Monday, 18 December 2017
Sunday, 17 December 2017
"We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity." --(Al Gore Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2007) Global Warming is the expected slow, gradual warming of the lower layers of the Earth's lower atmosphere by slowly increasing concentrations of man-made greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, and to a lesser extent methane.These gases trap infrared radiation, which is the "heat radiation" that cools the Earth.The burning of fossil fuels, mainly petroleum and coal, produces carbon dioxide as one of the by-products. As of 2003, the concentration of carbon dioxide is over 50% higher than it was before the start of industrial revolution in the late 1800's.This has become a major threat to all forms of life on earth and the situation is worsening each passing day. In view of devastating effects that global warming has started to have on life, the problem has become a global concern forcing attention from all concerned.To bring all this information together, the United Nations formed a group of scientists called the International Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.The IPCC meets after some years to review the latest scientific findings and write a report summarizing all that is known about global warming.Here is ambiguity in the minds of the Peoples about global warming and climate change. Global warming " as it is commonly used refers to the increase of the Earth's average surface temperature, due to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. "Climate change" is used in a broader context that refers to long-term changes in climate, including average temperature and precipitation. Climate model projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface temperature will probably rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 C (2.0 to 11.5 F) during the twenty-first century.The uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions. The devastation of Global Warming is far terrible than it is generally perceived to be. Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2007, underlined the possibility of the collapse of a major ice sheet in Greenland or in West Antarctica, either of which could raise global sea levels by approximately 20 feet (6 m), flooding coastal areas and producing 100 million refugees. Melting water from Greenland, because of its lower salinity, could then halt the currents that keep northern Europe warm and quickly trigger dramatic local cooling there. It also contains various short animated projections of what could happen to different animals more vulnerable to climate change. Here are ten points regarding global warming and climate change. 10) Global Warming Climate has changed with the rise in global temperature, Frequency of natural disasters has increased in the form of droughts, excessive floods and rise in sea levels. Air has become poisonous due to burning of oil, gas and coal. Automobiles, factories, furnaces etc release harmful fumes and smoke. Nuclear radiation, the most deadly pollutant of all is of recent origin. Extensive bush fires and jungle infernos, that break out all over globe from time to time, incidents such as burning of oil fields of Kuwait during its war with Iraq, are contributory factors to the air pollution. The Sunderban national park which is world's largest mangrove forest where at least four million people live on its cluster of islands is spread across 9630 Sq km, It is being threatened by the steadily rising sea level. A study of Bay of Bengal has confirmed that sea is rising at the rate of 3.14 mm a year as against global average of 2 mm threatening the low lying areas of India and Bangladesh. At least 15 islands have been affected but sea is nibbling at other islands as well. It has been predicted that temperatures would increase by 4 degree Celsius and sea level would rise by a maximum of 23 inches that will submerge all islands by the end of 21st century.The impact would be greater of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica melt or are broken into pieces.Two nearby islands have already disappeared beneath the sea.The sea has swallowed about 100 Sq km of mangrove forest in the Sunderbans. For centuries the mangrove fed on both saline and fresh water of Ganges and Brahmaputra. But now rising sea levels are pushing salt water inland that has made farming impossible. Increase in temperature is being experienced all around the globe but particularly in the Arctic regions of northern as well as southern hemispheres.The mountain glaciers and their snow caps are being reduced in size and extent, gradually. The normal speed of glaciers is one inch in 24 hours which has visibly increased particularly in case of the glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica. Their size has shrunk and ice thickness has decreased. During the last 50 years concentration of carbon dioxide in the air has increased.Rise in atmospheric temperature has caused disastrous impact on the marine life.The eventual extinction of many of its critical floral and faunal species will be due to global warming. It has been estimated that about one third of world's land surface is arid or semi-arid.The rate at which global warming is taking place the existing desert area will increase by 17 percent in the next century. It would bring more droughts to world's driest areas.The land is being over-exploited for immediate economic gains. Forests are being cut down putting an end to the precipitation process which has resulted in decline of rainfall. This desertification has affected one billion out of 6 billion world population in more than 100 countries, forcing people to migrate elsewhere. 