rose from the Amos Trust, speaking about the unfulfilled promises to the Palestinian people, echoed … Read more here 

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Book Review: Beyond the Balfour Declaration by Lord Leslie Turnberg

by John McHugo In Beyond the Balfour Declaration: The 100-Year Quest for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, (Biteback Publishing, 2017) Leslie Turnberg has tried to grapple with the difficult problem of achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Turnberg is a Labour life peer. … Read more here 

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Palestine 1917-2017: Reflections on a refugee’s story, my great-grandfather’s war diary and the legacy of Britain’s actions in Palestine.

Omah Amarah is 84 years old. From the amount of energy which sparks up as he gets started on his story you can sense his tale comes from the heart; this is no dry text book account of history we … Read more here 

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Book Review: The 1929 Palestine Riots – A Conflicted Jewish Historiography by William M Mathew

Violence in Palestine in 1929 has influenced the conflict ever since. William Mathew offers us the chance not only to learn more about those events, but also to reflect on the business of history and the way it is used. … Read more here 

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Book Review: Part II The 1929 Palestine Riots – A Conflicted Jewish Historiography by William M Mathew

IV: Commissions & Reports; White Paper & Letter These, 1929-31 – from Shaw and Hope Simpson to Passfield and MacDonald – have been cited in the opening paragraph above. Hillel Cohen`s approach is merely to list them, largely without comment. … Read more here 

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Unfinished business? Seeking peace through the door of justice in the Holy Land

Read the article by The Very Revd Nicholas Frayling, Dean Emeritus of Chichester,  on Unfinished Business  in the Pax Christi newsletter of June – July  2017

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Mahatma Gandhi and the Wounds of History: Palestine, India and the British Empire in the 20th century

Professor Rajmohan Gandhi,   Committee Room 14,  in the House of Commons, London,  18th April 2017 The British Parliament does not often hear an Asian perspective on the Middle East. The very term ‘Middle East’ is Europe-centred; in India the region … Read more here 

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Peel Commission

The Peel Commission published its Palestine Royal Commission-Peel Commission report in July 1937. The report admitted that the mandate was unworkable because Jewish and Arab objectives in Palestine were incompatible, and it proposed that Palestine be partitioned into three zones: … Read more here 

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Woodhead Commission

The commission, led by Sir John Woodhead, was formed in March 1938 in response to dissension within the British government over the July 1937 Peel partition plan for Palestine and the re-ignition of the Arab revolt that had followed its … Read more here 

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The reversal of the Passfield White Paper, 1930-31 : a reassessment.

Beckerman-Boys, Carly (2016) ‘The reversal of the Passfield White Paper, 1930-31 : a reassessment.’, Journal of contemporary history., 51 (2). pp. 213-233. Abstract British mandated Palestine has attracted scholarly attention for its role in the development of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. … Read more here 

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The Balfour Declaration

It is no exaggeration that the history of Israel/Palestine for the last hundred years has turned on the seminal Balfour Declaration of November 1917. Loved and loathed in equal measure, this was the letter that changed the future. The following extract … Read more here 

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Reclaiming the lost Jewish voices of the Balfour Declaration, by Robert Cohen

This article was part of Robert Cohen’s talk  at the Balfour Project conference,’How will we mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration’ in Southwark Cathedral on November 5th 2016:   A leading British Rabbi has written: “Zionism and Zionistic activities not … Read more here 

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Palestine and Britain 1917-1948: Competing Policies, Creative Commemoration

This talk was given at the The Balfour Project  conference in Southwark Cathedral  on 5th November 2016  entitled: ‘How will we mark the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration’ By Dr Peter Shambrook Context: it is only in the context of … Read more here 

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Balfour Declaration Centenary, 2017: towards constructive commemoration

‘I never knew that ……’ Liverpool Hope University 1st October 2016. The use of round tables in the Eden Arbour Room at Liverpool Hope University facilitated a welcome and a warmth to the buzz of conversation as participants in the … Read more here 

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Book Review: Balfour, Weizmann and the Creation of Israel by Charles Glass

Charles Glass, writing in the London Review of Books in 2001, reviewed two books looking at the period of the British Mandate in Palestine. It was also published in the Guardian under the tilte: The Mandate Years; colonialism and the … Read more here 

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‘Britain in Palestine’ shown in UK Parliament

Parliamentarians from all four of Britain’s main political parties sponsored a showing of ‘Britain in Palestine, 1917-1948’ in The Attlee Suite – one of the main conference suites in the British Parliament. The audience of 130 watched the documentary, which … Read more here 

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McMahon, Sykes, Balfour: Contradictions and Concealments in British Palestine Policy 1915-1917

by WILLIAM M. MATHEW Lecture given to the History Group of The Norfolk Club, 14 April 2016 to mark the centenary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916 Abstract These three war-time initiatives are presented as part of a compressed, uncoordinated, two-year … Read more here 

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J.M.N. Jeffries` Palestine Deception: Modern Resonances

In a recent review article (New Middle Eastern Studies 5 [2015]) on , The Palestine Deception, 1915-1923: The McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, the Balfour Declaration, and the Jewish National Home. ed William Mathew Dr. Nadia Naser-Najjab of the Institute of Arab and … Read more here 

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Britain made the mess and should help sort it out

