JORDAN LEWIS RING……………………WORLD COMMENTARY ………………………. ringlawfirm, trial lawyer, law, politics, israel, civil rights, justice, history, reflections, author TAGGED 'TOP COMMENTATOR' BY NATIONAL PRESS http://www.ringlawfirm.com/ http://jordanlewisring.brandyourself.com …..LINKED IN STATED JORDAN LEWIS RING You rank in the top 1% for profile views among professionals like you………………NOTED NATIONAL COMMENTATOR…….GOOD LUCK AMERICA ………….. GREAT TRIAL LAWYERS ARE NATURALS WITH MINIMUM OF 20 PLUS JURY TRIALS & 30 + YEARS AT THE BAR! ANYONE LESS, A BEGINNER!
NOWHERE IS THE CHAOS OF OUTDATED LAWS REGARDING DIVORCE MORE IN PLAY THAN IN MASSACHUSETTS WHERE THE SO CALLED NEW DIVORCE LAW HAS CREATED MORE CHAOS THAN HUMAN MINDS NEED to ENDURE…
INDEED THE REASON FOR LICENSING OF MARRIAGE WAS TO PREVENT INTERRACIAL RELATIONS IN THE EARLY COLONIAL DAYS WHEN SOME SLAVES WERE FREED.
NOW TODAY TAGS OF SUPER LAWYER ARE JUST SUPER WAYS TO ATTRACT DOLLARS TO THOSE WHO LIVE OFF THE SUFFERING CREATED BY OUTDATED AND PLAIN DUMB LAWS AND PROBATE JUDGES WHO ARE JUST IMO POLITICAL HACKS THAT KNEW THE GOVERNOR…
WORLDWIDE SCREAMS TO END THE CHAOS CREATED BY THE FEUDAL SYSTEM AND OUR EARLY VIEWS OF MARRIAGE BY BLACKS ARE EVERYWHERE!
THE PROBATE COURTS, THE DIVORCE LAWS IN MASSACHUSETTS ARE SUPER INDEED….SUPER IN SHAME…..MAKING THE LEAST ABLE OF THE BAR RICH ON THE PAIN OF MALE/FEMALE SOULS.
TIME TO END OUTDATED LAWS THAT WERE IN PART CREATED BY UNLICENSED FOLKS THAT WITH THE SUPER NOTHINGS HAVE INFLICTED MORE PAIN AND SUFFERING IN MASSACHUSETTS…
The former High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge, who founded the Marriage Foundation charity in 2012, is pushing for new laws to modernize and protect marriage. HOPEFULLY TO END MARRIAGE ITSELF…..
Senior judicial figures have called for an end to “unjust” and “outdated” divorce laws as The Times begins a campaign to modernize family legislation.
Lord Mackay of Clashfern, the lord chancellor to two prime ministers, and Baroness Butler-Sloss, the former lord justice of appeal and president of the High Court family division, join other legal grandees to condemn the “antediluvian, damaging” 50-year-old laws governing marital break-ups. They are backing this newspaper’s demand for sweeping reform, including:
• The end of the so-called meal ticket for life-maintenance awards. EACH PARTY HAS THEIR OWN ASSETS….NO INVASION OF THE OTHERS WEALTH!
• Statutory backing for prenuptial contracts. THIS TOO NO LONGER REQUIRED AS MARRIAGE ITSELF CEASES TO EXIST!
The call comes two weeks after a report by the Nuffield Foundation, which condemned divorce laws in England and Wales for forcing couples to make false and exaggerated allegations of adultery or bad behavior, causing bitterness and harming the mental health of children.
Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, the barrister for several senior royals, and Baroness Deech, the former chairwoman of the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority, are also among those backing divorce reform as part of The Times’s Family Matters campaign, which joins forces with the former High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge to push for new laws to modernise and protect marriage. THE BEST PROTECTION IS TO END ALL STATE INVOLVEMENT AMONGST THOSE LIVING TOGETHER…..
Sir Paul, chairman of the Marriage Foundation, an organization that has pushed for more support for couples experiencing marital difficulty, in an attempt to stem the tide of family breakdowns, said that the institution needed to be for “everyone from all walks of life, not just the better off”.
He added: “We must urgently do something about the laws on marriage and divorce. These are antediluvian and no longer fit for purpose. Our chief concern is to address the impact of the breakdown of relationships, particularly where there are children. These breakdowns have devastating consequences for both adults and children that can last for decades.”
Although laws should ease the pain of the separation process, they do the opposite, according to Sir Paul. “They fuel acrimony, hostility, and pain — and make good long-term relationships between two parents caring for children impossible.”
Lord Mackay, who as lord chancellor under Margaret Thatcher attempted the last reform of divorce laws, said that he still supported change and removal of the need to allege blame. He is among many to have been concerned by the recent case of Tini Owens, who has been refused a divorce from her millionaire husband despite the couple living apart for almost three years.
“Marriage is a two-sided arrangement and involves children as well,” Lord Mackay said. “Unless both parties are willing to continue, it is difficult to have anything that can properly be called marriage.” The need to allege fault had a “corrosive effect on relationships”, he said. “It does not help to heal in any way… and of course [it] is very damaging to the children.”
Lord Mackay’s reforms reached the statute book as the Family Law Act 1996 despite a storm whipped up by Tory MPs and in the tabloid press. “There was concern that it undermined marriage,” he said. “But people did not understand how it worked. All it was doing was removing the unnecessarily provocative material from the separation.”
The act was approved by parliament 20 years ago and had the backing of Cardinal Hume, then the most senior Roman Catholic in Britain, as well as the Church of England. It was never implemented and was removed from the statute book by David Cameron’s coalition government. “Every year that passes is doing unnecessary damage to the possibility of satisfactory arrangements on breakdown,” Lord Mackay said.
Baroness Hale of Richmond, president of the Supreme Court, and Sir James Munby, president of the High Court family division, are known to favor reform. Sixty percent of divorces in England and Wales are based on allegations of fault — ten times the number in Scotland or France, the Nuffield report says. Elsewhere fault has largely been abolished.
