Mandate Period

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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … 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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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 … 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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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 … 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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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … 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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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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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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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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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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