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Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East


  • Author: Azriel Bermant, The Institute for National Security Studies, Israel
  • Date Published: September 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316606308

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About the Authors
  • Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East examines Thatcher's policy on the Middle East, with a spotlight on her approach towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It questions claims that she sought to counter the Foreign Office Middle East policy, and maintains that the prime minister was actually in close agreement with the Whitehall bureaucracy on the Arab-Israeli conflict. In particular, the volume argues that Thatcher's concerns over Soviet ambitions in the Middle East encouraged her to oppose the policies of Israel's Likud governments, and to work actively for an urgent resolution of the conflict. Furthermore, while Thatcher was strongly pro-American, this was not translated into automatic support for Israel. Indeed, the Thatcher government was very much at odds with the Reagan administration over the Middle East, as a result of Washington's neglect of the forces of moderation in the region.

    • Presents a fresh narrative of Britain's role in the Middle East based upon recently declassified papers
    • Unique in its examination of Margaret Thatcher's Middle East policy and Anglo-Israeli relations, appealing to those interested in the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Party, British foreign policy, the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Europe-Israel relations and British Jewry
    • Sheds new light on Margaret Thatcher's relationship with Ronald Reagan, and presents a new angle on the debate surrounding the legacy of the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate in Palestine
    • Unique in its discussion of pro-Israel interest groups in Britain
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is an important book, as it dispels three misconceptions about policies pursued by Margaret Thatcher: that she was at odds with the Foreign Office on the Israel-Palestine conflict; that she was of one mind with the Reagan administration regarding the Middle East; and that conservatives such as Thatcher automatically support other conservatives, for example, Yitzhak Shamir. Well-researched and well worth reading.' Daniel Kurtzer, Princeton University, New Jersey, and former US Ambassador to Egypt and Israel

    'The fascinating aspect of Bermant's book is not only that it shows the level of British entanglement in the Middle East, but reveals the numerous peace plans launched in the period that have direct parallels with today.' Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post

    'In sum, this is a persuasive and bold account, one built upon admirable archival research and historical knowledge, and which greatly adds to our understanding of British foreign policy and the Thatcher era as they pertain to the Middle East. Its tone is admirably measured. The value is in the detail and the substantial evidence provided on certain specifics.' Rosemary Hollis, International Journal of Middle East Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316606308
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Thatcher and the 'Finchley factor'
    2. The new Soviet threat
    3. Thatcher endorses the Venice Declaration
    4. Operation Babylon
    5. The crisis in Anglo-American relations
    6. Israel's invasion of Lebanon
    7. Thatcher's diplomatic initiative
    8. Thatcher's landmark visit to Israel
    9. The Reagan administration spurns the London Agreement
    10. The collapse of the 'Jordanian option'
    11. A new approach towards the PLO
    12. The end of a friendship

  • Author

    Azriel Bermant, The Institute for National Security Studies, Israel
    Azriel Bermant is a historian, and a research fellow in the arms control and regional security program at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University. Dr Bermant was awarded his Ph.D. from University College London. His work has been published in numerous publications, including Foreign Affairs, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Haaretz. He is the author of The Russian and Iranian Missile Threats: Implications for NATO Missile Defense (2014).

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