Lady Butler-Sloss, who sits as a crossbench peer, said: “The law on divorce is unsuitable, hypocritical, out of date, unfair, unkind . . . and very damaging to the children.” Allegations of fault “immediately raise the temperature, needlessly”.
Lady Shackleton said: “The pendulum has swung far too far in the direction of vesting control in the judges rather than parliament. Reform is urgently overdue.”
Sir Alan Ward, a former Court of Appeal judge and family specialist, said: “The disconnect between the letter of the law and the practice is now visible. The law was last reformed 50 years ago. The changes since then have transformed all social values, from behavior towards women to the religious imperative requiring the upholding of the sanctity of marriage as a vital foundation of public morality.”
TIME TO END THE SUPER MESS, TRASH THE PROBATE COURTS AND END THE STATE INVOLVEMENT IN THE VERY ACT OF MARRIAGE AND WITH NO MARRIAGE THE SUPPORT OF CHILDREN IS BUT THE ONLY ISSUE THAT CAN BE ADDRESS BY THE APPLICATION OF MATH TO A FORMULA THAT REFLECTS PARENTAL EARNINGS.
TIME TO END A SYSTEM SO OUT OF DATE THAT IS A SUPER DISGRACE TO OUR CURRENT STATE OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT……
Ann McKee, MD, director of the BU CTE Center and chief of neuropathology for the VA Boston Healthcare System, discusses the pathological findings from the postmortem study of the brain of Aaron Hernandez (on screen at right, compared to normal brain of same age), a former New England Patriots tight end who committed suicide in jail at the age of 27.Thursday, November 9, 2017. Staff Photo by Matt West.
The Trump administration announced new rules Wednesday to make it tougher for U.S. businesses to work in Cuba and for Americans to travel to the island.
The restrictions are aimed at finally enacting what Trump in June described as plans to reverse the Obama-era diplomatic opening with the communist-ruled island.
Effective Thursday, businesses will be required to obey a new set of regulations that are “intended to steer economic activity away from the Cuban military, intelligence and security services,” a senior White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to brief reporters.
The Cuban military is deeply enmeshed in much of the island’s economy, including the tourism industry.
Individuals will be prohibited from traveling to Cuba under the new rules but can continue as part of groups resistered with the U.S. government and following the so-called “people-to-people” plan, which generally requries the trip to have an educational component.
Travel by Americans to the island had exploded in the months since President Obama renewed diplomatic ties with Cuba in 2015, following a half-century of Cold War-era hostility.
Advocates of better ties with Cuba reacted with anger.
“At a time that President Trump is meeting with communist leaders in China and Vietnam, these regulations show the absolute hypocrisy and political pandering of the Trump administration on Cuba,” said Collin Laverty, president of Cuba Educational Travel, a group that arranges trips to the island.
NO MATTER THE ALLEGED CRIME BASED ON A DRUNK ADMITTED LIAR AND A MOTHER WHO NEVER GAVE A DAMN FOR OVER A YEAR…..WE AS AMERICANS SAW THE VIOLATION OF THE ACCUSED RIGHTS…..WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING TO OUR NATION?
A LAWYER WHO IMO AVOIDED THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND A REPORTER, WHO FOR OVER A YEAR WAS SILENT ALLOWING AN ALLEGED PREDITOR TO STRIKE AGAIN APPEARS, AS A TOTAL FOOL…..
A DRUNKEN LIAR OF A SON WHO GOT DRUNK WITH BOOZE BASED ON LIES OF AGE….
THIS IS THE SAM SHEPPARD ….sALEM WITCH REPLAY…..!
WHERE THE HELL IS THE MASS BBO AND THE MEDIA FOR PERMITTING CRAP TO DESTROY WHAT IT TOOK AMERICA MORE THAN 200 YEARS TO STAND FOR…..
NO JEW WILL BE MURDERED AS THE WORLD WAS SILENT…FOR 6 MILLION SOULS
Israel to Hold Largest Aerial Military Exercise in its History
The “Blue Flag” exercise will facilitate international training, improved flight techniques and exploration.
The “Blue Flags” exercise – the largest aerial exercise ever to be held in Israel – will happen in 11 days place at the Uvda base in southern Israel. The exercise will involve more than 1,000 air crew, technical staff and air force management teams from many countries, including Israel, Greece, Poland, Italy, the United States and India.
Participating countries will arrive in Israel in their aircraft and will practice cooperatively various scenarios. The exercises will facilitate international training, improved flight techniques and exploration.
The exercise was planned in advance with all relevant bodies as part of the annual training graph, and was carried out in cooperation with the Airports Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Transport and the Municipality of Eilat.
“I walked toward Jackson, smiling, and he smiled back at me,” Young wrote. “His eyes scanned my entire body. All of a sudden, I felt naked in my sweater and jeans. As I walked within arm’s reach of him, Jackson reached out a hand and grabbed my thigh, saying, ‘I like all of that right there!’ and gave my thigh a tight squeeze.”
The post included several photos of the encounter in which Young writes “don’t let the smile fool you. I’m cringing on the inside.”
Stephen Willeford managed to shoot Devin Kelley before jumping in another man’s truck and chasing him down, the Daily Mail reported.
Kelley blew himself away after wiping out in his SUV, according to Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt.
Texas Department of Public Safety chief Freeman Martin said Willeford “grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect” after Kelley left the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, where he opened fire with an assault rifle and killed 26 people.
An area resident told the paper that Willeford, an avid biker who attends another church, learned about the shooting when his daughter called to say a man clad in body armor was shooting worshipers.
The local said that although Willeford has no military background, he didn’t hesitate when he came face to face with the suspect — and managed to squeeze off a round that struck the gunman, who had dropped his Ruger AR-15 variant.
Willeford jumped into a truck driven by another local, Johnnie Langendorff, who witnessed the confrontation, and the pair gave chase.
