The Palestine Crucible, 1919-1939
(A)n astonishing feat of scholarship and analysis that sits at the nexus of history, foreign policy and most importantly, a timely assessment of where Britain is heading based on the prison and prism of the past. It is impossible to read this book and not reflect on where we are in Israel-Arab relations and Britain’s path to decline.
Ed Husain, author of The House of Islam
(A)n excellent narrative and very readable book.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary
[T]horoughly enjoyed it .... it is stuffed with facts and events which were new to me.
Lord Howell of Guildford, Foreign Office Minister. 2010–2012
The twenty years between the World Wars saw remarkable changes in the Middle East. In Palestine, Britain struggled to maintain its Mandatory Authority as Arabs and Jews fought not only each other but the British Government too. Failing to satisfy either side Britain was stuck in the middle, and separating the warring parties was a distraction they hardly needed. Here Turnberg explores why the British Government maintained its responsibilities under the Mandate at a time when they were suffering severe economic and social problems at home, and the threat of war with Germany.
How was it possible for the Zionists’ dream of a homeland in Palestine to survive when they were faced by a Government regretting its commitments, exasperated by both Jewish demands and placating the Palestinian Arabs. The Jews were outnumbered ten to one by the Arabs, but they persisted and, as described here, survived.
Events in the first twenty years of the Mandate turned out to be as important to the survival of the Jewish homeland as both the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the international revulsion at the horrors of the holocaust for the creation of the State of Israel.
Paperback 320 pages, 10 b/w illus