Category Archives: History

Film of Britain in Palestine, 1917-1948

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 a simple one. Many … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Sir Harold Nicholson and the Balfour Declaration

From Nick St Aubyn Dunsfold, Surrey Daily Telegraph 13th Oct 2014 SIR – In 1917 my great-uncle, Sir Harold Nicolson, was a private secretary to the foreign secretary at the time of his Balfour Declaration. Nicolson, who was involved in … Continue reading

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Joseph Jeffries and the ‘Palestine Deception’, 1923 by William Mathew

In a new book, historian William Mathew publishes a series of articles from the Daily Mail of 1923. These presented a hitherto uninformed British readership  with details of official promises made to the Arabs in 1915-16 of post-war independence for … Continue reading

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Perfidious Albion: Britain’s broken promises: the Balfour Declaration (1917) and its impact on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict: what are our responsibilities today?

This lecture was given by Professor Mary Grey in the URC Church, Crondall, Northumberland for their Peace and Reconciliation centre, 5th September 2014 Here in Northumberland, it is impossible to forget the bloodshed of the Battle of Flodden in 1513, … Continue reading

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The Balfour Declaration – Key players and events by Mary Grey

Introduction – what motivated the Balfour Declaration?  (Powerpoint of Key Players) There is still conflict as to which motive for the Balfour Declaration is stronger – there are at least three motives, and some may interlock: 1. According to Avi … Continue reading

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Contradictory Promises, by Peter A Shambrook

The seeds of 100 years of conflict Britain, the Arabs and the Jews, 1914 – 1918 2014 – 2018: Britain’s opportunity to acknowledge. In 2014, the centenary of the Great War will be marked in a variety of ways right … Continue reading

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Thought WWI was history? In the Middle East, think again

 Lindsey Hilsum Europeans may think WWI is history, but people in the Arab world are still living with the fury and violence the conflict caused. After the jihadi group, Isis, seized the Iraqi city of Mosul in June, they released … Continue reading

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: A desert uprising that began in hope but was doomed to end in betrayal

Robert Fisk on the moment the Arabs, trusting in British good faith, turned on their Turkish rulers The Arab Revolt is all about the Arab Betrayal. The blowing up of Turkish trains, the capture of Aqaba, the camel charges and … Continue reading

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Britain’s legacy to the tortured Ottoman Empire

Selfish imperial agreements between Britain and France, combined with the publication of the contradictory Balfour Declaration of 1917, fuelled hostilities in the Middle East This article appeared in The Sunday Telegraph on 2 February 2013 Bad times ahead: Sir Edmund … Continue reading

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Contradictory Promises

See also Contradictory Promises by Dr Peter Shambrook where these promises are explored in more detail. 1915  The McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, • In 1915 Britain promised the Arabs that after the war they would be granted independence in their lands, in … Continue reading

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Britain’s Secret Re-Assessment of the Balfour Declaration. The Perfidy of Albion, by John Quigley

John Quigley* President’s Club Professor in Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, United States of America From the Journal of the History of International Law Revue d’histoire du droit international Volume 13, Number 2, 2011 … Continue reading

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