TIME conflict

Mandatory Palestine: What It Was and Why It Matters

"Mandated territories granted England include: Tanganyika Territory (formerly part of German East Africa), Mesopotamia and Palestine," wrote TIME in a brief news bit in 1923—a fleeting mention of a decision that would change the face of the Middle East as we know it

TIME

The map above is from a 1929 TIME article titled “Islam vs. Israel”—even though, as the map makes clear, in 1929 there was no country called Israel. (On a desktop, roll over to zoom; on a mobile device, click.)

Instead, there was Mandatory Palestine. The idea of a mandatory nation, using the common definition of the word, is an odd one: a country that’s obligatory, something that can’t be missed without fear of consequence. But the entity known as “Mandatory Palestine” existed for more than two decades—and, despite its strange-sounding name, had geopolitical consequences that can still be felt today.

The word “mandatory,” in this case, refers not to necessity but to the fact that a mandate caused it to exist. That document, the British Mandate for Palestine, was drawn up in 1920 and came into effect on this day in 1923, Sept. 29. Issued by the League of Nations, the Mandate formalized British rule over parts of the Levant (the region that comprises countries to the east of the Mediterranean), as part of the League’s goal of administrating the region’s formerly Ottoman nations “until such time as they are able to stand alone.” The Mandate also gave Britain the responsibility for creating a Jewish national homeland in the region.

The Mandate did not itself redraw borders—following the end of World War I, the European and regional powers had divvied up the former Ottoman Empire, with Britain acquiring what were then known as Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) and Palestine (modern day Israel, Palestine and Jordan)—nor did it by any means prompt the drive to build a Jewish state in Palestine. Zionism, the movement to create a Jewish homeland, had emerged in the late 19th century, though it wasn’t exclusively focused on a homeland in Palestine. (Uganda was one of several alternatives proposed over the years.) In 1917, years before the Mandate was issued, the British government had formalized its support for a Jewish state in a public letter from Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour known as the Balfour Declaration.

But by endorsing British control of the region with specific conditions, the League of Nations did help lay the groundwork for the modern Jewish state—and for the tensions between Jews and Arabs in the region that would persist for decades more. Though Israel would not exist for years to come, Jewish migrants flowed from Europe to Mandatory Palestine and formal Jewish institutions began to take shape amid a sometimes violent push to finalize the creation of a Jewish state. Meanwhile, the growing Jewish population exacerbated tensions with the Arab community and fueled conflicting Arab nationalist movements.

TIME reported on some of the tensions in the 1929 article from which the map above is drawn:

The fighting that began between Jews and Arabs at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall (TIME, Aug. 26) spread last week throughout Palestine, then inflamed fierce tribesmen of the Moslem countries which face the Holy Land (see map)…

…Sporadic clashes continuing at Haifa, Hebron and in Jerusalem itself, rolled up an estimated total of 196 dead for all Palestine. A known total of 305 wounded lay in hospitals. Speeding from England in a battleship the British High Commissioner to Palestine, handsome, brusque Sir John Chancellor, landed at Haifa, hurried to Jerusalem and sought to calm the general alarm by announcing that His Majesty’s Government were rushing more troops by sea from Malta and by land from Egypt, would soon control the situation

The clashes in Mandatory Palestine, which at times targeted the British or forced British intervention, began to take a toll on U.K. support for the Mandate. As early as 1929, some newspapers were declaring “Let Us Get Out of Palestine,” as TIME reported in the article on Jewish-Arab tensions. Though the Mandate persisted through World War II, support in war-weary Britain withered further. The U.K. granted Jordan independence in 1946 and declared that it would terminate its Mandate in Palestine on May 14, 1948. It left the “Question of Palestine” to the newly formed United Nations, which drafted a Plan of Partition that was approved by the U.N. General Assembly—but rejected by most of the Arab world—on Nov. 27, 1947.

As the day of May 14 came to an end, so did Mandatory Palestine. The region was far from settled, but the Mandate did accomplish at least one of its stated goals. Mere hours earlier, a new document had been issued: the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

Read a 1930 cover story about the Zionist movement during the period of Mandatory Palestine: Religion: Zionists

TIME United Nations

Iranian President Rouhani Criticizes U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIS

But he said Iran could reach a deal on its nuclear program

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized U.S.-led airstrikes against militants in Iraq and Syria during a speech at the United Nations on Thursday, calling for regional countries to lead the operation instead.