9) Greenhouse Effect It should be understood that the Earth receive radiation from the Sun, absorbs 70% of it that warms up the land and the oceans to a certain degree of temperature and reflects 30 % back that warms up the atmosphere to a certain degree of temperature. This is the process of Greenhouse Effect in which the emission of infra-red radiation of the sun warms planet's surface. In the absence of this greenhouse effect the Earth's average surface temperature of 14 degree Celsius would be -18 degree Celsius under which existence of life would have become impossible. Global warming is the result of an enhanced greenhous effect due to increased concentration of some other gases in addition to atmosphere's own mixture of gases of 89% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.03% carbon dioxide and six other gases in negligible quantities. Global warming has occurred due to increase in near surface temperature of the Earth as a result of increased emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous, sulphur oxide by the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal. These gases mixed with atmosphere's own gases absorb extra radiation from the earth and trap it within the atmosphere to make it warmer further. This trapped radiation which normally should be dissipated into the space results in global warming and increasing the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere. The eart suffered only one kind of pollution in the past i.e soil pollution while atmospheric pollution remained unknown to humanity. Soil pollution remained localized in different parts of the world and destroyed life and vegetation wherever it hit. In ancient times the summarian civilization flourished in Messopotemia around 5000 BC between rivers Tigris and Euphrates. They dug out canals from these rivers to irrigate their lands and became prosperous due to the bumper crops they harvested. Over a period of time, however the canal system led to the problem of water-logging and salinity which rendered their lands uncultivable. They didn't know the remedial measures. In recent times the canal system of the Punjab had given rise to the same problem. Millions of acres were about to be abandoned as marshlands and saline regions. But the modern technology was available at hand. Tube wells were sunk in thousands and vast network of drainage system was laid that drained out the saline water which lowered the water which lowered the water table of the lands. The acreage that was supposed to have been lost was duly reclaimed. The sumerians knew nothing of such measures. Having lived there for 8000 years they had to migrate to other regions. Water-logging was also one major factor that caused the decline and downfall of great Roman Empire during 3rd century AD. However, such pollutions did not have global repercussions. The environmental pollution that is a modern phenomenon poses a danger of almost extinction of the human race and other kinds of life that flourishes on the land and in the seas. The air is mechanical mixture of gases. So long as the proportion of its constituent elements remains constant the life on the earth remains normal. Any disturbance in the composition of the negligible precipitation in regions known for higher annual percentage of rainfall. It sets in motion devastating tornados in some parts of the world and generates frequent hurricane activity on the high seas that hits the coastal areas leading to loss of life and prosperty. Disturbance in the natural composition of air and in its temperature is caused due to addition of toxic and dangerous gases to it. These gases reduce the percentage of oxygen in the air which is so essential for life on earth and in oceans. Thus the global warming manifests in variety of ways. 8) Damage to Ozone Layer The polluted atmosphere has done another irreparable damage. It has eaten up part of ozone layer that protects the earth from the harmful rays of the sun. A layer of ozone surrounds the globe that protects the life on earth from the hazard of sun's rays. The environment pollution produced by the greenhouse gases has eaten into this layer. A hole of the size of US continent has appeared over Antarctica. Further widening of this hole is likely to spell disaster for the world. It is so because the deadly ultraviolet rays of the sun enter through this hole and directly render the atmosphere devastating. The atmosphere has already become dangerous due to the emission of greenhouse gases. The use of coal, oil and gas in the industrial activity and use of oil in automobiles by man all over the globe and use of fertilizers and pesticides in the agriculture, has its dangers. Certain chemicals react with gases present in the air to produce sulphuric and nitric acids which get mixed with the rains to destroy vegetation, animal and human life on earth. 7) Problems created by Global Warming The fact has been established beyond doubt that earth's climate is rapidly changing. Global temperature has increased considerably over the course of the last century. The cause? It is because of the thickened layer of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere and other greenhouse gases that are generated by power plants and automobiles, this accumulated pollution traps heat radiation by the earth. The earth as such could get further warmed during the 21th century if the emission of gases by burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil continues unabated. The sea levels will rise flooding coastal areas. Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense. Droughts and wildfires will occur quite often. Most of the US has already been visibly warmed. The western countries have been hit by three most extensive droughts during the last half century. As many as 100,000 bush fire were reported and nearly 10 million acres were burnt. While some parts of the earth are hit by prolonged droughts the warmer temperatures have increased the energy of the climatic system and led to extensive rainfalls elsewhere. In Europe extreme heat waves claimed an estimated 35,000 lives. A higher level of carbon dioxide spurs an increase in the growth of weeds whose pollen triggers allergies and asthma. Disease carrying mosquitoes are spreading as the climate shifts allows them to survive in formerly inhospitable areas. Mosquitoes that can carry dengue fever viruses were previously limited to elevation of 3,300 feet but recently have appeared at 7,200 feet in the Andes Mountains of Columbia. Malaria has also been detected in new higher-elevation areas in Indonesia. The recent Atlantic hurricanes were most active in history with a record 27 storms of which 15 became hurricanes. Hurricane katrina of August 2005 was the deadliest of all in US history. Rising global temperature will speed up the melting of glaciers and ice caps and cause early ice thaw on rivers and lakes. At the current rate of warming all the glaciers in the US Glacier National Park will be gone by 2070. The pola ice cap is melting at the rate of 9% per decade. The ice shelf area has shrunk by 40% since 1995. Over the past three decades more than a million square miles of perennial sea of ice has disappeared. If the global warming is not controlled the Arctic could be ice-free by 2040. Low lying areas such as the coastal region along the Gulf of Mexico and estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay are especially vulnerable. The global sea level has already risen by four to eight inches in the past century. The levels could rise from 10 to 23 inches by the 2100. Greenland holds 10% of the total global ice mass. If it melts sea levels could rise by up to 21 feet. The increase in global temperatures is expected to disrupt the oceanic ecosystems and result in loss of specie diversity. The species that cannot adapt to higher temperatures will die off. More than one million species could become extinct by 2050. Some polar bears are drowning because they have to swim longer distances to reach ice floes. Two third of polar bear sub-population Will be extinct by mid century due to melting of the Arctic ice cap. In Bermuda and other places mangrove forests are being lost. In parts of the Antarctica the penguin population has declined by 33% over the last 25 years. The oceans will continue to become more and more acidic due to carbon dioxide emissions. Many ocean species and coral reefs which are vital to the ocean's ecosystem are vulnerable to this acidification. 