From Balfour to Blair: Empire and its Legacy in the Middle East
The conflicts and crises of today’s Middle East are rooted in the colonial past. On the centenary of the Balfour Declaration – in which Britain pledged to support the creation in Palestine of a ‘national home for the Jewish people’ – Roger Hardy reflects on the role of British and French imperialism in shaping the modern Middle East. Drawing on his book The Poisoned Well: Empire and its Legacy in the Middle East, published last year, he argues that the shadow of imperialism has continued to haunt the politics of the region, from the evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Roger Hardy was for more than twenty years a Middle East analyst with the BBC World Service, and is currently a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford.