God, Guns & Israel

The Britain, the First World War and the Jews in the Holy Land 1914-1925


The roots of the present conflict in the Middle East can be traced back to the very foundation of the Jewish Homeland in the First World War. God, Guns and Israel weaves two threads together, the military advance and the influences of Protestant Nonconformism and the Old Testament on the founding of the modern state of Israel. The long-held Jewish dream of a homeland became a reality due to a remarkable military, political and theological confluence. The book follows the involvement of David Lloyd George from 1903 when he worked as a solicitor for the Zionists to 1916 when he became prime minister. Within days of him moving into 10 Downing Street the defensive action in the Sinai to safeguard the Suez Canal was changed into an offensive advance into Palestine. But the Turks. aided by the Germans, put up a strong In resistance. The British lost the first Battle of Gaza in April 1916, and the second in battle a month later. Lloyd George sacked the commander and called in General Sir Edmund Allenby with the instructions to seize Jerusalem ‘as a Christmas present for the British nation.’ As Allenby’s guns were poised ready to start the third Battle of Gaza at the end of October 1917, in London Lloyd George’s War Cabinet issued the Balfour Declaration with the promise to make ‘a homeland for the Jews’. For both Jews and Arabs there was a sense of betrayal as Western powers sliced up the Middle East, each pursuing its own policy. Today, these decisions are overshadowed by suicide bombers and encroaching settlers. Jill Hamilton opens a new perspective on the ideals and realities of those who sought an answer to the more than thousand year old question of Jewish national identity. The Bible, the army and the secret service all had a role.

Described by A.N. Wilson in The Daily Telegraph, London, on 24 February 2004, as ‘fascinating’ and ‘excellent’.

God, Guns and Israel was launched in London at the Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies, at an event organized by the London Middle East Institute and Sutton Publishers and in Wales at the Lloyd George Museum, Llanystumdwy, Criccieth, Gwynedd.