Langendorff later told reporters about the dramatic pursuit.
“I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire, the other being a citizen of the community,” he said.
“The shooter of the church had taken off, fled in his vehicle, and the other gentleman came and he said, ‘We need to pursue him,’ that he just shot up the church. So that’s what I did. I just acted.”
He said he didn’t know who the heroic citizen was at the time.
“He was just a member of the community, and whenever he came to my vehicle in distress with his weapon, he explained very quickly what happened and he got in the truck and I knew it was just time [to go],” he said, KSAT reported.
“So we were doing about 95 mph, going around traffic and everything,” he added.
“Eventually he came to kind of a slowdown and after that, we got within just a few feet of him and he got off the road … He just lost control and that’s whenever I put the vehicle in park … The other gentleman jumped out and had his rifle drawn on him and he didn’t move after that,” he said.
Langendorff’s girlfriend, Summer Caddel, said Kelley died a few feet away from Langendorff.
The local man said Kelley was already dead when they found him.
“He was bleeding pretty bad,” the resident told the news outlet of Kelley while he was driving. “He didn’t live much longer than that.”
The Justice Department moved Monday to strip citizenship from four Somali immigrants who prosecutors say lied about being a family, and managed to defraud the Diversity Visa Lottery program that Republicans are aiming to nix.
The government says one woman, Fosia Abdi Adan, won the lottery in 2000 and then brought in two other people as her husband and children, using a fake marriage certificate.
The prosecutions come a week after the Diversity Lottery was in the news as the immigration program used by the suspect in last week’s terrorist truck attack in New York City.
“The current immigration system is easily abused by fraudsters and nefarious actors, and that’s certainly true of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Mr. Sessions said the fraud alleged in the case of Ms. Adan meant three other people were also admitted to the U.S. as part of chain migration — an issue where President Trump has been eager to impose new restrictions.
Chicago is close to recording its 600th homicide for the year, only the second time the city will have reached the grim milestone since 2003, according to data kept by the Chicago Tribune.
After a weekend when 30 were people shot, five of them fatally, the number of homicides stands at 593 this year, according to the Tribune’s database.
That’s below the 681 homicides this time last year but substantially above other recent year
Last year saw gun violence at levels not recorded since the late 1990s. This year has not been as bad, but the last time the city hit 600 homicides was 2003, and that was for the entire year, according to statistics kept by the Chicago Police Department.
The Chicago Police Department’s count of homicides this year is 581 because, unlike the Tribune, it does not count homicides on expressways as well as fatal shootings by police officers and homicides considered justified.
Shootings have shown the same trend: This year trails last year but not other recent years. Nearly 3,200 people have been shot so far in 2017, down from the roughly 3,800 shot this time last year. That’s compared with 2,609 at this time in 2015, 2,208 in 2014, 1,923 in 2013 and 2,162 in 2012, according to Tribune data.
Among those shot over this past weekend was a 14-year-old boy, who was grazed in the right foot and leg on Saturday afternoon. He and a 22-year-old man were fired at from a black sedan in the West Side’s Heart of Italy neighborhood.
In another double shooting late Saturday night, a 37-year-old woman was killed while attending a party to celebrate what would have been the birthday of a man killed in August as he left the Cook County criminal courthouse. A 25-year-old man was also shot and injured.
“100 years have passed since the notorious Balfour Declaration, by which Britain gave, without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people. This paved the road for the Nakba of Palestinian people and their dispossession and displacement from their land.”
So Mahmoud Abbas claimed at last year’s annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in what constitutes the standard Palestinian indictment of the November 1917 British government’s pledge to facilitate “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” providing that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
It is an emotionally gripping claim, but it is also the inverse of truth. For one thing, Britain did consult its main war allies, notably U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, before issuing the declaration, which was quickly endorsed by the contemporary international community, including the leaders of the nascent pan-Arab movement. Furthermore, the declaration was used as a model by the Ottoman Empire for its own official communiqué.
For another thing, it was not the Balfour Declaration that paved the road to the displacement of many Palestinians but its rejection by the extremist Palestinian Arab leadership headed by the Jerusalem mufti Hajj Amin Husseini—this against the wishes of ordinary Palestinian Arabs who preferred to coexist with their Jewish neighbors and take advantage of opportunities created by the evolving Jewish national enterprise. Had this leadership not ignored the wishes of its subjects, and the will of the international community for that matter, there would have been no nakba.
The Historical Context
The end of World War I saw the ideal of national self-determination becoming the organizing principle of the international system as the victorious powers carved territorial states from the collapsed Ottoman, German, Habsburg, and Russian empires. This was done through a newly devised mandates system that placed the Afro-Asiatic territories of the defunct empires (the European lands were given immediate independence) under the control of respective mandatory powers, beholden to a new world organization—the League of Nations—which were charged with steering them from tutelage to independence.
This sea change is commonly associated with Woodrow Wilson’s famous fourteen points, announced in an address to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. In fact, it was the much-maligned May 1916 Anglo-French-Russian agreement on the partition of the Ottoman Empire (or the Sykes-Picot agreement as it is generally known) that blazed this new trail by providing for “an independent Arab State or a Confederation of Arab States … under the suzerainty of an Arab chief.”
Hashemite emir Faisal I (right) and Chaim Weizmann (wearing Arab headdress) in 1918 in Transjordan. Later, Faisal stated, “No true Arab can be suspicious or afraid of Jewish nationalism.”
The Balfour Declaration sought to modify this agreement by substituting a Jewish national home for the international administration to which Palestine was to be subjected. While the French resented the change for fear of losing influence over Christianity’s holy sites, they eventually relented and joined their war allies in incorporating the declaration into the Turkish Peace Treaty signed at the French town of Sèvres in August 1920. Two years later, on July 24, 1922, the League of Nations appointed Britain the mandatory for Palestine with the explicit goal of “placing the country under such political, administrative, and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home” as stipulated by the Balfour Declaration. A week later, the U.S. Congress endorsed the declaration in a joint resolution, amplifying this move during World War II with several resolutions and declarations supporting unrestricted Jewish immigration and the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.