6) Plate Tectonics And Solar Energy Over the course of millions of years, the motion of the tectonic plates reconfigures global land and ocean areas and generates topography. This can affect both global and local patterns of climate. The existence of mountains (as a product of plate tectonics through mountain-building) can cause orographic precipitation. Humidity generally decreases and diurnal temperature and the length of the growing season also decrease with increasing elevation. Over the following approximately 4 billion years, the energy output of the sun increased and atmospheric composition changed, with the oxygenation of the atmosphere being the most notable alteration. The luminosity of the sun will continue to increase as it follows the main sequence. These changes in luminosity, and the sun's ultimate death as it becomes a red giant and then a white dwarf, will have large effects on Climate, with the red giant phase possibly ending life on Earth. 5) Orbital Variations And Volcanism Slightly variations in Earth's orbit lead to changes in the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface and how it is distributed across the globe. The former is similar to solar variations in that there is a change to the power input from the sun to the Earth system. The latter is due to how the orbital variations effect when and where sunlight is received by the Earth. The three types of orbital variations are variations in Earth's eccentricity, changes in the tilt angle of Earth's axis of rotation, and precession of Earth's axis. Volcanism is a process of conveying material from the crust and mantle of the Earth to its surface. Volcanic eruptions, geysers, and hot springs, are examples of volcanic processes which release gases and particulates into the atmosphere. Eruptions large enough to affect climate occur on average several times per century, and causes cooling for a period of a few years. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century affected the climate substantially. 4) The Paris Agreement The Paris Agreement recognizes that the new climate regime will create climate solutions markets that are "bottom up" as well as "top down." The Agreement calls for the active support of business and finance, mayors and governors, academia and civil society, as well as national governments. They new climate regime will create a floor for progess, not a ceiling, and look to coalitions of all these actors to determine how we can accelerate ambition and achieve the kinds of progress necessary to secure our future. Global leaders had to assess the threats being posed to the life that prevailed on this planet during the past 10000 years. The difficulty is that climate systems do not change gradually. They take big jumps and therefore the fear us that with the present rate of increase in temperatures, the rising of sea levels may be impossible to halt. Melting of ice in Greenland and Antarctica could soon destabilize their great ice sheets. That would cause rise in sea levels by several meters within a few decades. Another danger is that the frozen methane which is a potent greenhouse gas, may bubble up out of the Siberian permafrost in big volumes. That would raise the global temperatures by several degrees. The melting of ice could interrupt the North Altantic Ocean circulation which would alter global weather patterns and ultimately may switch off the Asian Monsoon season. Carbon Dioxide is the gas that triggers sudden changes in the climate. This is the gas that human beings are pumping in to the air at the rate of 30bn tonnes a year mostly by burning fossil fuels. The same fossil fuels, like coal, oil etc, that have powered our world during the past two centuries with unprecedented growth in both population and wealth. But to avoid the dangers indicated above, it is now likely to cause in future it must be phased out during the next half century. We can adopt alternative energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, tides, waves and nuclear. Some nations, particularly the USA, are reluctant to reduce the use of fossil fuels that have made them economic and political giants of the world. However, since the dangers that the humanity is faced with are very much real and will impact the US more than the rest of the world, the US must cooperate in its own interests, Climate dangers do not differentiate between a small country and a super power. In view of this a global treaty is required to delimit the emission of greenhouse gases, All national governments should submit themselves to the directions of an international authority that should give a road map of stabilizing the rising temperatures, to save the humanity from the coming disaster. 3) Kyoto Protocol And Earth Summit In recognition of the threats, the global has finally started responding to the phenomenon of Global Warming and is slowly but surely taking necessary steps. In this regard , several international forums are of key importance. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in 1992 known as Earth Summit 1992. 172 governments participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government. The issue addressed included: * Systematic scrutiny of patterns of production, particularly the production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including radioactive chemicals. * Alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels which are linked to global climate change. * New reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog. * The growing scarcity of water. An important achievement was an agreement on the Climate Change Convention which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming. The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving the "stabilization og greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." The protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of July 2010, 191 states have signed and ratified the protocol. Under the protocol, 37 countries commit themselves to a reduction of four greenhouse gases (GHG) (carbon dioxide, methane,nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride) and two groups of gases ( hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) produced by them, and all member countries give general commitments. These countries agreed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by international aviation and shipping, but are in addition to the industrial gases, chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are dealt with under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. 