On 2 November 1917, the British government, represented by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, declared it was in favour of “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” This short note would become one of the most controversial documents of its time.
A hundred years later, Bernard Regan recounts the composition of the Balfour Declaration as one of the major events in the history 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, the Zionist movement, and the Palestinian groups struggling for self-determination.
The after-effects of these events are still being felt today. Bernard Regan’s urgent, timely history excavates the origins of the current crisis.
“Most have heard of the Balfour Declaration without fully appreciating its history and consequences. With this meticulous and insightful study, we have a fascinating and timely guide to British colonial policy in Palestine, and its devastating impacts for the Palestinian people to this day.”
“In this major account of the Balfour Declaration, Bernard Regan’s timely book sheds light on the most powerful symbol of the official British–Zionist alliance over the last century. It deserves to be widely read by those yearning for truth and reconciliation in the Middle East”
“This is a meticulously researched account of the background and aftermath of a transaction that launched in 1917 a malignant conflict that has poisoned the Near East and the wider international arena ever since. Bernard Regan places the Balfour Declaration in its proper context … It is compelling, essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the roots of one of our world’s most dangerous flashpoints.”
“An insightful overview of the troubled history … It should become a standard university text for those studying this history”