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5:45 pm - 7:30 pm


Khalil Lecture Theatre
SOAS University, London
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British Policy and Arab Displacement in Palestine, 1915-23: Contingency, Imperialism, and Double-dealing

LONDON MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE & Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS


William Mathew, University of East Anglia

The argument offered is that the historical roots of Arab political displacement in Palestine lie, contextually, and decisively, with British imperial policy in the Levant in the late 1910s and early 1920s.  There are at least three critical factors: first, war-time contingency and the political marginalisation of Arab communities at the time of the 1917 Balfour Declaration; second, Britain’s overwhelming preoccupation in the Middle East with her hold on India and routes thereto by way of Suez, Palestine itself being a matter of meagre interest in terms of its cultural, demographic, and political circumstances; and, third, the trashing – with much attendant dissembling – of the pledges for Palestine independence as set out in the McMahon-Hussein correspondence of 1915-16.

Chair: Dina Matar, SOAS


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 Tea and biscuits are available from 5.15pm