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The Balfour Declaration: Empire the Mandate and Resistance in Palestine

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The true history of the imperial deal that transformed the Middle East and sealed the fate of Palestine

On November 2, 1917, the British government, represented by Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour, declared that they were in favor of “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” This short note would be one of the most controversial documents of its time.

A hundred years after its signing, Bernard Regan recasts the history of the Balfour Declaration as one of the major events in the story of the Middle East. Offering new insights into the imperial rivalries between Britain, Germany and the Ottomans, Regan exposes British policy in the region as part of a larger geopolitical game. Yet, even then, the course of events was not straightforward and Regan charts the debates within the British government and the Zionist movement itself on the future of Palestine.

The book also provides a revealing account of life in Palestinian society at the time, paying particular attention to the responses of Palestinian civil society to the imperial machinations that threatened their way of life. Not just a history of states and policies, Regan manages to brilliantly present both a history of people under colonialism and an account of the colonizers themselves.

Author: Regan Bernard
Publisher: VERSO
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781786632470
Cover: Hardback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2017

Bernard Regan served for twenty-five years on the National Executive of the National Union of Teachers. He has been publicly campaigning in support of the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination since 1982, for much of that time as an executive member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He was the principal author of the groundbreaking resolution adopted by the Trade Union Congress in 2006 in support of Palestinian rights. He was the first recipient of the NUT’s Steve Sinnott Award (2015) in recognition of his contribution to international solidarity. He gained his PhD in 2016 studying with the Palestinian historian Nur Masalha. He has contributed to journals, including the Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies. He is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at St Mary’s University in the Department of Arts and Humanities.

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