Daily Current Affairs for 16th Oct 2023

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Birth of the Jewish State, Israel

Why in the news?

The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, which was launched as a surprise attack by Hamas has its roots in the history and origin of Israel.

  • To understand how Jews first migrated to Palestine and how Israel was born, one must explore the roots of Jewish migration, anti-Semitism, the rise of Zionism, and key events that led to the birth of Israel.

The Origin of the Name “Israel”:

The connection between the Jewish people and the region known today as Israel has deep historical roots. According to the Hebrew Bible, “Israel” is the name God gave to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham.

  • The descendants of Abraham settled in Canaan, which encompasses the territory of modern Israel.
  • Millennia later, in the late 19th century, the land of Canaan was under Ottoman rule, and the Jews were scattered across various countries, often living as prosperous minorities but vulnerable to persecution, particularly in Europe.

Rising Anti-Semitism: Antisemitism is hostility to, prejudice towards, or discrimination against Jews.

  • The late 19th century witnessed a surge in anti-Semitic sentiments and incidents. These events, along with others, fueled a growing sense of insecurity within the Jewish community and a desire for a homeland of their own. This movement to establish a Jewish homeland came to be known as Zionism.
  • Choosing Land: The consensus gradually settled on Palestine, where the biblical home of the Jews had once stood and where many of their holy sites were located.
  • Jewish Migration to Palestine: Jewish migration to Palestine began before World War 1.
  • Balfour Declaration of 1917: During World War I, the British government sought Jewish support for its war efforts and in return supported Jewish Zionist cause. After World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, Palestine fell under British mandate. The period from 1930 to 1938 was marked by widespread violence, with Arabs expressing frustration and feelings of being cheated.

Competing Factions and the UN Resolution

  • The British, seeking a solution, proposed partition, but the Jewish side negotiated for better terms. Ultimately, in May 1939, a White Paper by the British favoured the Palestinian side.
  • Yet, the divided Palestinian leadership did not seize the opportunity. The British decided to withdraw by 1947, leaving the Palestine issue to the United Nations.

The Birth of Israel: UN Resolution and Independence

  • On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem under UN control. The Palestinian side rejected the resolution, and Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, a day marked as the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe.

The nature of the birth of Israel led to a complex situation, the impact of which is still faced by the world today in the form of violence and instability in the Middle East.



Goan Cashew gets GI tag

Why in the news?

Goan cashew (kernel) recently got the geographical indication (GI) tag. This is a major achievement for the cashew industry in Goa, which has been facing challenges in recent years. The GI tag will help protect Goan cashews’ reputation and ensure that consumers get a quality product.

  • The government of Goa has also announced plans to promote Goan cashews through various initiatives, such as marketing campaigns and trade fairs.

Challenges faced by the cashew industry in Goa

The cashew industry in Goa has been facing a number of challenges in recent years, including:

  • Competition from cheaper cashews imported from other countries
  • Declining sales of Goan cashews in the domestic market
  • Shortage of skilled labour

How Cashew came to Goa

  • Cashew was native to northeast Brazil and was introduced to Goa by the Portuguese in 1570, mainly as a crop for afforestation and soil conservation.

What is GI Tag?

  • Geographical Indications (GI) tags are a form of intellectual property protection that is granted to products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • It is governed by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is valid for a period of 10 years in India. It can be renewed for further periods of 10 years each on payment of a renewal fee.
  • Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 governs the GI tag in India.
  • It is issued by the Geographical Indications Registry.
  • Products Covered: Agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products



What is the Estivation?

Why in the news?

Estivation is a biological phenomenon whereby an animal enters a long period of dormancy, or inactivity, in Response to high temperatures or drought-like conditions.

  • It is a survival strategy that helps the animal conserve energy and water in a difficult time.
  • During estivation, the animal often seeks shelter in a cool underground burrow, crevice, or cocoon, where it will remain in a state of reduced metabolic activity, which in turn reduces the rate at which the body consumes energy.
  • Estivation can also be a way to avoid desiccation – extreme dryness of the skin – and also lower the risk of being preyed on by a predator.

Examples of animals that estivate are lungfish, Tortoises, Land snails, Frogs, Lizards, Snakes etc



What are the laws of war?

Why in the news?

Israel – Hamas conflict raised the concern of a humanitarian crisis in middle-east. In this context, it is important to note the Two Laws of Wars

There are two separate and independent international law questions related to wars.

Jus ad bellum is the body of international law that governs the resort to force by states. Jus ad bellum is regulated by the UN Charter, which prohibits states from using force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state.

The following are the conditions under which countries can use force in their international relations:

  • Self-defence: A state can use force in self-defence if it is the victim of an armed attack or has a reasonable apprehension of an imminent armed attack.
  • Collective self-defence: A state can use force in collective self-defence if it is assisting another state that is the victim of an armed attack or has a reasonable apprehension of an imminent armed attack.
  • Authorization by the UN Security Council: The UN Security Council can authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Jus in bello is the body of international law that governs the conduct of armed conflict. It is also known as the law of war. Jus in bello is designed to protect civilians and other non-combatants from the effects of war.

The following are some of the key principles of jus in bello:

  • Distinction: A distinction must be made between combatants and civilians. Only combatants and military targets can be attacked.
  • Proportionality: Attacks must not be disproportionate to the military advantage anticipated.
  • Unnecessary suffering: Unnecessary suffering must be avoided.

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