Hidden facts from the Mitford family archives. Talking of the Middle East, many think of Peter O'Toole and the famous Lawrence of Arabia. However, before him there was someone that also became the doyen of the British foreign office. Lawrence felt close to the Arabs and tried to create a pan-Arabic state, whereas Edward was driven towards creating a home for the Jewish nation. Edward Mitford was the first British high official to present a plan to the ministers of the British government in 1845 - well before Herzl, Balfour or Ben Gourion and before the Zionist movement took form in Switzerland in 1897 - to share Palestine with one of the most creative and industrious people in Europe. His plan ultimately led to the Balfour Declaration. It lays out the practicalities and process of achieving an independent state with regards to worldwide opinion, the position of Russia and other European countries and their influence in the Middle East. Edward died five years before the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917. Everything detailed in Edward's appeal and the plan he presented in 1845 took place and happened - it set the framework for the British mandate that followed in 1920 to 1948. His life and work is part of English history and cannot continue to be hidden from public knowledge. Today, Edward Mitford's great-great grandson, Hugh Mitford Raymond, author of The Mitford Family to be published in 2016, presents the untold story of the creation of Israel. The reason he has republished the work of his great-great grandfather is purely historical and far from any debate. Obviously times have changed, the situation in the Middle East is not any more the same but the text reveals the mentalities of the time and certain philosophies and the festering germs of later decisions. This book is a historic testimony of a project which anchors in time much of the current events even today. This book allows the reader to better understand the reasons of British presence in the Middle East, its politics and policy, its diplomacy, its implication and the responsibilities in the conflicts to come over a land promised to two peoples - so different yet so similar. Finally, the reader will not miss to draw a parallel between Edward Mitford and his quest to provide a homeland for the Jewish nation to the pro Nazi and fascist commitments of Diana and Unity Mitford, two of the famous, and infamous Mitford sisters. Diana divorced Bryan Guinness of the Guinness Brewery fortune to marry Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists and Unity became intimately involved with Hitler and his anti-Semitic ideas until her failed attempt at committing suicide, when Hitler sent her back to England via Switzerland.
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