Palestine between Politics and Terror, 1945–1947
272 pp. 6 x 9"
Palestine Between Politics and Terror: 1945-1947
A fascinating look at the end of British rule in Palestine, through the eyes of its final high commissioner
British General Sir Allan Cunningham was appointed in 1945 as high commissioner of Palestine, and served in this capacity until the end of the British mandate on May 15, 1948. The three years of Cunningham’s tenure were tremendously complex politically: players included the British government in London, the British army, the British administration in Jerusalem, and diverse military forces within the Zionist establishment, both Jew and Arab. Golani revisits this period from the perspective of the high commissioner, examining understudied official documents as well as Cunningham’s letters, notes, and cables. He emphasizes especially the challenges of navigating Jewish and Arab terrorists, on the one hand, and the multiple layers of British institutional bureaucracies, on the other, and does an excellent job of establishing Sir Allan’s daily trials within the broad frame of the collapse of the British Empire following World War II.
“In this skillful blend of biography and political history, Motti Golani presents British Palestine’s last High Commissioner as a decent man beset by insuperable obstacles. A determined advocate of the partition of Palestine, Sir Alan Cunningham faced intransigent Jews and Arabs, bull-headed British officials, and the British Empire’s rapid post-war collapse. Meticulously researched and gracefully written, Golani’s book is required reading for anyone interested in the origins of the state of Israel and the Israel–Palestine conflict.”—Derek Penslar, University of Oxford
“A masterful study of the British retreat from Palestine through the eyes of the last High Commissioner, Sir Alan Cunningham. Golani has once more produced a work of the highest quality that reminds us of his standing as one of the leading scholars in the field.”—Rory Miller, King’s College London
MOTTI GOLANI is a professor in the Department of Land of Israel Studies at the University of Haifa.
This book was published by Brandeis University Press as part of the Schusterman Series in Israel Studies.