The British Labour Party and Palestine 1917-1949
The thesis is an attempt to examine the Labour Party's involvement with the question of Palestine from the time of the party's first declaration on the subject in 1917 to the de facto recognition by a Labour Government of the State of Israel in January 1949. It considers the development of attitudes within the Labour Party, primarily those of the party leaders and policy makers, but also of the wider party membership, on the questions of Zionism, the Palestinian Arabs, the role of the British Mandatory Government, and the future of Palestine. It also discusses the formulation and content of official party policy throughout the period, and the part played by groups representing Zionists and Arab interests, in particular the Jewish Socialist Labour Party, Poale Zion. The thesis also assesses the extent to which the Labour Party was able to influence the Palestine policies of successive British Governments. During two crucial periods, between 1929 and 1931, and from 1945 to 1949, Labour Governments held office. Both periods are considered exclusively with the aim of examining reactions within sections of the Labour Party to the policies pursued, and the influence such attitudes had on Government policy.