One state push for Israel and Palestine? – The Hindu Lead
What the article talks about?
- USA recognised the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank Which implies an end to the widely accepted two state solution to the Palestine issue.
- The Green Line ( the 1949 armistice line that separates Israel from the West Bank)
- The Zionist movement succeeded in expelling half the Palestinian in 1948 and since 1967 it led to departure of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from all over historical Palestine( The Gaza stripe, the West Bank and Israel)
- In 1960s and 1970s the Palestinians resisted this policy of colonisation and dispossession with armed struggle
- The Hamas in Gaza led this armed struggle
- Along with this armed struggle, peaceful population agitations were also carried out. ‘ March of return’ – the weekly peaceful demonstrations by thousand of Palestinians was an example for this
- The USA and its western allies supported Israel and remained silent in spite of continued dispossession of Palestinians.
- Two state solution emerged during this time as a solution to the crisis. Palestinians supported two state solution. But this approach failed miserably, Israel has established that any sovereign Palestinian state is impossible
- Now the American administration fully endorses Israel’s wish to de- politicise the Palestinian question and allowed Israel to fully extend its sovereignty all over historical Palestine
- Rectify the past evils by compensating and restituting lost land and property, enables the repatriation of the refugee and offers democracy for all living in historical Palestine without any discrimination
The history of Israel-Palestine conflict
- Jews have been persecuted throughout the history due to their religious beliefs and foreign culture.
- In 1897, Jews started a movement called a Zionist movement, to escape persecution and establish their own state in their ancestral homeland, Israel. The World Zionist Organisation was created to advocate for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
- As a result, a large number of Jews started flowing into Palestine and they bought land and started settling down there.
- By 1916, Palestine came under the British control after the Sykes-Picot Agreement (a secret agreement between Britain and France). This led to the division of the old Ottoman Turkish Empire.
- Later through Balfour declaration, the British foreign secretary James Balfour agreed to the establishment of a Jewish homeland.
- After Nazis gained power in Germany in 1930s, the Jews influx to Palestine took a major turn with hundreds of thousands of them resettled from Europe to Palestine. Arabs saw this as a threat to their homeland and they fought bitterly with them. As the British Government remained as a mute spectator, violence reached its peak.
- In 1947, the British Government referred the question of the future of Palestine to the United Nations. UN voted to split the land into two countries. Jewish people accepted the agreement and declared independence of Israel.
Arab’s fight against the Israel (1948-49)
- Arabs saw the creation of Israel as a part of a conspiracy to move them out of their land. Consequently, in 1948, the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria declared war on Israel.
- At the end of the war between Israel and Arab countries, Israel emerged victoriously. Moreover, it could increase its territory to a larger extent and it marked the beginning of the expansionist policy of Israel.
- As a consequence of the war, a large number of Palestinians either flee or were forced to move out of Israel and settle in refugee camps near Israel’s border. It was the beginning of Palestine refugee crisis which ultimately led to the creation of a terrorist organization PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) in 1964.
Israel’s fight against the Arab countries (1967)
- In 1967, Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan and at the end of this Six-Day War, Israel captured:
- Golan Heights from Syria.
- West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan.
- Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt.
- The 1967 war is particularly important for today’s conflict, as it left Israel in control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, two territories home to a large number of Palestinians.
- Gaza and West-bank are together known as ‘Occupied Territories’, after 1967 war.
UN Charter and return of the Sinai Peninsula
- Under the UN Charter, there can lawfully be no territorial gains from war, even by a state acting in self-defense.
- Therefore, in response to the Six-Day War, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution for ‘Land for peace’ and it mandated that Israel should return the captured areas back to the defeated nations.
- In the light of Israel’s reluctance to return the captured territories, another Arab-Israeli war erupted in 1973 (Yom Kippur war) in which Israel suffered some setbacks.
- In 1979, Israel-Egypt signed a peace treaty, accordingly Israel return Sinai Peninsula to Egypt (1982). Egypt became the first Arab nation to officially recognise Israel as a state.