However, Rouhani said Iran can reach a deal over its nuclear program before the November deadline if Western negotiators are willing. He added that such a deal could open the door to “cooperation at regional and international levels, allowing for greater focus on some very important regional issues such as combating violence and extremism in the region.”

Rouhani has sought to warm chilled relations with the West since he took office more than a year ago, but he has recently questioned U.S. President Barack Obama’s effort to foster international support for U.S.-led airstrikes against the Sunni militants known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS.

“Since the pain is better known by the countries in the region, better they can form a coalition,” Rouhani told the UN General Assembly.

The Iranian president, widely seen by the West as a moderate, has also come under fire for the July detainment of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, a dual citizen who was jailed with his wife.

In part due to the recent tensions, it’s unlikely that Obama and Rouhani will repeat the act of detent that occurred last year when the two leaders spoke over the phone while the Iranian president was in New York City. Still, Rouhani did meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday — marking the first time that Britain’s and Iran’s leaders met in 35 years — for what Rouhani said in a tweet was a “constructive and pragmatic dialogue.”

TIME politics

U.N. Headquarters in South Dakota: How It Could Have Happened

UN HQ - Dec. 10, 1945
From the Dec. 10, 1945, issue of TIME TIME

New York City wasn’t the obvious choice for the United Nations headquarters

Representatives from around the world are now gathering in New York City for the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly. A vast cadre of diplomats, staff and heads of state have descended on the Big Apple — ensuring a nightmare for daily commuters. But, though that traffic jam is now a dependable annual event, New York City wasn’t the obvious choice for the United Nations headquarters.

In the wake of the 1945 conference establishing the modern day United Nations — which took place in San Francisco — a committee was set up to find the best spot for what would essentially become the world’s capital. A look back into TIME’s coverage of that period shows that the competition to host the U.N. was wide open, though one thing was clear: New York City, where the UN would be overshadowed by “Wall Street, etc…” as one TIME story put it, was no good.

Philadelphia made a strong case for itself when delegates visited to check out potential sites in 1946, TIME reported:

When the time for on-the-spot inspection came, the spirit of brotherly love was almost overpowering. There was a cocktail party for them in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Day, who would be evicted if [one of the potential locations] were chosen. Mr. and Mrs. Day thought that would be a fine idea.

…Philadelphia’s hosts never missed a bet. There was a concert by the famed Philadelphia Orchestra, a luncheon at the Art Museum (under pictures by Matisse, Gauguin and Reynolds). In a helicopter provided for the delegates, Holland’s Jan de Ranitz and Dr. M. P. M. van Karnebeek plopped down near Philadelphia for a hearty greeting by a local farmer & family.

But, still, even Philadelphia was considered to be too close to New York and Washington, D.C.

Chicago, San Francisco, Atlantic City and Boston were among the other locales lobbying to become the permanent headquarters. One unlikely contender, the Black Hills region of South Dakota, made the rational argument that it was far from the reach of an atomic bomb, unlike the coastal cities.

“In the Black Hills there are no military objectives, and the gentlemen who are striving for the peace of the world can live at peace while the atomic bombs are falling,” Paul Bellamy, a businessman representing the Black Hills, told an assembly of the U.N., which was temporarily based in London, according to a TIME story from December 1945.

“It was no part of Bellamy’s job, or of the booster tradition,” the author noted, “to ask what the gentlemen would be doing at that point.”

Ultimately, Bellamy’s urgings were for naught. Despite the organizers’ original misgivings, real-estate concerns ended up carrying more weight than atomic ones: New York City received the boost it needed when philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. gifted a parcel of Manhattan land to the U.N.

Read a 1952 cover story about the building of the current United Nations headquarters: Cheops’ Architect

TIME NFL

Police Say NFL Player Head-Butted Wife

Jonathan Dwyer's booking photo following his arrest for domestic abuse at the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office on Sept. 17, 2014. Maricopa County Sheriffs Office

New details after Jonathan Dwyer was arrested on assault charges

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer head-butted his wife when she attempted to fight back against his sexual advance, according to a police report published Thursday.

The details, following Dwyer’s arrest on assault charges Wednesday, emerged in a police report published by The Arizona Republic, which said Dwyer violently confronted his wife on two separate occasions. Dwyer denied to police physically assaulting his wife.

He was charged with two counts of assault, among other charges.

The Cardinals deactivated the backup running back after his arrest, which came as the NFL is grappling with criticism over its handling of a series of domestic abuse cases, most notably that of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely by the league after video if him punching his then-fiancee unconscious emerged.

