Jonathan Schneer, The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Jonathan Schneer has produced an extremely detailed study of the events leading up to the 1917 Balfour Declaration. It is packed with fascinating material surrounding one of the most turbulent yet formative moments in modern Jewish history. Schneer’s thesis is that the root cause of the current Arab-Israeli conflict is that the British government promised Palestine to both the Jews and the Arabs. The book is unecessarily complicated, and is poorly written and oddly edited in places (there are some irritating and amusing infelicities in the English), and I found some sections hard to follow; it is overly long and jerky in its narrative direction. Yet I learned a great deal from the book, enjoyed it and feel that its thesis is cogent and important.