In other words, within five years of its issuance, the Balfour Declaration had come to reflect the will of the international community as represented by a major official resolution by the newly established world organization (the U.N. predecessor). And this was not only in the “practical” sense of supporting the creation of a Jewish national home but in the deeper sense of recognizing “the historical connexion [sic] of the Jewish people with Palestine and … the grounds for reconstituting their national home in the country.”
Even the Ottoman Empire, head of the world’s Muslim community, seemed to have acknowledged the right of the Jews to collective revival in their ancestral homeland. On August 12, 1918, Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha, one of the triumvirs who had run the empire since 1913, issued an official communiqué expressing “sympathies for the establishment of a religious and national Jewish center in Palestine by well-organized immigration and colonization” and offering to promote this enterprise “by all means” provided it “does not affect the rights of the non-Jewish population.”
Largely modeled on the Balfour Declaration and formulated in a similar process of lengthy discussions with prominent Jewish leaders, Talaat’s proclamation came too late to have real significance—two-and-a-half months after its issuance, the Ottomans surrendered to the Allies—and was apparently designed to improve the Muslim empire’s bargaining position in the looming postwar peace talks. Yet its issuance was nothing short of extraordinary given the violent Ottoman reaction to anything that smacked of national self-determination, from the Greek war of independence in the 1820s, to the Balkan wars of the 1870s, to the Armenian genocide of World War I. Indeed, only a year before the declaration, the Jewish community in Palestine (or the Yishuv) faced a real risk of extinction from the Ottomans for the very same reason, only to be saved through intervention by Germany, Istanbul’s senior war ally.
Arabs Embrace the Declaration
Emir Faisal. Talaat was hardly the only regional potentate to accept the Jewish right to national revival. The leaders of the nascent pan-Arab movement were perfectly amenable to endorsing the Balfour Declaration so long as this seemed to be conducive to their ambitions. And none more so than the Hashemite emirs Faisal and Abdullah who, together with their father, the Sharif of Mecca Hussein ibn Ali, perpetrated the “Great Arab War” against the Ottoman Empire. They were, as it happened, generously rewarded for their endeavors in the form of vast territories several times the size of the British Isles. Yet since these spectacular gains (which comprise the current states of Iraq, Jordan, and parts of Saudi Arabia) only served to whet their appetite, the emirs continued to pursue their imperial ambitions under the pan-Arab guise.
Even during the revolt, Faisal began toying with the idea of establishing his own Syrian empire, independent of his father’s prospective regional empire. In late 1917 and early 1918, he went so far as to negotiate this option with key members of the Ottoman leadership behind the backs of his father and his British allies. As his terms were rejected by Istanbul, Faisal tried to gain great-power endorsement for his imperial dream, and it was here that his interests seemed to converge with that of the Zionist movement.
On June 4, 1918, Faisal met Chaim Weizmann, the Russia-born, Manchester-based rising head of the Zionist movement. The two struck up an immediate rapport, and the emir readily acknowledged “the necessity for cooperation between Jews and Arabs” and “the possibility of Jewish claims to territory in Palestine.” Yet he refused to discuss Palestine’s future until such a time “when Arab affairs were more consolidated.”
When they met again six months later, Faisal was prepared to take his general affinity a major step further. By now, he had established a foothold in Syria under the protective wing of Sir Edmund Allenby, commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, which had driven the Ottoman forces from the Levant. The emir hoped to expand this opening into a full-fledged empire with U.S. backing and support. Were the Zionists to help swing American public opinion behind his cause, he was “quite sure that he and his followers would be able to explain to the Arabs that the advent of the Jews into Palestine was for the good of the country, and that the legitimate interests of the Arab peasants would in no way be interfered with.”
“It [i]s curious there should be friction between Jews and Arabs in Palestine,” Faisal told Weizmann after hearing his exposition of Zionist aims. “There was no friction in any other country where Jews lived together with Arabs. He was convinced that the trouble was promoted by intrigues. He did not think for a moment that there was any scarcity of land in Palestine. The population would always have enough, especially if the country were developed.” Faisal reiterated this benevolent observation at a dinner held on his behalf by Lord Rothschild, to whom Balfour sent the letter containing his famous declaration. “No true Arab can be suspicious or afraid of Jewish nationalism,” Faisal stated, “and what better intermediary could we find anywhere in the world more suitable than you? For you have all the knowledge of Europe, and are our cousins by blood.”
On January 3, 1919, shortly before giving evidence to the Paris peace conference, Faisal signed an agreement with Weizmann supporting the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine in accordance with the Balfour Declaration and pledging the adoption of all necessary measures “to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale.” In a letter to a prominent American Zionist a couple of months later, Faisal amplified this pledge:
We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement … and we regard [the Zionist demands] as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through: we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.
For several months, the emir seemed to be working to this end. So much so that in April 1919, Weizmann maintained that “between the Arab leaders, as represented by Faisal, and ourselves, there is complete understanding, and therefore complete accord” and that Faisal “has undertaken to exercise all his influence towards having his estimate of the Zionist cause and the Zionist proposals as ‘moderate and proper’ shared by his following.” Nearly six months later, Weizmann still considered Faisal a staunch ally who fully understood the immense potential of Arab-Zionist cooperation. “He is ready to take Jewish advisers and is willing, even anxious, to have Zionist support in the development and even administration of the Damascus region,” he wrote to Balfour in September 1919. “We, of course, would be willing to make a very great effort to help Faisal, as it would help us very much towards establishing good relations with the Arabs both in Palestine and Syria.”
