In Search of Arab Unity, 1930-1945

In This Review

In Search of Arab Unity, 1930-1945

By Yehoshua Porath
Frank Cass, 1986
376 pp.

Professor Porath concedes the existence of a wide gap in his source material due to his inability to consult Arab archives, but he partially compensates by extensive use of Arab publications and by burrowing deeply into Zionist and British documents. His book is largely a history of British policy in the Middle East, and of British efforts to make sure of a dominant future position there in the critical years before and after World War II. The exemplary research, which brings out a number of new and interesting points, shows how many different views and voices there were in the British government on Middle East policy, how closely the future of Palestine was tied to the plans (British, Arab, Jewish) for greater Arab unity, and how lukewarm or negative London was toward all such plans, even those that led to the formation of the Arab League in 1945.

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