Category Archives: Historical

The Balfour Declaration: Britain’s fatal mistake in Palestine by Eugene Rogan

Published on The Middle East Eye on 1 November 2021. This article is a condensed version of a talk that was given by Professor Eugene Rogan to the Balfour Project charity. The charity holds regular free webinars focused on Britain’s historic and continuing … Continue reading

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Facts on the Ground: Herbert Samuel and the Balfour Declaration, 1914-1925

: By Sahar Huneidi The twin issues of land and immigration are today, as they were in the early 1920s, the crux of the problem between Israel and the Palestinians. Herbert Samuel, first British High Commissioner in Palestine (1920-25), set … Continue reading

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BALFOUR IN THE LEVANT, SPRING 1925. Orates in Jerusalem, Tours Palestine, Flees Syria

By William M. Mathew. A. INTRODUCTION: A JEWISH ITINERARY B. NEW YORK TIMES REPORTS – PALESTINE STRIKE ON BALFOUR STARTS TOMORROW. CESSATION OF WORK TO BEGIN ON HIS ARRIVAL (24 March 1925) STRIKE AS BALFOUR REACHES PALESTINE. JERUSALEM SHOPS SHUT. … Continue reading

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Lord Cope – Speech to British Palestine Police Association Centenary Dinner

Speech given at Middle Temple Hall, 2 July 2021 It is great to be here to celebrate the centenary of the Palestine Police so energetically organised by Ralph Cairns.  I wish the BPPA many happy returns.  The Crusader Kingdom of … Continue reading

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Policing the Holy Land 1920-1948

This booklet has been published by the British Palestine Police Association (BPPA) for the centenary of the Palestine Police which carried the main burden of law and order during the British Mandate.  The Force was at first mainly locally recruited with British senior officers, … Continue reading

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Eugene Rogan – Neither Pro-Zionist nor Pro-Arab but Pro-Empire: A Re-assessment of British Policy in the Palestine Mandate

Eugene Rogan is Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at Oxford University, where he has taught since 1991, a Fellow of St Antony’s College and Director of the Middle East Centre. He took his B.A. in economics from Columbia, and … Continue reading

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Film: How Britain Started The Israel-Palestine Conflict – Promises and Betrayals

Uncovering shocking foreign office communications and using fascinating footage never seen on television before, this documentary shows how British double-dealing during the First World War ignited the conflict between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. This is a story … Continue reading

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Rev Dr Munther Isaac – Christian Zionism as Imperial Theology

Thank you all for joining us. I’m privileged to speak to you and address this really important and relevant topic of Christian Zionism as an imperial theology. The impact and influence of Christian Zionism have been manifested, especially in the … Continue reading

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Raja Shehadeh on Britain and Palestine, a family history

A live online talk in March 2021. Raja Shehadeh is a lawyer and writer and the founder of the pioneering Palestinian human rights organisation Al Haq. Shehadeh is the author of several acclaimed books published by Profile Books including the … Continue reading

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Palestine: 1947 escape from British prison exposed as inside job

Published in The Guardian, 30 Aug 2020 by Oliver Holmes, Jerusalem Correspondent Exclusive: architect leaked plans to Jewish militants leading to raid seen as signifying London’s declining control The family of a decorated British civil servant who built a notorious … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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John McHugo on Why Britain has a Special Responsibility to the Palestinian People Today

A talk given online on 30th June 2020. John McHugo is a trustee of the Balfour Project and a board member of CAABU, The Council for Arab British Understanding. This paper is the edited text of a Balfour Project talk … Continue reading

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Evaluating the Balfour Declaration: Breaking the Deadlock in the Middle East

On Saturday May 18th 2013, the Balfour Project held a one day conference at The Stripe, University of Winchester exploring the different legacies of the Balfour Declaration and how a greater understanding of history can contribute to justice and peace … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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The best book on the Balfour Declaration is…

Book Review: Palestine the Reality by J.M.N. Jeffries By John McHugo  Many people trying to get to grips with the Israel/Palestine conflict begin with the First World War and the contradictory promises Britain made at that time. These were pledges … Continue reading

