I have been looking forward to this one for a couple of reasons. One I know very little about the topic so it represents an opportunity to be educated. Two, because it is the first time I have successfully used a new gadget to capture a much better standard of audio. I think it has come out a little quiet, especially for people listening on a train, but it is much less muffled and noisy than the on board zoom-mic achieved. What does it sound like to you?
Paul starts his history of Israel with the effort by the Roman’s to remove or obliterate the religion from what was known then as Judea.
He then traces the history of conflicts through to the late twenties when the Ottoman Empire are in power. One of the effects Paul traces from this time is that land ownership is decided politically in Israel. The small amount of private land is respected as such to this day. In highlighting this he seems to be seeking to defend the settlement of Palestinian land by Israelis.
Paul covers in detail the effect of the British mandate and the errors made by the British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel and his appointment of the Grand Mufti. His description of British immigration policy and the psychology of Jewish military leaders that led them to reject that policy was perticularly crisp.
As he moves forward into the sixties and seventies Paul is even handed in his description of violent acts perpetrated by Jew on Jew, Jew on British and violence between Muslims and Jews.
Paul also spends some time on the rise and fall of Socialism in Israel, especially the kibbutzim, and notes with interest that Israel is, exceptionally, becoming more conservative. Although the ways in which this conservatism are expressed is more appealing for Paul (who is a Christian and Conservative Councillor) than many other libertarian supporters it is an interesting recovery.