THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 13 APRIL 2019 (A grim future in Israel (The Hindu)

A grim future in Israel (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 4 : International Relations
Prelims level : India-Israel
Mains level : Effective of international policies

Context

  • With criminal indictment imminent on charges of corruption, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled off a fourth consecutive win in general elections to the Knesset on April 9.
  • Though tied on seats with his main rival, Mr. Netanyahu has a clear pathway towards power in coalition with a bloc of right-wing allies.
  • As with earlier wins, eked out by strongly running against counsels of sanity from the diminishing peace camp, he has pulled the political centre of gravity sharply, yet again, to the ultra-right.

Sources of support

  • Mr. Netanyahu’s opponents within Israel say that Mr. Trump effectively created a publicity video for him with a decree during the late days of the campaign, recognising Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.
  • This followed Mr. Trump’s gift on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s formation last year, shifting the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and consigning the Arab third of the city’s population to a future of indefinite occupation.
  • The comatose peace process, which was never more than a charade enabling the U.S. to keep its coalition of allies in the Arab world, was declared dead then.
  • Even Mahmoud Abbas, the normally acquiescent Palestinian Authority President, has refused all offers to resume talks since.

Strong campaign

  • Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign rhetoric since his debut in politics was often called out for incitement against the Palestinians.
  • He excelled himself this time, vowing in the last days of the campaign to never allow a Palestinian state and to annex parts of the West Bank.
  • He is also on record telling Knesset colleagues that controlling the entire territory between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean is indispensable “for the foreseeable future”.
  • And he has been unapologetic about “living forever by the sword” if that be Israel’s need.
  • The people of Gaza have lived through this experience after the fraudulent Israeli withdrawal of 2005 which converted the densely populated strip into the world’s largest open air prison.
  • March 30 marked a year since the people of Gaza began their “great march of return”, a mass mobilisation demanding the UN-mandated right of refugees to return home.
  • No less than 70% of the 2 million people in Gaza are refugees from villages and towns razed to establish Israel.

The view from India

  • India continues to be among the biggest overseas patrons of the Israeli military-industrial complex. Increasingly, in the public discourse, Israel is portrayed as the role model that a “new India” should emulate in terms of its security posture in a troubled neighbourhood.
  • The cause of Palestinian freedom continues to gain token homage, but the myth that this commitment can be “de-hyphenated” from India’s relations with Israel looks increasingly hollow.
  • A renewal of India’s commitment to Palestine should run concurrently with fighting back against the growing expressions of intolerance in political life and the shredding of the fabric of secular democracy.
  • With Israel taking another perilous turn to the right, India’s endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, today the only option to gain justice for Palestine, seems a moral imperative.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) The recent proposed ban on Commercial Surrogacy and promotion of “adoption rights” has been at the core of government agenda. Legislation with respect to the individual rights of “Adoption and Succession” comes under the
a) State List in the Seventh Schedule
b) Union List in the Seventh Schedule
c) Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule
d) Residuary List

Answer: C

Mains Questions:
Q.1) India needs to go beyond token homage to the cause of Palestinian freedom. Comment
 

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