2) Bali Summit and Copenhagen Accord The 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference took place at the Bali International Conference Centre, Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia, between December 3 and December 15, 2007. Representatives from over 180 countries attended, together with observes from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. The conference encompassed meetings of several bodies, including the 13th conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 13), the 3rd Meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 3 or CMP 3), together with other subsidiary bodies and a meeting of ministers. Negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol dominated the conference. A meeting of environment ministers and experts held in June called on the conference to agree on a roadmap, timetable and 'concrete steps for the negotiations' with a view to reaching an agreement by 2009. It has been debated whether this global meeting on climate change has achieved anything significant at all. Initial EU proposals called for global emissions to peak in 10 to 15 years and decline "well below half" of the 2000 level by 2050 for developing countries and for developed countries to achieve emissions levels 20-40% below 1990 levels by 2020. The United States strongly opposed these numbers, at times backed by Japan, Canada, Australia and Russia. The resulting compromise mandates "deep cuts in global emissions" with reference to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report. The United Nations Climate Change Conference took place at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 18, 2009 known as Copenhagen Summit 2009. According to the Bali Road Map, a Framework for climate change mitigation beyond 2012 is to be agreed there. The key points of the Copenhagen Accord are following: * A Commitment "to reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2C" and to achieve "the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible". * Developed countries must make commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and developing countries must report their plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions to the UN by 31 January 2010. * New and additional resources "approaching $30bn" will be channelled to poorer nations over the period 2010-12, with an annual sum of $100bn envisaged by 2020. * A Copenhagen Green Climate Fund will be established under the UN convention on climate change, to direct some of this money to climate-related projects in developing countries. * Projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries will be subject to international monitoring if they are internationally funded. * Implementation of the accord will be reviewed in 2015 and an assessment will be made of whether the goal of keeping global temperature rise within 2C needs to be strengthened to 1.5C. The essential points of the deal were brokered by US President Barack Obama with representatives of China, India, Brazil and South Africa. Mr. Obama also consulted with the leaders of France, Germany and the UK. Most countries at the conference gave it their support, but some countries were resolutely opposed, including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba. 1) Following are the suggestions to tackle global warming Biofuels have been around as long as cars have. At the start of the 20th century, Henry Ford planned to fuel his Model Ts with ethanol, and early diesel engines were shown to run on peanut oil. But discoveries of huge petroleum deposits kept gasoline and diesel cheap for decades, and biofuels were largely forgotten. However, with the recent rise in oil prices, along with growing concern about global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions, biofuels are the best solutions. According to many experts, we may soon find overselves using fuel cells to generate electrical power for all sorts of devices we use every day. A fuel cell is a device that uses a source of fuel, such as hydrogen, and an oxidant to create electricity from an electrochemical process. Much like the batteries that are found under the hoods of automobiles or in flashlights, a fuel cell coverts chemical energy to electrical energy. Geothermal energy has been used for thousands of years in some countries for cooking and heating. It is simply power derived from the Earth's internal heat. This thermal energy is contained in the rock and fluids beneath Earth's crust. It can be found from shallow ground to several miles below the surface, and even farther down to the extremely hot molten rock called magma. These underground reservoirs of steam and hot water can be tapped to generate electricity or to heat and cool buildings directly. Every hour the sun beams onto Earth more than enough energy to satisfy global energy needs for an entire year. Solar energy is the technology produces less than one tenth of one percent of global energy demand. Clean technology mean a cleaner world for all. Not only do modern technologies reduce carbon pollution, they reduce other harmful pollutants that poison our lakes, make our land infertile, and harm human health. By reducing global warming pollution, we help to make our energy and transportation systems more efficient, protect our forest ecosystems, wildlife and biodiversity, and improve our air quality and protect peoples' health. Clean car technology can produce more efficient, less polluting cars that get better mileage and create needed manufacturing jobs. We have the technology to clean up dirty diesel trucks and use cleaner fuels, but we can only achieve success by avoiding roadblocks and creating policies that reduce pollution. A commonly cited goal is to stabilize GHG concentrations around 450-550 parts per million (ppm), or about twice pre-industrial levels. This is the point at which many believe the most damaging impacts of climate change can be avoided. Current concentrations are about 380 ppm, which means there isn't much time to lose. According to the IPCC, we'd have to reduce GHG emissions by 50% to 80% of what they're on track to be in the next century to reach this level.
