On November 2, 1917, Arthur Balfour, then Foreign Secretary, wrote to Lord Rothschild to say that the British Government viewed with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. The consequences of this statement have reverberated throughout the world in a crescendo of bitterness and violence ever since. It interposed a European (mainly Russian) Jewish cultural idea in an Arab land and it led eventually to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Eleven years before his declaration, Balfour had met the passionate Zionist and émigré chemist Chaim Weizmann while electioneering in Manchester. At the centre of Geoffrey Lewis's compelling book is the story of this encounter and the developing relationship between these two men: the Zionist and the Zealot, so different from each other, yet drawn together by forces that neither quite understood, with consequences that were to have a profound effect on the modern world.
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About the Author
Geoffrey Lewis is the author of biographies of Lord Atkin, Lord Hailsham and Carson: The Man Who Divided Ireland (Hambledon Continuum 2006).
Table of Contents
1. Jew and Arab 2. The Dream of Zion 3. Arthur Balfour 4. Chaim Weizmann 5. 'Uganda' 6. England 7. Palestine before the War 8. Messianic Times 9. Placating the French, Inciting the Arabs 10. First Steps to the Balfour Declaration 11. The Turbaning Point 12. It's a Boy! 13. At the Threshold 14 Epilogue