Britain's Hegemony in Palestine and the Middle East, 1917-56: Changing Strategic Imperatives

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Vallentine Mitchell, 2017 - Arab-Israeli conflict - 330 pages
From the Balfour Declaration of 1917 to the Suez Crisis of 1956, Britain's strategic interests in Palestine and in the Middle East underwent radical changes. A leading authority on the British Mandate in Palestine and the rise of the state of Israel, Professor Michael J. Cohen focuses on these changing interests in this anthology of some of his seminal works. This book includes previously unpublished material and an introductory chapter surveying the changing views and interpretations of the Declaration over the past 100 years. Britain's imperial interests are the key to understanding these changes, why she supported the Zionist cause until the mid-1930s, and why her priorities changed thereafter. After the Second World War her priorities changed once again and Allied strategic planners drew up contingency plans to meet the threat of a potential Third World War against the Soviet bloc. This anthology closes with an analysis of the botched Suez War. This caused not only the failure of the military operation, but a grave crisis with the Americans, Eden's fall from power, and the denouement of Britain's Middle East hegemony. Professor Cohen's essays are essential reading for anyone wanting a clear understanding of the Middle Eastern context of the Palestine Mandate, and the rise of the State of Israel during this period. *** "This is a fine book of historical essays. Of special significance are Cohen's assessments -- and in part, re-assessments -- of the Balfour Declaration, Churchill's and Truman's attitude toward the Jews and Zionism, and Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini's evasion of punishment as a Nazi war criminal in 1945-1947. Historians and students of the Arab-Zionist conflict can both derive benefit from Cohen's insights." --Professor Benny Morris, Ben-Gurion University *** "This important book of essays will provide further food for thought for readers who wish to look at the self-interest, both personal and national, behind the decision of the decision makers." --Colin Shindler, Emeritus Professor, SOAS, University of London [Subject: British History, Israeli History, Middle East Studies]

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About the author (2017)

Michael J Cohen is Emeritus Professor of History at Bar-Ilan University. He held the Lazarus Philips Chair of History at Bar-Ilan 1990-2008 when he retired. He has been Visiting Professor at the Universities of Duke, Stanford and UBC, Vancouver, a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics. His last book, Britain's Moment in Palestine, was published in 2014.

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