Scores of people squeezed into Sarum College, Salisbury, to hear from experts on the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which gave British support to a home for Jews in historical Palestine. The Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling said the declaration was the … Read more here 

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Britain and Palestine: past history & future role

‘Britain and Palestine: past history & future role’ Held at St Chad’s College Durham 31st October 2015 Summary Report Seventy people from places as far apart as Omagh, Norwich, Somerset, Inverness, Salisbury and Edinburgh, spent Saturday 31st October in Durham … Read more here 

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Concluding remarks at Balfour Project meeting in Durham by Nicholas Frayling

Concluding remarks at Balfour Project meeting in Durham – 31.10.2015 by the Very Rev Nicholas Frayling One of the questions we as members of the BP are often asked is: ‘Why didn’t I know about this?’ Today, even those who … Read more here 

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Talk by Sir Vincent Fean, recently retired UK Consul General in Jerusalem, at the Balfour Project annual conference

St Chad’s College, Durham University, 31 October 2015 ‘I believe there is a constructive role for the UK in bringing about a just peace. It is good to look back in order to look forward. The Balfour Declaration helped bring … Read more here 

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Balfour 1922-23: Fragile commitment and Zionist Response

By Dr William M Mathew Paper given at Balfour Project Annual Conference St. Chad`s College, University of Durham, 31 October 2015 In the limited time available I should like to make three basic points around this specific issue of fragility … Read more here 

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The McMahon-Hussein Correspondence revisited. A lapse into clarity.

By Dr Peter Shambrook Paper given at the Balfour Project conference, Britain and Palestine: past history & future role, Durham, Oct 31st 2015   Abstract The origins of the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence – and the subsequent official interpretations, and the controversies … Read more here 

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The Companion Guide to our film ‘Britain in Palestine 1917-1948’

The Companion Guide has been professionally written for us, and gives fascinating background to the history introduced in the film. To give you an idea of what is in it  see the section on the Balfour Declaration. It has 83 … Read more here 

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Thatcham Festival, The role of Britain in Palestine?

What has been the historic role of Britain that has led to the present day tragic situation in Israel/Palestine? This was the theme engaged with by a very mixed group of over seventy people as part of the Thatcham Festival. … Read more here 

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Film of Britain in Palestine, 1917-1948

Now with Hebrew subtitles The Balfour Project is pleased to announce the release of the film ‘Britain in Palestine 1917-1948’ Telling the story of 30 complex years in less than 20 minutes is a challenge, and so the narrative is … Read more here 

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Rescuing Balfour: Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office 1921-22, By William Mathew

                    Given the sheer improbability of the Balfour Declaration, its source in temporary war-time contingencies, its activation of inter-communal conflict in Palestine, and its exposure to increasing opposition both at home and in the Levant, the 1917 War Cabinet pledge … Read more here 

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The Balfour Project comes to the Scottish Parliament

By Claudia Beamish MSP Posted on February 11, 2015 by Claudia The Scottish Parliament recently played host to an exhibit from the Balfour Project on British historic involvement in Palestine. The Project seeks to raise awareness of the Balfour Declaration, an agreement made … Read more here 

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Christian Zionism’s flawed vision of Israel, by Rabbi Dow Marmur

My dictionary defines Zionism as “a movement for the re-establishment of a Jewish national homeland and state in Palestine.” This was realized in May 1948 when the State of Israel was established. Many Jews are Zionists and committed to the … Read more here 

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‘Britain should be more active in helping resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict’

Commemorating the 97th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration Report of Balfour Project conference, Britain in Palestine 1917-1948 in St John’s College, Oxford, Oct 30th 2014. A common theme from speakers at the Balfour Project’s annual event was that Britain’s history … Read more here 

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The McMahon promise to Hussein

By Roger Spooner In 1915 Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commisioner in Egypt, offered Sherif Hussein of Mecca an independent Arab state if he would help the British fight against the Ottoman Turks. Hussein’s interest in throwing off his Turkish … Read more here 

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Struggling to Maintain the Mandate’s Iron Cage, 1930 – 1947 by Peter Shambrook

Peter A. Shambrook presents the history of the British Mandate for Palestine in the period 1930-1947, highlighting its very negative outcomes for the Palestinian population. In doing so, Shambrook calls for Britain to accept responsibility for its past wrongdoings as … Read more here 

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Dec 11th 1917, General Allenby shows how a ‘moral man’ conquers Jerusalem

On this day he entered Jerusalem, modestly on foot, two days after the Turks surrendered it, after several attempts. By David B. Green | Dec. 11, 2014 | 3:46 AM  from Haaretz In December 11, 1917, General Edmund Allenby, commander … Read more here 

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British policy and Arab Displacement in Palestine, 1915-23: Contingency. Imperialism and Double-Dealing

            By  William M. Mathew, Senior Fellow in History, University of East Anglia Lecture given as part of the Contemporary Middle East Lecture Programme,               School of Oriental and African Studies, 28 October 2014                                                      I I should begin by … Read more here 

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The Balfour Declaration and UK recognition of the Palestinian State….

On Oct 13th 2014 British MPs voted in favour of recognising Palestine as a state alongside Israel. The House of Commons backed the move “as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution” The full motion stated: “That this House … Read more here 

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