Lawrence and Aaron­sohn: T.E. Lawrence and Aaron Aaron­sohn and the Seeds of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Ronald Flo­rence
  • Review
By – February 24, 2012

Some books are called his­to­ries, but they are real­ly spy nov­els in dis­guise. That is the case with Lawrence and Aaron­sohn, a well doc­u­ment­ed and read­able work on the peri­od in Mid­dle East his­to­ry when the British Com­mon­wealth was a colo­nial pow­er divvy­ing up land and cre­at­ing nations. 

The book is about a clash of pow­er. In the Mid­dle East the British and the Ottomans were major pow­er play­ers. Both Lawrence and Aaron­sohn were spy­ing for the British, each with a dif­fer­ent agen­da. Lawrence, who was lat­er to be known as Lawrence of Ara­bia, was hop­ing to cre­ate Arab nation­al­ism in Pales­tine. Aaron­sohn, a world class agron­o­mist, was push­ing for a Jew­ish State. 

The visions of these two men were vast­ly dif­fer­ent; that is the basis of this superb work. Ronald Flo­rence puts forth the the­sis that these two diver­gent points of view and the accom­pa­ny­ing atti­tudes of these men are the true roots of the cur­rent con­flict between the Pales­tini­ans and the Israelis.

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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