Zionism Debate

The Forgotten History of the Jewish, Anti-Zionist Left

An interview with Banjamin Balthaser, published on Jacobin The roots of modern Zionism are in colonialism. This was the foundation of the Jewish left’s opposition to Zionism in the 1930s and ’40s, on the grounds that it is a form … Read more here 

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‘History will judge us’ — Have progressive UK rabbis reached end of the road on Israel?

By Robert A. H. Cohen, published on Mondoweiss, 30 July 2020 Progressive rabbis in the UK have written to the Israeli embassy in London to express their concern over the Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank. … Read more here 

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Toppling Balfour, a talk by Sarah Helm

Sarah Helm, former Middle East correspondent for The Independent, asks how far the roots of today’s tragedy in Palestine and Israel lie in the arrogance and racism of British imperialism. Could Balfour’s experiment – at any point during the British … Read more here 

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A case for equality in Israel and Palestine

One State? An alternative, authentic Jewish voice By Peter Beinart, Published in on Jewish Currents 7th July 2020. WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A JEW—not just a Jew in name, but a Jew in good standing—today? In Haredi circles, being a real … Read more here 

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Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration

Washington Report, November 2005, pages 44-50 Special Report by John Cornelius IN THIS article the author relates what he believes to be the true story of how the British government came to issue what has come to be known as … Read more here 

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By recognising Palestine, Britain can help right the wrongs of the Balfour declaration

By Avi Shlaim This is the full text of a truncated version of Avi Shlaim’s article in The Guardian. The Guardian had edited out the references to Winston Churchill and the Israeli Policy Working Group. The wave of anti-racist protest … Read more here 

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Peel Commission Report 1937

League of Nations 30 November 1937 C.495.M.336.1937.VI.Geneva, November 30th, 1937. LEAGUE OF NATIONS MANDATES P A L E S T I N E ——– REPORT of the PALESTINE ROYAL COMMISSION presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to … Read more here 

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Nakba: The forgotten 19th century origins of the Palestinian catastrophe

By Joseph Massad in Middle East Eye The Nakba, Palestinians’ loss of their lands and homes, arguably began in the 1880s with the arrival of the first Zionist Jewish colonists, who evicted Palestinians from land the colonists had purchased from … Read more here 

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We Cannot Justify Israel’s West Bank Annexation – by 40 signatories in Haaretz

In an unprecedented letter to Israel’s UK ambassador, prominent British Jews warn that annexation ‘poses an existential threat to the traditions of Zionism in Britain, and to Israel as we know it’ The following letter was sent by leading members … Read more here 

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Book Review: The Hundred Years’ War On Palestine A history of settler colonial conquest and resistance

By Rashid Khalidi Profile Books £25.00 Review by Tim Llewellyn In the midst of Jerusalem’s Old City, on the cusp of the Muslim and Jewish quarters, reposes the Khalidi family library, an archive of scriptures, literature and letters in Arabic, … Read more here 

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Book Review: The Balfour Declaration – Empire, the Mandate and Resistance in Palestine by Bernard Regan

by John McHugo In The Balfour Declaration: Empire, The Mandate and Resistance in Palestine, Bernard Regan shows us what Britain did (and what Britain thought it was doing) by issuing the Balfour Declaration, by incorporating it into the League of … Read more here 

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Book Review: Legacy of Empire – Britain, Zionism and the Creation of Israel by Gardner Thompson

By Tim Llewellyn, Oct 10th 2019 “…[T]he Mandate has proved to be unworkable in practice…[and] the obligations undertaken by the two communities in Palestine have been shown to be irreconcilable.” (Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary, in the House of Commons … Read more here 

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Impressions of Palestine, 1 April 1946: Pessimist Perspectives

Edit Post Private Memo by Evan M. Wilson (U.S. State Department) William M. Mathew Evan M. Wilson (1910-84), graduate of Haverford College and Oxford University, was in the employ of the U.S. State Department between 1937 and 1961, serving as … Read more here 

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Book Review: Britain’s Pacification of Palestine – The British Army, the Colonial State, and the Arab Revolt, 1936–9 by Matthew Hughes

by Ian Black The 1936–9 Arab Revolt against British rule in Palestine, and its suppression by the British army, was a precursor to the devastating war against the nascent Israeli state that the Palestinians lost a decade later. Matthew Hughes‘s extensively researched new study … Read more here 

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Britain’s historic responsibility to the people of Palestine, Gaza and Israel

John McHugo Edited text of speech for the Balfour Project event The Tragedy of Gaza in Edinburgh 17 March 2018 My role is to explain why Britain carries a historic responsibility to the people of Palestine generally, to the people … Read more here 

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The U.S. Recognition of Israel, 14 May 1948. Part III: ‘A Near-Run Thing’

William M. Mathew A. GEORGE MARSHALL: ‘A NEAR-RUN THING’. Truman’s fundamental position was straightforward – at least retrospectively. As President, he was in charge. In ‘differences of opinion between the White House and the State Department on the business of … Read more here 

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The U.S. Recognition of Israel, 14 May 1948. Part II: Truman’s Belated Support

William M. Mathew The obvious question presents itself: given the near-universal presidential negativity, how was it possible for Truman to make the clear decision in mid-May 1948 to recognise the new state of Israel within minutes of its creation? Our … Read more here 

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The U.S. Recognition of Israel, 14 May 1948. Part I: Roosevelt, Truman, Marshall: A Sequence of Contingencies

Part I: Uncertainties William M. Mathew Abstract Zionism`s two most notable international successes in the 20th century were the U.K. Balfour Declaration, 2 November 1917, and the U.S. recognition of the nascent state of Israel, 14 May 1948. Neither, however, … Read more here 

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Book Review: Enemies and Neighbours – Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 by Ian Black

By Tim Llewellyn This is a dispassionate book, written by someone who knows almost everything, about the tragic progress of Britain’s experiment with Zionism in Palestine to the present day’s existential horror. Black does not make judgments. His careful selection … Read more here 

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“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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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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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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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: 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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Yitzhak Epstein: The Hidden Question

  In 1907 Yitzhak Epstein, a Russian-born teacher who had settled in Palestine, published an article entitled “The Hidden Question” in the Hebrew periodical Ha-Shiloah. Its subject was the attitude of the Jews toward the Arabs of Palestine. “Among the … Read more here 

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Anti-Zionism in London’s Jewish East End, 1890-1948

Anti-Zionism in London’s Jewish East End, 1890-1948  A summary of Chapter 6 with this title in Brian Klug’s: Being Jewish and Doing Justice: Bringing Argument to Life, Vallentine Mitchell (2010) Brian Klug, being a philosopher, approaches this subject from a … Read more here 

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The Road to Balfour: The History of Christian Zionism

By Stephen Sizer Delivered at a conference arranged by the Balfour Project in association with the Church of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2nd November 2012 Introduction In this presentation we are going to trace some of the significant events and individuals that … Read more here 

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A scrap of paper that changed history

by Donald Macintyre Reproduced from an article: ‘The birth of modern Israel: a scrap of paper that changed history’ in the Independent of 26 May 2005 The term “living history” is a cliché that slips as easily from the lips … Read more here 

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