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The Professor and the Ambassador - the Peel Commission on Palestine, 1937 and its aftermath

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The Professor in question was a Cambridge professor named Reginald Coupland who was a member of the commission; the Ambassador was its vice-chairman, Sir Horace Rumbold. This paper analyses the significance of recently discovered correspondence which sheds new light on the failure of the Commission’s partition proposals, due in large part to detailed publication of a partition plan at the instance of Professor Coupland and over the initial objection of Ambassador Rumbold. Then as now, an agreed partition was not in the cards, attesting to the wisdom of Ambassador Rumbold’s initial view that any plan would have to be imposed from outside, in 1937 by the British government, which was reluctant to do so as war approached.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Humanities Society talks series.

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