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British party policy - Palestine 1937 - 1950: a case study

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There are two themes contained in this thesis: firstly, the examination of British Government policy towards Palestine during the period 1937 to 195.0 and secondly, the analysis of attitudes within the British Labour and Conservative Parties towards this issue. British Government policy is, therefore, juxtaposed with party policy and the thesis illustrates, on the one hand, that policy formulated in Opposition is often unviable in Government and, on the other, that this is invariably occasioned by domestic and international constraints imposed on successive administrations.
Exigencies in the context of this study are defined as the nature of the Palestine problem itself; the violent conflict between Arabs and Jews; the Second World War and its attendant ramifications for Palestine; the role of the United States; Britain's post-war decline as a World Power; domestic public opinion; the influence of Parliament and the impact of intra-party division.
The study suggests that policy towards Palestine was conditioned by these constraints which profoundly influenced Britain's perception of her own 'national interests'. The Conservative Party through its pragmatic acknowledgement of the realities of office escaped the ignominy of the affair, while the Labour Party, by establishing a strongly pro-Zionist line in Opposition successfully managed to inflict the greatest possible damage on itself when it was seen to renege on its promises when Office was attained.


(1984). British party policy - Palestine 1937 - 1950: a case study


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