07 November '16..
In our recent review of BBC portrayal of the Balfour Declaration we noted that one of the backgrounders available online states that:
“During this period of change, three key pledges were made.
In 1916 the British Commissioner in Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, had promised the Arab leadership post-war independence for former Ottoman Arab provinces.
However, at the same time, the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement between war victors, Britain and France, divided the region under their joint control.
Then in 1917, the British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour committed Britain to work towards “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”, in a letter to leading Zionist Lord Rothschild. It became known as the Balfour Declaration.”
Similarly partial portrayals of the Hussein-McMahon correspondence are found in additional material produced by the BBC – for example in an article from May 2016 by Jim Muir on the topic of the Sykes-Picot agreement and in an article by Kevin Connolly from July 2015. In May 2015 listeners to BBC World Service radio were told by historian-cum-political activist Avi Shlaim that:
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