Liberal Imperialism and the origins of Israel: the position of Isaiah Berlin Chapter uri icon


  • The main purpose of this chapter is to analyse Berlin’s own views on the legitimacy of Israel, highlighting his interpretations on other Jewish positions that came to light in the nineteenth century and in the years that anticipated the creation of Israel. Particular attention will be dedicated to the position of the Anglo-Jews regarding Palestine and the desire to set a Jewish nation in it, based on the British liberal conceptions of Empire and more specifically of Israel, and in Britain’s attempts to establish a civilising mission in the rather so-called barbarous and undeveloped communities of the East. For that reason, emphasis will be given to the nature of the relationship between the Jews and the British and, more specifically, to Britain’s own feelings towards the Jews and interests in the Middle East.

publication date

  • 2014