Police say Dwyer and his wife were in an argument on July 21 when he tried to kiss her and remove her clothes. She repeatedly told him to stop and, when he continued, bit his lip. Dwyer then head-butted her in the face, fracturing her nose, police said.

When police showed up, called by a witness who could hear the fighting, Dwyer appeared to have left and his wife denied the incident, saying they had been fighting over the phone. Police say she then left with the couple’s son, but returned after receiving a text from Dwyer showing a knife and saying he did not want to live.

Dwyer’s wife later said she did not initially tell police about the incident because Dwyer had threatened to kill himself. According the report, Dwyer later admitted to hiding in the bathroom when the police arrived and sending the picture with the suicide threat.

In a separate incident on July 22, the couple was again in an argument when police say Dwyer punched her in the face and then threw a shoe, which hit their 17-month son in the stomach without injuring him. After she said she would call the police, he threw her cell phone from the second floor.

See the police report below.

TIME States

California Declares a State of Emergency as Wildfires Spread

"It's been an explosive couple of days"

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency late Wednesday in two northern counties as wildfires spread with explosive speed.

A fire in El Dorado County east of Sacramento more than doubled in size Wednesday night, from 44 square miles to 111 square miles, the Los Angeles Times reports, and was just 5% contained by Thursday morning. A separate fire in the northern Siskiyou County that started late Monday has damaged more than 150 structures, including a churches, and was about 65% contained.

“It’s been an explosive couple of days,” CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant told the Associated Press. Thousands of firefighters are helping to tackle the blazes, which threaten some 4,000 homes.

Federal aid has been apportioned to cover the cost of fighting the fire that began Monday, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted a request Wednesday for additional aid to combat the fire in El Dorado.

[Los Angeles Times]

TIME Television

Watch Jon Stewart Blast the NFL Over Handling of Domestic Abuse Cases

"It's the kind of firm decision-making we've come to expect from people who don't know what the f**k they're doing."

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart blasted the NFL Wednesday evening for its handling of a series of alleged domestic abuse cases.

The league—which is also grappling with the severe health risks posed to players—is facing at least four separate players’ domestic abuse cases and has come under widespread fire for its inconsistent response to them.

“It’s the kind of firm decision-making we’ve come to expect from people who don’t know what the f*** they’re doing,” he says of the league.

Stewart also relished in the statement from NFL’s official beer sponsor, Anheuser-Busch, chastising the league’s handling of the domestic violence cases.

“How crazy is this? A company that sells alcohol is the moral touchstone of the NFL.”

TIME Television

Darrell Hammond Is Headed Back to SNL As the Voice of the Show

Celebrities Visit SiriusXM Studios - January 23, 2013
Actor Darrell Hammond visits the SiriusXM studios on January 23, 2013 in New York City. Ilya S. Savenok—Getty Images

Live from New York, it's Darrell Hammond

Darrell Hammond, the longest-serving cast member in Saturday Night Live history, is returning to be the voice of the show.

Hammond will take over as the show’s announcer after Don Pardo, the host for all 39 seasons of SNL, died in August at age 96. The show’s 40th season begins Sept. 27.

SNL’s Weekend Update segment confirmed the move—first reported by the New York Times and USA Today—in a tweet:

Hammond, the master of impressions, was a cast member from 1995 until 2009. As host, he won’t be expected to replicate Pardo’s announcer voice, Executive Producer Lorne Michaels told the Times.

“He had the greatest run and he’s a completely beloved figure. So I thought: Don’t turn this into something else. That period ended,” he said. “I think it will be good to have Darrell doing his own separate thing.”

TIME Security

Apple: We Can’t Give Your iPhone Data to the Government

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the new iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

"We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers."

After dozens of celebrities had their most intimate photos stored on Apple’s iCloud service stolen by hackers and released online, the company used Wednesday’s iOS 8 update launch to defend its concern for privacy and introduce new security measures.

In an open letter posted on Apple’s website, CEO Tim Cook stressed the company’s efforts to keep consumers’ information private and sought to distinguish Apple from how its competitors use personal data.

“A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product,” Cook wrote, referring to how major websites, such as Google and Facebook, use personal information and personal activity online to tailor advertisements to their users. “But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.”

The statement is particularly pertinent after the Sept. 8 announcement of a smartwatch and new apps on the upcoming iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that represent Apple’s most significant foray into health tracking and mobile payments.

“Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers.”

Apple does have a service that tailors ads based on some of what Apple knows about users, but Cook wrote that the service doesn’t pull data from products like Apple’s health apps or the Mail app.

Cook also addressed allegations that the U.S. government has collaborated with major Internet firms to gather data on users, saying Apple has not allowed access to its servers and has “never worked with any government agency from any country” to allow exclusive access to personal information retained by Apple.

Apple also said that iOS 8, the newest iPhone operating system, would automatically encrypt data stored on iPhones and protected by your passcode, making it impossible for even Apple to share that information with the government or law enforcement. That encryption rule, however, doesn’t apply to data stored on Apple’s iCloud storage service.

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” said Apple. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

 

TIME politics

The History Behind the Other ‘United Nations’

united nations - Jan. 19, 1942
From the Jan. 19, 1942, issue of TIME TIME

In 1942, the group known as the United Nations was convened to accomplish one goal: defeat the Axis powers

The United Nations was created in 1942 — but not the United Nations as we know it, the group whose representatives are this week converging in New York City for the 69th General Assembly.

When the phrase first “slipped into the world’s vocabulary,” as TIME wrote, the world was in the midst of war, and the concept of wide-scale international collaboration was fraught. World War II had already exposed the failure of the League of Nations, the international organization set up after the previous world war. Still, in January of 1942, 26 nations, including the U.S., the U.K., Russia and China, signed a pact uniting them in one goal: to defeat the Axis powers. The name, which had been proposed by the Roosevelt administration, became the official title for the Allied powers.

“For the people of the Axis countries that fact could not be other than sobering: 26 nations—count them—26, all determined that Hitler and his tyranny shall be destroyed,” TIME wrote at the time.

Even then there was skepticism that the United Nations could be effective. Some called for a cooperative body to oversee the war effort, while others continued to call for a union of peoples and not just an intergovernmental pact.

But the United Nations prevailed, and when, after the war, world leaders descended on San Francisco for the conference to hash out the details of an intergovernmental organization to jointly confront the world’s problems, they called it the United Nations. The first session of the United Nations General Assembly opened in 1946.

Take a look at TIME’s coverage of the signing of the declaration of the original United Nations in 1942:

The significance of the pact was slower being digested. In Washington, enthusiasts compared it to the Articles of Confederation that had held the 13 States together until the Constitutional Convention. Advocates of Union Now thought it did not go far enough, wanted a union of peoples, rather than of governments. Josephus Daniels recalled his last talk with Woodrow Wilson, when Wilson had said: “The things we have fought for are sure to prevail . . . [and] may come in a better way than we proposed.” Advocates of a revived, strengthened League of Nations hoped the United Nations would prove the better way.

Taken at its face value, the Declaration was impressive. If the signing nations could actually employ their “full resources,” their power would be staggering. Their combined populations came to almost 1,500,000,000 of the world’s 2,145,000,000. They held twice as much of the world’s steel capacity as the Axis, most of its wheat, most of the materials needed for making war or prospering in peace.

Today’s United Nations, by those standards, is even more impressive: instead of 26 member nations, there are 193.

Read the 1942 story about the original United Nations here, in TIME’s archives: The United Nations

TIME astronomy

Strong Solar Flare Headed Toward Earth

Late Summer Flare captured by Solar Dynamics Observatory
A flare erupting on the left side of the sun on August 24, 2014. Solar Dynamics Observatory/ESA/NASA

Traveling at 2.5 million miles per hour

A strong solar flare is barreling toward Earth at 2.5 million miles per hour, but scientists say its worst effects will likely bypass the planet when it expectedly arrives by the weekend.

Solar flares from the sun occur with frequency and, when unleashed toward Earth, can cause so-called solar storms. This particular one is categorized as a low-level X-class flare, the most severe of the three classes.

A storm of this size hasn’t headed toward Earth in several years, Tom Berger, the director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo., told the Associated Press. But, he added, “we’re not scared of this one.”

Earth’s atmosphere largely protects people on the ground from the radiation effects of a solar flare, but such blasts do have the potential to knock out power systems and disrupt satellite communications. Berger told the AP that the one heading toward Earth could slightly disturb some satellite and radio communications.

Storms categorized as “Extreme” have the potential to cause massive damage to electrical and communication systems and even pose a health hazard to passengers and crew in high-flying planes.

Here’s video footage from NASA of the solar flare in the middle of the sun on Wednesday:

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