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Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XI: Values, Interests, and IdentityJews and Politics in a Changing World$
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Peter Y. Medding

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195103311

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195103311.001.0001

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Australia and the Jewish Community of Palestine: 1915–1941

Australia and the Jewish Community of Palestine: 1915–1941

(p.176) Australia and the Jewish Community of Palestine: 1915–1941
Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XI: Values, Interests, and Identity

Chanan Reich

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets straight the historical record regarding the period 1915–41. The evidence presented here demonstrates that Australia, as led by Prime Ministers Joseph Aloysius Lyons and Robert Gordon Menzies, strongly opposed the aspirations of the Jews to develop a national home in Palestine and establish its own state there. The Australian policy toward the Jewish-Arab conflict over Palestine was the product of a unique Australian interpretation of the interests of the British empire in the Middle East, reinforced by anti-Jewish prejudices, that turned out to be more hostile to the aspirations of the Yishuv than even British policies. During the Second World War, the Australian government justified its strong urging of Britain to be more consistent and unequivocal in its support of the Arab cause on the grounds that this would best protect the interests of Australian soldiers stationed in Palestine.

Keywords:   Australia, Joseph Aloysius Lyons, Robert Gordon Menzies, Palestine, Yishuv, Britain, Jews, Jewish-Arab conflict

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