The British Empire's Jewish question and the post-Ottoman future
Title: The British Empire's Jewish question and the post-Ottoman future
Author: RENTON, James
Citation: David J. WERTHEIM (ed.), The Jew as legitimation : Jewish-gentile relations beyond Antisemitism and Philosemitism, London : Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp. 135-151
Series/Number: [Global Governance Programme]; [Cultural Pluralism]
ISBN: 9783319426006; 9783319426013
This chapter re-examines the British Empire’s World War I alliance with Zionism as an exercise in legitimation. Unlike traditional Zionist historiography, Renton argues that the Balfour Declaration has to be understood in the context of the global imperial politics of race. From this perspective, he shows that the British Empire enlisted Zionism as a means of solving a new perceived Jewish Question: the specter of a supposed global Jewish power, opposed to the Allied cause. This policy led to the British and French empires including Zionism in the political cartography for a post-Ottoman Western Asia. The misconceived racial thought behind this re-mapping resulted in the sponsorship of Jewish and Arab nationalisms in the Holy Land, which led, he argues, to the beginnings of the Zionist-Palestinian conflict.
Subject: International relations; Nationalism; European identities and culture; Racism and discrimination
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