The Question of Palestine: British-Jewish-Arab Relations, 1914-1918

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Transaction Publishers - History - 433 pages

This brilliant and groundbreaking study of international relations in the Middle East during World War I traces the complex course of events that led to the Balfour Declaration in 1917. Isaiah Friedman offers an original and authoritatively documented reassessment of many crucial and controversial issues relating to the question of Palestine, issues that have bedevilled Middle Eastern politics until the present day. The book won the Kaplan Prize in Israeli Studies of The National Jewish Book Council when it initially appeared.

The author's primary concern is with the motivations of British policy toward the Zionist movement In his new introduction, Friedman traces in detail the evolving attitudes of prominent English statesmen and public men toward the idea of Jewish settlement in Palestine. He challenges the view current among many British historians that the Balfour Declaration was the result of a miscalculation, a product of sentiment rather than of considered interests of state. He shows that one of the most important motives in British support of the Zionists was to counter the posssibilty of a Turkish-German protectorate of a Jewish Palestine emerging in the aftermath of the war. He also sheds new light on the Sykes-Picot Agreement and examines the intricate question of whether or not Palestine was a "twice promised land," an issue that still has political bearing today.

 

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Contents

Palestinea Strategic Bulwark of Egypt?
1
The Samuel Proposal and British Policy in TurkeyinAsia
8
The Zionists and the Assimilationists
25
The Jews and the War
38
Jewish PalestineA Propaganda Card
48
The McMahonHussein Correspondence and the Question of Palestine
65
The SykesPicot Agreement the Arab Question and Zionism
97
The Breakthrough
119
Sir Mark Sykes in the East
203
A Separate Peace with Turkey or an ArabZionistArmenian Entente?
211
The Conjoint Foreign Committee and the Zionists
227
In Search of a Formula
244
The Struggle for the Declaration
259
Motives and Effects
282
The Meaning of the Declaration
309
Notes
333

Achievements in Paris and Rome
144
British War Aims Reassessed
164
A Missed Opportunity
177
Bibliography
408
Index
427
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Page 9 - Mahommedans of Arab race under a Government which rested upon the support of 90,000 or 100,000 Jewish inhabitants, there can be no assurance that such a Government, even if established by the authority of the Powers, would be able to command obedience. The dream of a Jewish State, prosperous, progressive, and the home of a brilliant civilization, might vanish in a series of squalid conflicts with the Arab population...

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