‘An ill keeper of promise’? Britain, Israel and the shadow of Palestine

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This article provides a broad historical overview of the course of Britain’s relationship with Israel since 1948. It argues that, while that relationship has been determined by perceptions of national interest and responses to wider international developments and structures, Britain’s historic responsibility for the governance of the Palestine Mandate after World War I created a troubled legacy for diplomats seeking first to establish and subsequently to cultivate Anglo-Israeli relations. The result has been a tradition of mistrust between British and Israeli governments which, though it has often been overcome, especially as bilateral links flourished in the 1990s, never remains far from the surface. The consequences of the Balfour Declaration, of Britain’s troubled stewardship of the Palestine Mandate, and of British imperialism in the Middle East, continued to be felt as they cast a shadow on Anglo-Israeli relations long after the Union Flag was finally lowered in Palestine on 14 May 1948.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-62
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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