SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

British Policy and Arab Displacement in Palestine, 1915-23: Contingency, Imperialism, and Double-dealing

William Mathew, University of East Anglia

Date: 28 October 2014Time: 5:45 PM

Finishes: 28 October 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture

The argument offered is that the historical roots of Arab political displacement in Palestine lie, contextually, and decisively, with British imperial policy in the Levant in the late 1910s and early 1920s.  There are at least three critical factors:  first, war-time contingency and the political marginalisation of Arab communities at the time of the 1917 Balfour Declaration; second, Britain's overwhelming preoccupation in the Middle East with her hold on India and routes thereto by way of Suez, Palestine itself being a matter of meagre interest in terms of its cultural, demographic, and political circumstances;  and, third, the trashing - with much attendant dissembling - of the pledges for Palestine independence as set out in the McMahon-Hussein correspondence of 1915-16.      

William Mathew is a graduate of the University of Glasgow and the London School of Economics, and a Senior Fellow in History at the University of East Anglia. His work on the political and imperial context of the Balfour Declaration and subsequent Palestine Mandate features in two articles (Journal of Palestine Studies [Winter 2011] and British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies [July 2013]) and a recently edited book:  J.M.N. Jeffries, The Palestine Deception, 1915-1923:  The McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, the Balfour Declaration, and the Jewish National Home (Institute for Palestine Studies, Washington D.C., 2014).  

Chair: Dina Matar, SOAS

Organiser: London Middle East Institute and the Centre for Palestine Studies

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