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Drawing the Outlines of the Middle East: A History Rooted in Bad Faith

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, December 18, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1D0033
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Ottoman forces prepare for the attack on the Suez Canal, 1914

It is impossible to comprehend the conflicts in the Middle East without understanding the machinations of British diplomacy during World War I. To enhance their cause, British leaders made a series of conflicting promises to Arab leaders, French diplomats, and Zionist representatives regarding the future of the Middle East. They pledged to help establish an Arab empire, then offered to divide the same land with the French—while also declaring that His Majesty’s government viewed with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.

Historian Ralph Nurnberger examines the fascinating cast of characters involved in the often-contradictory secret negotiations, as well as how the results contributed to more than a century of conflicts in the region and the establishment of the modern states of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

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