The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
On 2 November 1917, after much discussion, the British War Cabinet under Lloyd George finally approved and issued a statement in the form of a short ... Show synopsis On 2 November 1917, after much discussion, the British War Cabinet under Lloyd George finally approved and issued a statement in the form of a short letter from the Foreign Office to the English Zionist, Lord Rothschild. It was signed by the foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour and contained the key short paragraph that began: 'His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object '. "The Balfour Declaration", as it came to be known, set in motion a series of events, entirely unforeseen by its authors, which shaped the modern world and continues to shape it. Conceived against a backdrop of the First World War, its midwives were an extraordinary cast of diplomats, scholars, soldiers and spies, Arab insurgents and Zionist zealots. It is a tale full of intrigue, betrayal, adventure, death and triumph. And ranges from London to Cairo to the Deserts of Arabia, where the enigmatic figure of T.E. Lawrence achieved lasting fame. Alongside the scrap of paper with which Chamberlain returned from Munich in 1938, the "Balfour Declaration" is one of the most important documents of the last 100 years and Jonathan Schneer's scrupulously researched and vivid retelling brings to life this key episode in one of the world's longest lasting and most damaging conflicts.