This upbeat prognosis failed to consider the instrumental nature of Faisal’s behavior. When his efforts to gain international recognition for his imperial dream came to naught, the emir quickly changed tack and reneged on his historic agreement with the Zionist movement. On March 8, 1920, he was crowned by his supporters as King Faisal I of Syria “within its natural boundaries, including Palestine,” and the newly installed monarch had no intention of allowing the Jewish national movement to wrest away any part of his kingdom. The coronation was thus followed by riots in Palestine as rumors spread regarding the country’s imminent annexation to Syria. These culminated in early April 1920 in a pogrom in Jerusalem in which five Jews were murdered and more than two hundred were wounded. “[I]n spite of his momentary success, obtained also partly by British gold—[Faisal] is in the long run a broken reed,” a disillusioned Weizmann wrote his colleagues.
Emir Abdullah. This disillusionment did not prevent the Zionist leaders from pinning their hopes on Abdullah, who resented his marginalization by his younger brother and resolved to win his own “Greater Syrian” empire. Like Faisal, the emir viewed Zionism as an influential and affluent movement that could help both rally great-power support behind his imperial dream and bankroll its implementation. In the words of his protégé and Transjordan’s prime minister, Samir Rifai: “The enlarged Transjordan State with the support of Jewish economy would become the most influential State in the Arab Middle East.”
Abdullah made his first overture to the Zionist movement in the autumn of 1921, indicating his readiness to recognize the Balfour Declaration and to allow Jewish settlement in Transjordan, which he had come to rule several months earlier, provided the Jews agreed to be incorporated into a unified kingdom under his headship. In the meantime, he had a small favor to ask. The £3,500 monthly subsidy from his father was paid through the Zionist-owned Anglo-Palestine Bank in Jerusalem. Would the bank be prepared to advance him £7,000 to be repaid by the remittance from his father? The bank’s evasive reply did little to deter the emir. In November 1922, he traveled to London, where at a secret meeting with Weizmann and a number of Zionist officials, he reiterated his proposal and asked that they use their good offices with the French government, which by then had expelled Faisal from Damascus, to secure him the Syrian throne.
Egypt. Neither were the Hashemites the Zionists’ only conduit to the Arabic-speaking world. With contacts with some of the secret, pan-Arab societies operating in the Ottoman Empire already established by the Zionist movement prior to World War I, a few months after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, Weizmann led a Zionist commission to the Middle East to explore ways and means for its implementation, including “the establishment of good relations with the Arabs and other non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” In Cairo, he managed to convince a number of leading Syrian and Palestinian activists, living at the time in the Egyptian capital, that “Zionism has come to stay, that it is far more moderate in its aims than they had anticipated, and that by meeting it in a conciliatory spirit, they are likely to reap substantial benefits in the future.” He also succeeded in allaying the fears of the Egyptian sultan Fuad of Zionism’s alleged designs on Islam’s holy places, especially its supposed intention to destroy the Dome of the Rock and to reestablish the Jewish temple on its ruins.
It was indeed in Egypt that the Jewish national aspirations seemed to garner some genuine sympathy, albeit for the opposite reasons of those articulated by Zionist champions of the “pan-Arab connection.” Given its physical detachment from the eastern part of the Arabic-speaking world on the one hand, and its illustrious imperial past dating back to pharaonic times on the other, Egypt was seen by early pan-Arabists as “not belonging to the Arab race.” For their part, Egyptians looked down on the rest of the Arabs, using the term “Arab” in a derogatory fashion to denote a shiftless and uncultured nomad, someone to be viewed with contempt by a people with a millenarian tradition of settled cultivation. “If you add one zero to another, and then to another, what sum will you get?” Saad Zaghlul, the doyen of modern Egyptian nationalism, said, dismissing the pan-Arab ideal of unity.
During the 1920s and the early 1930s, Egypt was conspicuously indifferent to the anti-Zionist struggle in Palestine led by Hajj Amin Husseini. So much so that a prominent Palestinian Arab journalist, living in Egypt, recalled in his memoirs how he was asked by ordinary Egyptians who “Mr. Palestine” was, while others thought that Zionism was the name of a certain woman with whom Mr. Palestine had quarreled and, therefore, hated.
Ziwar Pasha, the governor of Alexandria, was certainly better informed, though his knowledge did not prevent him from participating in the celebrations of the local Jewish community upon the issuance of the Balfour Declaration. Eight years later, as Egypt’s prime minister, Ziwar sent an official representative to the inauguration of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which he applauded as a contribution to mankind. By contrast, the Egyptian government refused to send a delegation to the ceremonies celebrating the restoration of the al-Aqsa mosque, contenting itself with the attendance of its Jerusalem consul. Likewise, no Egyptian official bothered to meet Husseini during his visits to Cairo in 1926-28; on one occasion, he was directly snubbed by the Egyptian prime minister, who would not see him despite staying in the same hotel—this at a time when Weizmann had already conferred with Fuad in 1918, and other Zionist officials met Egyptian counterparts as a matter of course. As late as 1928, the king could still hold discussions on the merits of Zionism with the chief rabbi of the Egyptian Jewish community. Even the 1929 charges of Jewish designs to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque, spread by the mufti by way of stirring mass massacres of Jews throughout Palestine, left the Egyptian masses largely unmoved. It was only in the mid-1930s that these sentiments began to change due to the growing pan-Arab sentiments among educated Egyptians and now-King Faruq’s (1937-52) ambition to establish himself as the leader of all Arabs, if not the caliph of all Muslims.
Arab-Jewish Coexistence in Palestine
The Egyptian attitudes to the Balfour Declaration, ranging from indifference to endorsement, were largely mirrored in Palestine. Up to its conquest by the British, the country did not exist as a unified geographical or political entity but was divided between the Ottoman province of Beirut in the north and the district of Jerusalem in the south. Its local inhabitants, like the rest of the Arabic-
speaking communities throughout the empire, had not experienced the processes of secularization and modernization that preceded the development of European nationalism in the late 1700s.
It took one full year for the first manifestation of local opposition to the Balfour Declaration to emerge in the form of a petition by a group of Palestinian Arab dignitaries and nationalists.