Intifada (uprising) against Israel occupancy
- First Intifada: The tension between Israel and Palestine escalated with Israel’s increased settlement in West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians living which in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip fomented the riots begun in 1987, known as the first intifada.
- Oslo Peace Accord: With the mediation of US and Russia in 1993, Israel and PLO signed Oslo Peace accord which was based on the concept of two state solution. Palestine and Israel signed the Declaration of Principles – in which both nations seek recognition as autonomous governing bodies. PLO recognised Isreal. Isreal agreed to give independence to the ‘occupied territories’. However, territories remained under Israel possession.
- Camp David Summit (2000): It aimed to help the two sides finally agree on a settlement, but the talks eventually failed. The violence led to the Second Intifada.
- Second Intifada (2000-05): In 2000, a more violent Palestine Uprising started and a large number of civilians died on both sides. This is known as the second intifada. As a defensive measure, Israel constructed a West Bank Barrier along West Bank to separate Israel and Palestine settlements.
- Gaza Expulsion plan: This is a unilateral disarmament plan by Israel by which Israel’s defense forces leave the Gaza strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank (2005)
Israel-Palestine conflict and US
- The US has been playing a significant role as the mediator in the Israel-Palestine. However, its credibility as a mediator had long been questioned by Palestinians. The United States has been criticised by the OIC (Organization of Islamic cooperation) and other Arab organisations, for vetoing most Security Council decisions critical of Israel.
- Also, Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America’s entire foreign aid budget.
- On the other side, United States has been vocal about its intention to veto any Palestinian bid for statehood. Due to which Palestine had to be satisfied with a ‘non-member observer’ status in UN.
- However, the second term of Obama administration saw a degrading US-Israel relationship. Iran Nuclear deal of 2015 irritated Israel and it criticised the US for the deal.
- Obama administration allowed the United Nations to pass a resolution that declared Israel’s growing settlements in the occupied territories illegal. Until that vote, the Obama administration had blocked resolutions criticising Israel by using its veto power in the UN Security Council.
- With the new presidency regime under Trump, who is more inclined to Israel, the illegal settlements by the Israel in West Bank and Gaza may see a rise.
What does Palestine want?
- They want Israeli to withdraw to pre-1967 borders and establish independent Palestine state in West Bank and Gaza.
- Israel should stop all expansion of settlements before coming to peace talks.
- Palestine wants Palestine refugees who lost their homes in 1948 be able to come back.
- Palestine wants East Jerusalem as the capital of Independent Palestine state.
What does Israel want?
- Sovereignty over Jerusalem.
- Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. Note: Israel is the only country in the world created for a religious community.
- The right of return of Palestine refugees only to Palestine and not to Israel.
What is so special with Jerusalem?
- Jerusalem is a city that straddles the border between Israel and the West Bank. It’s home to some of the holiest sites in both Judaism and Islam, and so both Israel and Palestine want to make it their cap the solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict
- The best solution is a “two-state solution” that would establish Palestine as an independent state in Gaza and most of the West Bank, leaving the rest of the land to Israel. Though the two-state plan is clear in theory, the two sides are still deeply divided over how to make it work in practice.
- One state solution (only Palestine or only Israel) is not a viable option.
- Road Map for Peace: The European Union, UN, US, and Russia had released a road map in 2003, which outlined a clear timetable towards a Palestinian state.
- The democratisation of the Palestinian society through which a new credible leadership can emerge is necessary.
- The need of the hour is to treat this conflict as Israeli-Arab conflict rather Israel-Palestine. As we have seen, conflict is not only between Israel and Palestine but also with other Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Syria etc. All of them should participate in the negotiations and the final agreement should be recognised formally by each one of them along with UN general assembly and security council.
- It is time for the international community to find a just and lasting peaceful solution to the World’s most intractable conflict soon.
Two state solution
- The two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict envisages an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River.
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Relevance: Prelims- Current events of international importance, important locations in world map
Mains- GS1- World History , GS2- International Relations
Crimes against women
National Shame – The Hindu Editorial
- Brutal rape and murder of veterinarian in Hyderabad
- Inefficiency of judicial system in punishing under age convicts
- For every rape reported, there are many which go unrecorded as patriarchal mind-sets remain unchanged.
