During the First World War, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, entered into a secret correspondence with Hussein ibn Ali, the Sharif of Mecca. On behalf of Asquith’s government, McMahon promised the Sharif an independent Arab state after the war, if he would ally with Britain and launch a revolt against the Ottomans. Two years later, Lloyd George’s government declared that the region of Palestine would be for the global Jewish community. Britain and pro-Zionist historians claim that Palestine was never part of the state guaranteed to the Sharif, but this is not true.
Through a comprehensive analysis of official records and private papers, Peter Shambrook lays out how Britain abandoned its pledge to the Arabs. He reveals for the first time how successive British governments attempted to cover up the fact that the promise had ever been made, and exposes as a whitewash the 1939 Anglo-Arab Report issued in the wake of discussions with a visiting Arab delegation. Since then, no British government has investigated the matter, nor has there been any official acknowledgement of the truth, which Shambrook lays bare – along with its devastating consequences.
‘Deeply researched, powerfully argued and meticulously documented… A strikingly fair-minded book about one of the shabbiest and most sordid chapters in the history of the British Empire.’ – Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford, and author Three Worlds: Memoirs of an Arab Jew