One Palestine, Complete

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“I dislike them all equally,” wrote an English general during the 30-year British Mandate over Palestine after World War I. “Arabs and Jews and Christians, in Syria and Palestine, they are all alike, a beastly people. The whole lot of them is not worth a single Englishman.” In victory over Imperial Germany and the Ottoman Turks, Britain had taken Palestine in 1917…because it was there, really; not for economic or strategic benefits. Palestine was an emotion, not a reality, a mixed emotion that Arabs and Jews in Palestine both thought they could play for independent sovereignty.

Tom Segev’s intimate history of Palestine under the Mandate argues that the British rule from which Israel snatched its identity was, in fact, a crucial blessing for the Jewish state. It was a time of illusion, he writes, in which the British fooled Arabs, Jews and themselves about the seeds of statehood and hatred taking root. “One Palestine, Complete” is this hour, on The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Tom Segev, author of “One Palestine, Complete,” “1949: The First Israelis,” “The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust” and columnist for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.