Seminar – Should the British Government Apologise for British Rule in Palestine?

1st May 2014, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Faculty of Education


Nasim Ahmed, Palestinian Return Centre, in conversation with Dr James Renton, Edge Hill University.

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London is conducting a five year international campaign to obtain an apology from the British Government for British rule in Palestine, from 1917 to 1948. This campaign comes in the wake of the landmark judgement in the British High Court in October 2012 that Kenyans tortured by British colonial troops in the 1950s could claim damages from the British Government. Following that victory, in June 2013 British Foreign Secretary William Hague declared that the Government ‘sincerely regrets‘ Britain’s record in Kenya, promised £19.9 million of compensation, and announced plans to establish a memorial in Nairobi. Does this outcome mean that cases regarding other colonial territories, such as Palestine, should be brought? Is an apology for Palestine likely, or worthwhile? How do we begin to make a judgement about the colonial past in such a politically contested territory – morally, politically, legally?

This event will explore the reasons behind the Palestine apology campaign and its broader post-colonial contexts, of memory, restitution and legacies. It will also consider how we can assess the British colonial record in Palestine, and the relevance of the campaign for the Israel-Palestine conflict today.

Nasim Ahmed is Head of Research at the PRC.The PRC is a consultancy based in London that focuses on the historical, political and legal aspects of the Palestinian refugee question. It offers advice on this issue, and specialises in research, analysis and monitoring.

Dr James Renton is Reader in History at Edge Hill University, and an Honorary Senior Research Associate in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London. He is the author of The Zionist Masquerade: The Birth of the Anglo-Zionist Alliance, 1914-1918.

For further information contact James Renton 

This event is organised by the Ethnicity, Race, and Racism Seminar. Further information about the Seminar is available here