The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict


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Author: Schneer, Jonathan

Edition: 1st Edition

Number Of Pages: 464

EAN: 9780385662581

Release Date: 10-08-2010

Languages: English

Item Condition: UsedGood

Binding: Hardcover

Details: Product Description A revelatory history of a document that laid the foundation stone of the state of Israel, the reverberations of which continue to be felt to this day. Born in the furnace of shifting great-power alliances, the Balfour Declaration, issued in 1917, was a defining moment in world history. In paving the way for the establishment of the State of Israel, it fundamentally reshaped the Middle East and yielded repurcussions that we are still feeling, powerfully, today. Jonathan Scheer has written a sweeping, deeply researched, and provocative history of this crucial document and the politics, double-dealing, backstabbing, and geopolitical crises that led to it. The result shows us the evolution of a fraught region in a wholly original and unbiased light. Review Praise for The Thames and London 1900: "A magnificent, multi-layered achievement, a 'must-read' for all lovers of London." — Liza Picard, author of Elizabeth's London "A work of magisterial scholarship." — Sunday Times (UK) About the Author JONATHAN SCHNEER, a specialist in modern British history, is a professor at Georgia Tech's School of History, Technology, and Society. He is the author of five additional books, as well as numerous articles and reviews. A fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies in 1985-86, he has also held research fellowships at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the UK, as well as at the Erich Remarque Center of New York University. He was a founding editor of Radical History Review and is a member of the editorial board of 20th Century British History and the London Journal. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Part I, Sirocco Chapter One Palestine Before World War I the land called palestine gave no indication, early in the twentieth century, that it would become the world’s cockpit. Rather, if anything, the reverse. A century ago it was merely a strip of territory running along the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The remote, sleepy, backward, sparsely populated southwestern bit of Syria was still home to foxes, jackals, hyenas, wildcats, wolves, even cheetahs and leopards in its most unsettled parts. Loosely governed from Jerusalem in the south and from Beirut in the north by agents of the Ottoman Empire, Palestine’s borders were vague. To the east it merged with the Jordanian plateau, to the south with the Arabian deserts, and to the north with the gray mountain masses of Lebanon. And it was small: Fewer than two hundred miles long and fifty miles wide, it was not much bigger than present-day Massachusetts (to put it in an American context) and about the size of Wales (to put it in the British). The strip of land, resting mainly upon limestone, was devoid of coal, iron, copper, silver, or gold deposits and lacked oil, but it was happily porous (“calcareous,” the geologists said), meaning that it was capable of absorbing moisture whenever the heavens should open, which they might do, especially when the wind came from the north. When it came from the east, however, as it frequently did in May and October, the wind was a malign enervating force. It was a furnace-blast sirocco in hot weather and a numbing chill in cold. The two mountain ranges that ran in rough parallel the length of the country from north to south could not block it. The western range, which includes “the Mount of the Amorites” of the Book of Deuteronomy, runs between the Jordan Valley (to its east) and the maritime plain (to its west). The eastern edge of this range is an escarpment that drops (precipitously in places) to the fabled Jordan River below. The second or eastern range of hills, which include the mountains of Moab, Judea, and Galilee, is a continuation of a chain that begins in Lebanon and reaches southward into Jordan. To its west lies the river valley; to its east is a desert plateau. In the north of the country the mountains are quite tall: Mount Hermon rises more than 9,200 feet above sea level.

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