Unexpected State

Unexpected State

British Politics and the Creation of Israel
Carly Beckerman
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/03/2020
Format: Hardback 14 b& w illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-253-04640-6
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Cutting through assumptions about Britain's support for a "national home for the Jewish people" in the creation of British Palestine, Carly Beckerman explores why and how elite political battles in London inadvertently laid the foundations for the establishment of the State of Israel. Drawing on foreign policy analysis and previously unused archival sources, Unexpected State considers the strategic interests, the high-stakes international diplomacy, and the tangle of political maneuvering in Westminster that determined the future of Palestine. Contrary to established literature, Beckerman argues that British policy toward the territory was dominated by seemingly unrelated domestic and international political battles that left little room for considerations of Zionist or Palestinian interests and arguments. Beckerman instead shows how the policy process was aimed at resolving issues such as coalition feuds, party leadership battles, spending cuts, and riots in India. Considering detailed analysis of four major policy-making episodes between 1920 and 1948, Unexpected State interrogates key Israeli and Palestinian narratives and provides fresh insight into the motives and decisions behind policies that would have global implications for decades to come.

Author Bio

Carly Beckerman is Assistant Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University.

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Table of Contents



1. A Usable Past

2. The Balfour Zeitgeist 1917-1928

3. The Passfield Reversal 1929-1935

4. The MacDonald Betrayal 1936-1939

5. From War to Withdrawal 1940-1948

The Last Word