Hence, they considered themselves Ottoman subjects rather than members of a wider Arab nation, let alone a Palestinian one. Their immediate loyalties were parochial—to one’s clan, tribe, village, town, or religious sect—which coexisted alongside their overarching submission to the Ottoman sultan-caliph in his capacity as the religious and temporal head of the world Muslim community. As late as June 1918, less than three months before the end of hostilities in the Middle East, Gilbert Clayton, chief political officer of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, noted the absence of “real patriotism amongst the population of Palestine.” Two months later, a British report stated that “the Muslim population of Judea took little or no interest in the Arab national movement. Even now, the Effendi class, and particularly the educated Muslim-Levantine population of Jaffa, evince a feeling somewhat akin to hostility toward the Arab movement very similar to the feeling so prevalent in Cairo and Alexandria. This Muslim-Effendi class, which has no real political cohesion, and above all, no power of organization, is either pro-Turkish or pro-British.
Against this backdrop, it was hardly surprising that it took one full year for the first manifestation of local opposition to the Balfour Declaration to emerge in the form of a petition by a group of Palestinian Arab dignitaries and nationalists. Yet rather than protest the declaration’s encroachment on Palestinian Arab national rights, the petition demanded the incorporation of Palestine into Syria—a demand repeated by the Palestinian Arab leadership throughout the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. As late as August 1947, three months before the passing of the U.N. resolution partitioning Mandate Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, al-Wahdanewspaper, mouthpiece of the Arab Higher Committee, the mufti-dominated umbrella organization of the Palestinian Arabs, advocated the incorporation of Palestine (and Transjordan) into “Greater Syria.”
Palestinian Arab demonstrators, 1920. Faisal was crowned king of Syria in March 1920. The coronation was followed by riots in Palestine, which culminated in early April 1920 in a pogrom in Jerusalem in which five Jews were murdered and more than two hundred wounded.
For years after the declaration’s issuance, many Palestinian Arabs remained ignorant of its actual substance, with the name Balfour instead denoting an idea—power, money to promote Jewish settlement, or, more so, an opportunity for self-enrichment. In the words of a sheikh in the vicinity of Gaza: “Tell Balfour, that we in the South are willing to sell him land at a much lower rate than he will have to pay in the North.”
The sheikh knew what he was talking about. An inflow of Jewish immigrants and capital after World War I had revived Palestine’s hitherto moribund condition. If prior to the war some 2,500-3,000 Arabs, or one out of 200-250 inhabitants, emigrated from the country every year, this rate was slashed to about 800 per annum between 1920 and 1936.
Palestine’s Arab population rose from about 600,000 to some 950,000 owing to the substantial improvement in socioeconomic conditions attending the development of the Jewish National Home. Small wonder that the vast majority of Palestinian Arabs sought to take advantage of the unprecedented opportunities afforded by the growing Jewish presence in the country, which raised their quality of life and standard of living well above those in the neighboring Arab states. In the words of a 1937 report by a British commission of enquiry headed by Lord Peel:
The general beneficent effect of Jewish immigration on Arab welfare is illustrated by the fact that the increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas affected by Jewish development. A comparison of the Census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that, six years ago, the increase percent in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 percent.
Jewish and Arab workers wrapping oranges in Rehovot. Throughout the mandate era, periods of peaceful coexistence were far longer than those of violent eruption, and the latter were the work of a small fraction of Palestinian Arabs.
As a result of this state of affairs, throughout the mandate era (1920-48), the periods of peaceful coexistence were far longer than those of violent eruption, and the latter were the work of a small fraction of Palestinian Arabs.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Jewish representatives held hundreds of formal meetings with their Arab counterparts in Palestine and the neighboring Arab states and were frequently invited to social gatherings and official events as well as to the homes of prominent Arab families. Joint Arab-Jewish projects and enterprises sprang throughout the country—from the association for orange growers in Jaffa, to mixed committees for the building of the Haifa port; from active Jewish-Arab cooperation in anti-malarial drainage and the improvement of water supplies, to a joint organization for the benefit of the poor and the aged, to Arab-Jewish professional unions. In 1923, about a hundred Arab children attended private Jewish schools while 307 Jewish children attended private Arab schools. Three years later, the number of Jews attending Arab schools grew by some 50 percent to 445—including 315 Jewesses in Arab all-girl schools.
Even Clayton, a prominent champion of the pan-Arab cause who in 1923 became Palestine’s chief political secretary, acknowledged that “on non-political matters, such as taxation, agriculture, etc., the Jewish colonies and Arab villages speak the same voice and sometimes from the same hall.” He once recalled how he had arrived in a Jewish village to deliver a speech on the National Home, only to find a mixed gathering of Jews and Arabs engaged in an animated discussion, which necessitated a complete change in the nature of his own remarks.
In a valedictory report summing his term in office (1920-25), Sir Herbert Samuel, the first high commissioner for Palestine, painted an upbeat picture of the development of Arab-Jewish relations:
In the first place, the people discovered that the disasters, which they had been told were about to fall upon them, did not in fact occur. The attacks upon their villages by well-armed Jewish colonists, which some of the agitators had announced, did not take place. The day when a hundred thousand Jews were to disembark in Palestine in order to occupy their lands, came and went, and there was no such invasion. Month followed month and year followed year, and no man had his land taken from him. So far from the mosques closed and turned into synagogues, a new, purely Moslem, elected body was created to which the control of all Moslem religious buildings, and of their endowments, was transferred; it rebuilt those that were in ruins and began to restore those that needed restoration. It is difficult, under such conditions, to maintain indefinitely an attitude of alarm; people cannot be induced to remain constantly mobilized against a danger which never eventuates.
Even the most protracted period of Palestinian Arab violence in 1936-39, with its paralytic atmosphere of terror and a ruthlessly enforced economic boycott, failed to dent Arab-Jewish coexistence on many practical levels, including defense cooperation. Contrary to its common depiction as a nationalist revolt against the ruling British and the growing Jewish presence in the country, this was a massive exercise in violence that saw far more Arabs than Jews murdered by Arab gangs, which repressed and abused the general Arab population. And while thousands of Arabs fled the country in a foretaste of the 1947-48 exodus, others preferred to fight back against their oppressors, often in collaboration with the British authorities and the Hagana, the largest Jewish underground defense organization. Still others sought shelter in Jewish neighborhoods.
