3 March 2011 | Edinman1
I had a personal interest in this for two reasons. My father served with the paras in Palestine (having joined up to fight the Germans) and I've had a long-term interest in what is now known as the 'IP' question. I have to say I was engrossed by the whole series, although there a few dramatic devices which were verging on the unbelievable. It might have worked better as a drama for those who knew absolutely nothing about the situation, in either era. I probably spent too much time worrying about the politics. My sympathies have always lain with the Palestinian side, and there were bits of it I thought were good for setting out a side to Israel that isn't always seen (eg the attitude of the settlers to the indigenous population, which I suspect are an embarrassment to many Israelis). However, although I know where I stand, I wouldn't want to watch anything which contained too much simple propaganda. I think The Promise did achieve a level of balance, sometimes to the detriment of the drama (eg the King David Hotel incident being followed by a suicide bomber). The perception has been is that The Promise was more pro Arab than Israeli, but I can guarantee that no-one with strong views and a knowledge of the history would be particularly satisfied with the politics. For instance, all the main characters were either Brits or Jews, the Arabs were walk-on one dimensional characters. I think it can best be regarded as a drama set in turbulent times, and not as a drama documentary - there is simply too much history to cover to do anything else. I realise it was a dramatic device but poor Len seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time throughout. To put in context, the British had about 100,000 troops in Palestine from 46 to 48, and lost 234 (ish). Not a small figure, but less than you would think from watching The Promise where every other Jew appeared to be a member of the Irgun (which was just one of a number of Jewish organisations). And the 100,000 weren't all Paras... As others have mentioned, why didn't Erin just read the whole diary at once!! Anyway, I elected not to include spoilers so I'll remain silent on various bits which annoyed me along the 'that didn't happen' and 'that couldn't happen' lines. But overall, I did actually enjoy it. Worth watching.