The picture of the occupiers that emerges from the first half of this book makes it clear why: The British men and women quoted by Sherman project an air of earnest good intentions, leavened by a condescension to both Jew and Arab that often borders on and sometimes lapses into racism.
see url The lasting impression of English life in s Palestine is of a backwater in which the colonialists struggle to maintain a semblance of old-country habits from fox hunting jackals, actually to Gilbert and Sullivan. But with the '30s and the beginning of mass immigration of Jews into Palestine, tensions burst into violence repeatedly. And the aftermath of WW II brings the bloody, messy end of the mandate.
The first half of this book suffers from the repetitive nature of daily life in an insular community, but the final two chapters, which take the story from to the end in , make grimly compelling reading. Sherman writes elegantly himself, and many of his sources are insightful, particularly Sir Henry Gurney, the last high commissioner, in selections from his diaries.
The casual distaste that many of the British display for the Jews and, to a lesser extent, the Arabs will discomfit many, but this is a readable version of the battle for Israeli independence from a perspective that will be unfamiliar to most Americans.
Mandate Days: British Lives in Palestine, [A. J. Sherman] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. “An essential purchase for anyone. Mandate Days: British Lives in Palestine [Dr. A. J. Sherman] on royribepunur.ml *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. One of the great dramas in British.
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Frustrated by what he regarded as the ineffectual policy of the British Government and disgusted by the failure of the Yishuv to take a meaningful stand against the Irgun and Stern Gang, he left Palestine in August In March , however, the War Office ordered him to return to Palestine and put his specialist knowledge of guerrilla warfare techniques at the disposal of the Palestine Police. Both men were experienced veterans of commando operations and advocates of the potential value of unconventional warfare techniques. The spiralling levels of terrorist violence in Palestine in —7 convinced both men that the situation called for unconventional policing methods in order to return some semblance of security and stability to Palestine.
Fergusson therefore created a number of new positions within the Palestine Police to be known as Deputy Superintendents of Police Operations and Training.
Cesarani, however, does relatively little to explain why the decision to militarise the Palestine Police through the creation of the special squads was implemented so late in the day in relation to the deterioration of the security situation in Palestine. The violent extremists of the Stern Gang had been operating against British targets since , while the Irgun had recommenced its anti-British campaign in Furthermore, it might be argued that by March , there was growing recognition in political circles that the British position in Palestine was effectively untenable.
Given that on 14 February , Ernest Bevin announced that the British Government would be referring the Palestine question to the United Nations, however, it might be argued with at least equal plausibility, that the British were pursuing a policy of gradual political disengagement. Cesarani is more convincing in his analysis of the performance of the special squads as counter-terrorist gangs.
Therefore, the British were pushed into the middle of a conflict they had seemingly little control over as the two other sides involved were so driven by their own beliefs. In an effort to end the violence, the British put a quota on the number of Jews who could enter Palestine in any one year.
They hoped to appease the Arabs in the region but also keep on side with the Jews by recognising that Jews could enter Palestine — but in restricted numbers. They failed on both counts.
Both the Jews and the Arabs continued to attack the British. The Arabs attacked because they believed that the British had failed to keep their word after and because they believed that the British were not keeping the quotas agreed to as they did little to stop illegal landings into Palestine made by the Jews. The Jews attacked the British authorities in Palestine simply because of the quota which they believed was grossly unfair.
The British had also imposed restrictions on the amount of land Jews could buy in Palestine. An uneasy truce occurred during the war when hostilities seemed to cease.
This truce, however, was only temporary. Many Jews had fought for the Allies during World War Two and had developed their military skills as a result. After the war ended in , these skills were used in acts of terrorism. The new Labour Government of Britain had given the Jews hope that they would be given more rights in the area.
Also in the aftermath of the Holocaust in Europe, many throughout the world were sympathetic to the plight of the Jews at the expense of the Arabs in Palestine.
However, neither group got what they were looking for. The British still controlled Palestine.