Prior to the Arab “revolt” of 1936-39, thousands of Jews were able to make the traditional pilgrimage to Rachel’s Tomb, near Bethlehem. Coexistence between Arabs and Jews persisted into the World War II years.
This coexistence persisted into the World War II years. While Hajj Amin Husseini, who had fled Palestine in 1937, was busy making himself “the most important Arab Quisling in German hands” (to use the words of a contemporary British report)—broadcasting Nazi propaganda to Arabs and Muslims worldwide, recruiting Arab prisoners of war and Balkan Muslims for the Nazi fighting and murder machine, and urging the extermination of Jews wherever they could be found—ordinary Palestinian Arabs sought to return to normalcy and reestablish coexistence with their Jewish neighbors.
Arab and Jewish citrus growers joined forces in demanding the cancellation of customs duty and the extension of government loans to cultivators for the duration of the war. Large quantities of Arab agricultural produce reappeared in Jewish markets, and this phenomenon expanded in subsequent years as both communities enjoyed the unprecedented spending and investment boom attending Palestine’s incorporation into the British war effort. Land sales continued as far as possible with Arabs often acting as intermediaries for Jewish purchases in the zones that had been prohibited and restricted by the British authorities in 1939. Thousands of Jews made the traditional pilgrimage to Rachel’s Tomb, near Bethlehem, while Jewish students visited this exclusively Arab town for the Christmas celebrations. And in April 1940, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, chief rabbis Isaac Herzog and Benzion Uziel visited Hebron at the head of a large congregation and prayed at the entrance to the Tomb of the Patriarchs—the first visit of Jews to the city without an escort in four years. Jews rented accommodation in Arab villages and opened restaurants and stores with the villagers’ consent; the Nablus municipality initiated talks with senior Zionist officials on linking the city to the Jewish electricity grid; and former rebel commanders and fighters made their peace with their Jewish neighbors. Even the German foreign office grudgingly conceded, at the end of 1940, that “conditions [in Palestine] are entirely peaceful. Jewish-Arab conflict is no longer apparent. The people are in need of tranquility.”
Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of the Jewish right to national self-determination, which was acknowledged a hundred years ago by the international community, including the world’s foremost Muslim power, leaders of the pan-Arab movement, and ordinary Palestinian Arabs, affords a sad testament to the unchanging nature of the Palestinian leadership’s recalcitrance.
It was Hajj Amin Husseini’s predication of Palestinian national identity on hatred of the “other” rather than on a distinct shared legacy that “paved the road for the Nakba of Palestinian people and their dispossession and displacement from their land.” And it was Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas’s persistence in this zero-sum approach, despite their feigned moderation in the Oslo peace charade, which ensured the perpetuation of Palestinian dispersal and statelessness to date. It is only by shedding their century-long revanchist dreams and opting for peace and reconciliation with their Israeli neighbors that Palestinian leaders can end their people’s suffering. And what can be a better starting point for this sea change than endorsement of the Balfour Declaration rather than its atavistic denigration?
Independent Consulting Engineers NV (ICE) is an engineering company which has as one of its main activities the engineering design of building structures: engineering of the structure that makes sure a building stands tall and does not collapse or suffer unacceptable damage in case a major disaster strikes, as an earthquake, a major hurricane, fire, in some cases an explosion or collision by a heavy vehicle and so on. This is called the structural engineering of a building or structure.
On September 6, our island was hit by a major hurricane, Irma, the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin, with extensive damage as a consequence. As we emerged from our hidey-holes and began to look around, this question inevitably came into our minds: Why have some buildings been severely damaged and others came through with very little damage?
Weekender posed this question to ICE’s founding member and vice president Jan Vanden Eynde. He explained that besides false or exaggerated claims about the performance of a building or building element (“rated for…”), there are several factors that affect a structure’s ability to withstand extreme climate such as a hurricane, even a category 5+ hurricane. Vanden Eynde discussed the problem of engineering by inexperienced or unqualified engineers, the lack of a proper building code, and the specifications for “secondary elements of a building such as sliding doors, windows, roof sheets and fastenings. Failure of these secondary elements often causes buildings to sustain massive damage or even become completely unusable.
Vanden Eynde: “Independent Consulting Engineers inspected a large number of buildings since the passing of Irma, and have found that the same reasons for severe damage come back again and again.”
One hears quite often statements like: “It is impossible to design for this kind of wind,” or “You cannot build hurricane resistant with such and such materials.” But the engineer stated categorically, “These statements are utter nonsense: In most cases, with proper engineering, all of the causes for damage could have been eliminated.”
The following text was delivered from Vanden Eynde in an effort to explain the different types of damages and the reasons they occur, and at the same time identify measures that can be taken to avoid such damages.
The building code
First of all, one has to realize that Dutch Sint Maarten has no real building code in effect, except a document dated 1935 and several more recent documents that deal mostly with urbanistic issues, such as building height and distance to boundaries.
No real up-to-date and detailed code exists for strictly technical issues such as hurricane or earthquake resistance. Some loose and relatively vague guidelines are used by governmental departments. This means that projects are engineered (or not engineered) in accordance with widely varying standards. The effects of this were made quite clear on September 6.
Engineering for wind
Here we deal with aspects of damage due to hurricane winds. Earthquake aspects are not further considered here, but should receive the same amount of attention since we are in an area where earthquakes can and do occur. (On the French side of the island, structures have to be engineered to withstand the heaviest category of earthquakes.)
As a result of our inspections, we found that the main structures of buildings which were engineered by qualified engineers (engineers who have experience designing for hurricane conditions) and for the appropriate wind loads (as ICE has adopted since Hurricane Luis in 1995), these structures have come through the hurricane with little or no significant damage.