Recent developments in this regard
- After Nirbhaya case, on the recommendations of J.S Verma committee, the criminal Law ( amendment) Act , 2013 was passed by bringing changes to IPC, CRPC 1973, the Indian Evidence Act 1872 and the POCSO 2012.
- Key amendments were brought in to provide for death penalty for rape that led to death of the victim or reduced the survivor to a persistent vegetative state and anyone found guilty of rose more than once
- In 2018, further changes introduced death as the maximum punishment for every perpetrator in a gang-rape when the victim is less than 12, and life-long imprisonment if the victim is less than 16
- After the Nirbhaya incident, the UN Human Rights chief had called rape and violence against women in India a “national problem” which would need “national solutions”
- National Crime Records Bureau which released its 2017 data this October said a total of 3.59 lakh cases of crimes against women were reported, a 6% rise compared to 2016. Of this, assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty comprised 21.7%, and rape 7%.
- Better policing, fast-track courts, quick sentencing are the need of the hour as each can serve as a deterrent.
- Gender sensitisation of curriculum, awareness campaigns right from school.
- Public places must be made safer for all.
- Boys and girls should be raised right in an atmosphere of freedom and a culture of mutual respect.
Relevance: GS 1 – Indian society
RSTV BIG PICTURE
India and climate change
- Meeting of COP 25 will be held in Spain
- Wildfires in California, Australia and Brazil highlight the urgency of climate talks
- Countries are set to move from the pre 2020 agenda under Kyoto protocol to post 2020 under Paris agreement
- Agenda and guiding principles of India in COP 25 are
- Reducing carbon emission
- To pressurise developed countries to fulfil their commitments
- Carbon trading and the issue of double counting
- Assessment of loss and damage
- Finance and capacity building
- India needs energy in future so want to expand its carbon footprint
- Success of India in tackling climate change
- Declining price of solar energy from 7rs to 2.40 rs per unit in 2017
- Formation of International Solar Alliance by India
- Major impediments
- The developed nations who are the major polluters did not met the targets till now
- According to recent U.N. report, the commitments by countries are not enough to prevent the 2 degree Celsius rise
- The frequency of occurs C.E. of disaster events has increased as in the case of wildfires in Australia, Brazil etc. Cutting of forests leads to reduced carbon absorbing capacity and release of stored carbon to atmosphere
- Lack of financial support from the developed countries
- Way Forward
- Promote investment in renewable energy instead of fossil fuels
- Give carbon space like developing countries like India
- More ambitious commitments so that carbon emissions should be neutral by 2050
- Reduce the coast of renewables below conventional fuels
- Reduce, reuse, recycle to tackle the consumerism menace
- Initiative like Montreal for ozone needs to be replicated in GHG control
- Persuading the countries to meet their targets under Paris agreement
- Pooling the required finance and capacity building through technology transfer.
Relevance: GS 1 – Climate Change, GS 2 – International agreements affecting India’s interests.
Source: RSTV, Big Picture
GST Compensation Cess
- Goods and Services Tax (GST), launched in India on 1 July, 2017 is a comprehensive indirect tax for the entire country. GST is charged at the time of supply and depends on the destination of consumption.
- As GST is a destination based tax the manufacturing states like Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu feared a revenue loss.
- Thus, GST Compensation Cess or GST Cess was introduced by the government to compensate for the possible revenue losses suffered by such manufacturing states. However, under existing rules, this compensation cess will be levied only for the first 5 years of GST regime – from July 1st, 2017 to July 1st, 2022.
- GST Compensation Cess is levied in addition to regular GST on notified goods, mostly belonging to the luxury and demerit categories.
- It has to be paid by all the taxpayers except those who export the notified goods and those who have opted for the GST composition scheme.
- The compensation fund so collected is released to the states every 2 months
GST composition scheme
- It is an alternative method of tax levy under GST designed to simplify compliance and reduce compliance costs for small taxpayers.
- The main feature of this scheme is that the business or person who has opted to pay tax under this scheme can pay tax at a flat percentage of turnover every quarter, instead of paying tax at normal rate every month.