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Andrew Whitley on The UN, Britain and Palestine/Israel – 1947 to Present Day

A talk given online in June 2020. Andrew Whitley: My thanks to so many of you for taking the trouble today to attend this online talk from the Balfour Project, I hope you will find it stimulating and thought-provoking. It … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Palestine/Israel: Britain’s role, then and now

Online talk by Sir Vincent Fean, Balfour Project, 2 April 2020 Read the transcript below: Vincent: A welcome to all. Thank you all for joining the Balfour Project today. I think it’s important to have this discussion to keep the … Continue reading

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

By Rashid Khalidi Profile Books £25.00 Book review 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 … Continue reading

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Burying the Nakba: How Israel Systematically Hides Evidence of 1948 Expulsion of Arabs

This article from Haaretz, which was published in July 2019 describes how Israel is suppressing information on what actually happened during the Nakba. Even information that was previously available. The first part of the Nakba took place whilst the British … Continue reading

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Jerusalem and The Deal of The Century: What it Is, What it Isn’t, Does it Matter?

Daniel Seidemann on the Trump plan’s implications for Jerusalem An Israeli lawyer based in Jerusalem, Daniel Seidemann is the world’s leading expert on the city’s built landscape and a key reference source for many governments. Founder of the Terrestrial Jerusalem … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Britain in Palestine Exhibition

We have PDF copies of these panels at A1 size. We also have printed copies mounted on polystyrene and suitable for use in an exhibition. If you would like to set up an exhibition and hire these mounted panels or … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Scottish Parliament endorses Balfour Project Call to Action Sept 3rd 2019

Claudia Beamish MSP (Labour) introduced a members’ business debate on motion S5M-16637, “Towards an independent Palestinian state: a Scottish proposal” calling for action leading to an independent Palestinian state and acknowledging Britain’s historical responsibilities in what was to become Israel … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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

Part I: Uncertainties See also Part II: U.S. Recognition of Israel, 14 May 1948: Truman’s Belated Support Part III:  U.S. Recognition of Israel, 14 May 1948: ‘A Near-Run Thing’ William M. Mathew Abstract Zionism`s two most notable international successes in … Continue reading

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Conferences in Glasgow and Edinburgh

 March 14th and 17th 2019 On March 14th at  300 people at Glasgow University heard former British and Israeli diplomats and distinguished journalists speak on ‘The news from Gaza: dispelling myths and telling the truth’.  The following Sunday at Edinburgh University … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Arab Awakening by George Antonius

The Balfour Project is most grateful to the Times Literary Supplement for allowing us to reprint this review of The Arab Awakening, by George Antonius, the review by Harry Pirie-Gordon being published on November 26, 1938. Readers might also like … Continue reading

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Palestine 1948: Britain Surrenders to Terror

Peter Shambrook Being British, the 500-year-old British Empire story fills me with a mixture of pride – and pain and shame.  Regarding the events of 1948, locating truth is extremely challenging, given the irreconcilable national narratives.  So I come at … Continue reading

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Palestine and Britain: forgotten legacy of World War I that devastated the Middle East

By James Rodgers Rare photograph of the formal transfer of Jerusalem to British rule. For those of us of an age to have known only peace in Western Europe,the centenary of the end of World War I is a an … Continue reading

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Times letter, 13 September – The Oslo Accords, 25 years on: time to recognise the state of Palestine alongside Israel

Letter published in The Times newspaper, 13 September 2018 Oslo and Palestine Sir, How painful now to recall the hope we had in the Oslo Accords. 25 years on, cynicism and resignation  rule. The Israeli occupation since 1967 is so … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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The Balfour Declaration: A study in British duplicity by Avi Shlaim

Published in The Middle East Eye on 1 November 2017. It’s been nearly 100 years since the document changed the course of history, yet Britain still fails to acknowledge Israel’s denial of the Palestinian right to national self-determination – and … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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.’ … Continue reading

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