Political Diaries of the Arab World: Palestine and Jordan 1920–1965

ISBN:  (13) 978-1-85207-735-8    Extent:   10 volumes, 7,860 pages
Editor: R. Jarman, [FRGS] former Advisor to the Bahrain National Museum Published: 2001
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish
See sample pages: not available


The various different types of report gathered together in this collection capture in great detail the convulsions wrought within the old land area of Palestine by the agreements at the end of the World War I, in particular the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917; the Anglo-French Declaration of 7 November 1918 and the recommendations of the King-Crane Commission of 28 August 1919. Once formulated, the idea of a national home for the Jewish people, created without prejudice to the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities, was impossible to contain. The difficulty inherent in the realisation of such an idea is the subject of the forty-five years of history captured here.


It is possible to read details of interviews with Dr Chaim Weizmann, descriptions of the outbreaks of violence particularly in 1922 and 1929, of the Arab population´s general strike in 1936 and of the outright Arab rebellion, which carried on until the outbreak of World War II. The documents continue to trace the troubled history of the region up to 1965: through the relinquishing of the British Mandate for Palestine and the birth of the State of Israel in May 1948; the Arab-Israeli war; through the mass immigration of the late 1950s; the tensions and extraordinary political machinations during the Suez crisis; and up to 1965, by which time the British were producing only a short annual report every year.
At different times there may have been a great deal of detail needed by the Foreign Office mandarins, such as during the anticipation of, and reaction to, the British Government white paper in 1939 when the Mandate was still in full swing, and throughout 1947 at the height of the struggle for land. Later, after the creation of Israel the paperwork dies down as the British Government becomes merely a bystander, and the new Government of David Ben Gurion takes over the task of recording its own development. However, the British annual reports for this later period remain invaluable as a continuous historical commentary by a state with an intimate knowledge of the development of its subject.


Political Diaries of the Arab World: Understanding the series
This is the eagerly awaited fourth in our series of collected political reports for the Middle East. Already published are those for Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf and Iraq. The series provides scholars, researchers and historians with a tremendously detailed archive of material on each of the areas covered.
Over the years many different series of reports have been undertaken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in response to the events on the ground. These series wax and wane with the tide of history but they are also subject to the force of personality of the compiler and the voracious demands of the British Foreign Office for information. Certain government officials will be seen to be prolific and others merely content to cover the main points clearly. However, whether the reports are being demanded by Her Majesty´s Government or showered upon it by officials in residence the effect is to leave a national treasure for following generations in the form of regular, structured, detailed reports of the current events, main players and political direction of the day. At one end of the scale alongside the public security and political events, the weekly reports log the minutiae of administration, with details of sowing and harvesting as well as trade, health and education. At the other end of the scale is the annual report sweeping grandly through the events of a year, giving a thorough background in the main political movements and permitting itself only the small luxury of a short chronology to furnish a little detail.
The Political Diaries series ends with the year 1965. Material for later years will be published when available.


Contents: Summary of the coverage of the various series of reports
Palestine: Annual Survey 1922-1923
Palestine: High Commissioner´s monthly reports 1920-1925
Palestine: High Commissioner´s periodic reviews 1936-1939
Palestine: High Commissioner´s monthly telegrams 1939-1947
Palestine: District Commissioner´s reports - all districts 1938
Palestine: District Commissioner´s reports - Haifa & Samaria 1939
Palestine: District Commissioner´s reports - Haifa 1939-1948
Palestine: District Commissioner´s reports - Samaria 1939-1948
Palestine: District Commissioner´s reports - Galilee 1939-1948
Palestine: District Commissioner´s reports - Jerusalem 1939-1948
Palestine: District Commissioner´s reports - Southern/Lydda 1939-1948
Palestine: District Commissioner´s reports - Gaza 1939-1948
Palestine: High Commissioner´s weekly appreciations 1946-1948
Palestine: FORD weekly summaries 1948-1949
Palestine: Arab Palestine monthly summaries 1949-1950
Transjordan: Occasional reports 1920-1924
Transjordan: Reports from Chief British Representative, Amman 1921-1925
Transjordan: Quarterly reports 1926-1940
Transjordan: Monthly reports 1931-1935
Transjordan: Monthly reports 1936-1944
Jordan: Monthly reports 1945-1954
Jordan: Annual reviews 1946-1965
Jordan: Occasional reviews 1952-1960