SOAS University of London

Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London

Britain In Palestine

Palestine Policemen of a mounted patrol visit a local sheik, Ramleh area, 1946-47

Date: 11 October 2012Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 15 December 2012Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Exhibition Rooms

Type of Event: Exhibition

This exhibition will tell the story of what happened to Palestine and its people under the British mandate for Palestine. It will show how and why Britain got involved in Palestine, and the impact of British rule upon the country. Vivid and moving personal stories will portray the dilemmas of ordinary people caught up in the extraordinary circumstances of mandate-era Palestine featuring dramatic photographs, personal testimonies, important original documents, and poignant personal belongings that have survived from the time.

The exhibition will illustrate the experiences of British people who served in Palestine as colonial servants, Palestine Police and military servicemen. The reminiscences of these people and their families testify to the profound impression Palestine made on their lives.

Palestine became British territory after the First World War under a mandate from the League of Nations; from 1920 Palestine was ruled by a British High Commissioner reporting to the Government’s Colonial Office. Britain’s authority to rule was derived from a League of Nations mandate, written by the British and which included the controversial Balfour Declaration of 1917 which proffered British support for a Jewish National Home in Palestine. The ambiguities and the contradictions contained within the Mandate were to foster antagonism and resentment between Arabs and Jews in Palestine, which finally erupted into a full blown conflict when the British left in May 1948. The results of this conflict are still with us today.