- The composition scheme is applicable to manufacturers or traders whose taxable business turnover is up to ₹1.5 crore (₹75 lakh in case of North-Eastern States). A service provider can opt for the scheme if his taxable turnover is up to ₹50 lakh.
- But businesses with inter-State supplies, manufacturers of ice cream, pan masala and tobacco, and e-commerce players cannot opt for the composition scheme.
- To be eligible for the composition scheme, the registered tax payer must provide a declaration on the GST portal before the beginning of each financial year and not anytime during the year
- Under the composition scheme, the taxpayer can skip monthly returns and furnish only one return i.e. GSTR-4 on a quarterly basis
Why in news: The centre informed states that, due to the lower GST tax collections, the compensation cess might not be enough to pay for losses arising out of the tax system
Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS)
- An online portal the Election Commission of India , to facilitate tracking of status of application for registration by political parties
- The salient feature of the PPRTMS is that the applicant (who is applying for party registration from 1st January, 2020 onwards) will be able to track the progress of his / her application and will get status update through SMS and email.
- The Registration of Political Parties is governed by the provisions of section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- A party seeking registration under the said section with the Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation in prescribed format with basic particulars about the party such as name, address, membership details of various units, names of office bearers, etc.
Relevance: GS 2 – Initiatives to promote E-governance
Exercise Surya Kiran – XIV
- Annual military exercise between armies of India and Nepal
- The aim of this exercise is to conduct a battalion level combined training between Indian Army and Nepal Army with a scope to enhance interoperability at military level in jungle warfare, counter terrorist operations in mountainous terrain, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, medical and environmental conservation including aviation aspects.
Relevance: Prelims – Current events of national importance, Defense
The Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019
The Bill restricts the use of hazardous material on ships and regulates the recycling of ships.
- The Bill will apply to: (i) any new or existing ship which is registered in India, (ii) ships entering a port or terminal in India, or the territorial waters of India, (iii) any warship, or other ship owned and operated by an administration and used on government non-commercial service, and (iv) ship recycling facilities operating in India.
- The Bill defines ship recycling as the dismantling of a ship at a facility to recover the components and materials for reuse, and taking care of the hazardous material so produced.
- Ships should not use prohibited hazardous materials as notified.
- The National Authority will carry out periodic surveys to verify the prescribed requirements.
- The owner of every new ship must make an application to the National Authority to obtain a certificate on the inventory of hazardous materials. Existing ship owners must apply for the certificate within five years of the commencement of the Act. The certificate must be renewed every five years.
- Using hazardous materials in a ship will be punishable with imprisonment of up to three months, or a fine of up to five lakh rupees, or both.
- These requirements will not apply to: (i) any warship, or other ship owned and operated by an administration and used on government non-commercial service, and (ii) ships with internal volume less than 500 tonne.
- Ships will be recycled only in authorised recycling facilities.
- A ship owner must apply to the National Authority for a ready for recycling certificate before recycling his ship. The Ship Recycler must prepare a ship recycling plan which should be approved by the Competent Authority.
- Every ship recycler must: (i) ensure safe and environmentally sound removal and management of hazardous materials from a ship, and (ii) comply with the specified environmental regulations. They must also ensure that no environmental damage is caused due to such recycling.
- Decisions of the Competent Authority may be appealed with the National Authority within 30 days of receiving the decision. Decisions of the National Authority may be appealed with the central government within 30 days of receiving the decision.
Why in news: Lok Sabha passes the bill
Relevance: Bills & amendments
Merger of Dadra & Nagar Haveli with Daman & Diu
- The Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019
- Parliament passed the bill which seeks to merge two Union Territories -- Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli -- into one unit.
- The measure will help in strengthening administrative efficiency services, fast track development of the two union territories and help in cutting down the administrative costs.
- It would also ensure better cadre management of employees.
- The new entity would be called the UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu and would be governed under the jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court
- With the merger the number of Union Territories will come down to eight.
- Under Article 3 of the constitution the Parliament has the power to redraw India’s internal boundaries
Relevance: Current events of national importance