We suspect, however, that in most cases, safety factors have been used to the max. If this storm would have moved at a slower speed, most probably more building structure damage would have occurred. In 1995, ICE adopted the Uniform Building Code of the USA, using a design wind speed of 135 mph. This code includes a large number of additional safety factors which depend on the height of the building, terrain configuration, importance of the building, etc. When we did a check for one of our larger projects, we found that in that specific case, the weakest link in the building would fail at a wind speed quite a bit above 215 mph. The result? The building sustained no damage to its structure.
On the other hand, we have seen quite a few structures, ordered directly from a manufacturer, with a so-called rating for 160 or 180 mph, of which only the foundations are still there. One has to realize that a manufacturer located in the USA or Europe, who is asked to provide a quotation for a building structure without an engineering design and dimensions imposed upon him by appropriate specifications, makes every effort to lower his price as much as possible, and has his engineers work with that as the main objective. Very often, the engineers involved are poorly qualified – or even interns.
Furthermore, rated for 160 mph basically means that the building will fail when that wind speed is exceeded. There is no uniform definition of the term “rated for…” Especially in the USA, a number of building codes exist, and each defines and designates wind speed in a different way. Comparison becomes very difficult without in-depth knowledge of each of those codes. Sales people will use the terminology which helps them best to sell the building: they will not be around when that major storm hits, and good luck suing the manufacturer for damages.
Also, we often see significant weaknesses in the engineering design. The design will work in theory, but one forgets that a hurricane creates dynamic conditions: the building shakes and deforms. What works in theory in static conditions all of a sudden does not work anymore in reality. The lesson here for owners, who wish to construct a building ordered from a manufacturer or supplier, is to have the building design verified by a qualified, and hurricane-experienced engineering firm before ordering. In most cases, the difference between hurricane resistant and less resistant is a few percent in cost, not more.
We see that a very large percentage of damage to buildings is caused by construction elements that are considered secondary and strictly “architectural” sliding windows, doors, windows, outside wall finishes, hurricane shutters.
Very often, these items are purchased and installed without real verification as to how well they will stand up to hurricane conditions. However, when a sliding window or door blows out, the damage to the interior is enormous. In most cases, it will make the space behind completely unusable and in need of very extensive repairs, far larger than the value of the element that failed.
Very frequently, we have seen failure of windows and sliding doors: The above causes immediate failure of the window pane, causing total destruction of everything inside the room behind, and often failure of the roof above due to the shockwave caused by the failure.
Simple under-dimensioning of the window elements (frames/ profiles not suited for any kind of hurricane winds), causing plain failure of the window.
Insufficient anchoring of the window: Insufficient number of screws, insufficient screw lengths, causing the window to “blow out of the wall.”
Use of simple glass instead of laminated glass, causing breakage by an object hitting the glass. (Note that windows sold on the French side as hurricane resistant have solid, non-laminated glass, which can withstand a certain pressure, but will be completely destroyed if something hits the glass.)
Insufficient profile depth for the holding of the glass.
We see outside doors with inset panels that are not properly fastened, or too lightly designed. This again causes immediate failure and total destruction of the rooms behind.
Rolling shutters sometimes suffer from flexing of the horizontal elements which can then pop out of guiderails.
Especially with larger commercial buildings, we see façade elements (panels, built-up composite on the outer skin of the building, and/or metal sheeting) which are very often fastened to properly engineered elements but not sufficiently strong themselves.
Failure of these elements causes blow-out of the area behind and severe damage to the interior of the building
Metal Roof Sheeting
Very often, insufficient sheet thickness, insufficient caps to prevent screws being ripped out of the sheet, insufficient number of screws, especially around roof edges (where higher wind loads occur).
Most of the above could have been prevented if the element in question was checked by a qualified engineer on its performance in hurricane conditions.
In general, buildings (load bearing structures) that have been properly engineered with the “135 mph design wind speed of UBC building code” conditions have come through the storm virtually unharmed, with very few exceptions. However, buildings or load bearing structures that were designed for lesser wind loads have, in many cases, sustained significant damages.
Verification of the wind ratings offered by different codes and manufacturers is complicated. It would simplify matters significantly if our government could be convinced to adopt a uniform code, like the Eurocode for example, as is also applied on the French side. We suggest that those wind speeds be adjusted, however; to an even higher level than those permitted on the French side.
A very large portion of damages to buildings have been caused by failure of “architectural finishing elements.” These failures have caused enormous collateral damages to the interiors of the buildings since they allow wind and water freely into the building, very often with significant destruction of the interior of the building as a consequence .
Failures of this kind have caused the bulk of the damages to hotels and businesses on the island and will have a disproportionate effect on the island’s economy for the months to come.
For smaller buildings, the main reasons for failure are in the elements of roof and windows/doors.
We have suggested that, for smaller buildings, on short term, a simplified building code be adopted, which would in first instance only deal with the elements described above, and which would cover all principal elements of construction which protect residents in case of a similar event as the passing of Hurricane Irma: Minimum rafter sizes for certain spans, minimum number and types of screws, minimum thickness for metal roof sheeting, minimal number and length of screws for fastening door and window frames, etc. Such a simplified code would be very well usable also for smaller contractors and architectural offices and would provide a clear guideline as to how this simplified code could at a later date and after more elaborate study be extended to a full blown code covering all aspects of building construction in St. Maarten.
Jan Vanden Eynde has been with Independent Consulting Engineers NV since its inception in 1982. ICE has permanently on staff in Sint Maarten a number of highly qualified professionals, with years of experience in hurricane and earthquake resistant engineering. In ICE’s 37 years of existence, several major natural disasters have hit the island, and ICE is proud to be able to say that of all the projects they have done over the years, virtually all have performed very well through these disasters.
ICE is available for any type of engineering project, from the smallest (“ I want to make an opening in this wall in my house, can I do that or do I have to reinforce something?”) to the largest projects on the island (Porto Cupecoy, Atrium, Aqua Marina Towers). ICE can be reached at Zaegersgut Road 13, telephone 542-2421, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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