Saturday, 16 December 2017
AS long as we are alive in this physical world, our mind is like an open road for all kind of thought traffic. Thoughts usually pass through the mind but some are strong enough to make a person act upon them. They become actions and if the same action is repeated over time, they turn into habits and finally become part of one’s character. Thus, thoughts are key to the whole process of character-building. They are at the bottom of all progress and retrogression, all success or failure, all good and bad happenings and all that is desirable or undesirable. It is a simple psychological law that any type of thought, if entertained for a sufficient length of time, will finally burst forth into action. Many heinous crimes such as murder, theft, robbery, terrorist acts etc are at times committed in this way. Therefore, in the realm of the mind, every individual must learn how to manage his or her thoughts. Every act of life is preceded and given birth to by a thought. The act repeated forms habits, and habits determine character. Every individual must learn how to manage his or her thoughts. If a wrong action is committed, our character will move in the wrong direction whereas a righteous action will make us righteous. Therefore, each one of us needs to be watchful, mindful, conscious and, above all, courageous enough to nip nefarious thoughts in the bud. Though it is difficult to free the mind from the incessant flux of unwanted thoughts, the Holy Quran suggests to believers: “And if an evil whisper comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All Hearer, All Knower” (7:200). The spark of a matchstick can be extinguished by a little effort, instead of allowing a flame to leap high and turn into a raging fire. Similarly, nipping negative thoughts at the first instance would be easy rather than dealing with the eventual consequences. It is further clarified by an example: in a local bank, a cashier handles cash in the millions. He reads about a man who suddenly became rich through speculation on the stock market. A thought surfaces in his mind to invest the funds he has charge of. The very moment the thought of using funds belonging to others enters his mind he instantly nips the thought in the bud, otherwise it would grow into such proportions that it would become more and more difficult to control. Likewise a young person is out with some of his companions for a pleasant evening. A suggestion is made by one of his friends to dine and wine together in a nearby restaurant. The young person does not realise the fact that the greatest strength and nobility of character always lies in taking a firm stand and doing the right thing. He goes along with his other companions. The act is repeated a number of times and ultimately causes him to become addicted to drinking. Humans, by nature, are weak and usually remain in a fix. The Holy Quran enjoins man to seek the right path at every moment of his life. This enhances his true worth by improving his thoughts and subsequently his character. In his famous saying, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) says that the best of you in Islam are those who are most excellent in character. If a person bears good moral character, he is dear in his society, likewise dear in the eyes of Allah. This is opposed to one who is undesirable for society, and likewise undesirable in Allah’s eyes. Character is an inbuilt property that defines the apparent individual nature. It is not physically overt to everyone but builds within through right guidance, education and environment. It is manifested in an individual’s dealings while interacting with society. We all are part of society and therefore, society has every right to form an opinion about our conduct. Seventh-century Makkan society, in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born and grew up, was a pagan society. But that society formed an opinion about the Holy Prophet’s character. He was above board in every respect; therefore, society called him As Sadiq (true) and Al Amin (trustworthy). There are many contributing elements which help form the individual’s character but by far the most important underlying element is the force of thoughts. Every conscious human act is preceded by a thought. The dominating thoughts determine dominating action. The acts repeated crystallise into habit. The aggregate of our habits is one’s character. A desire for noble character is the essence, indeed the sum and substance of all religious teachings. This depends on managing thoughts at the core.
Friday, 15 December 2017
Towards the end of the 1800s questions arose as to how the Jewish people could overcome increasing persecution and anti-semitism in Europe. The biblical promised Land led to a political movement, Zionism, to establish a Jewish Homeland in Palestine, in the Middle East. From 1920 to1947,the British Empire had a mandate Over Palestine. At that time Palestine included all of Israel and today's Occupied Territories, of Gaza, West Bank, etc. The increasing number of Jewish people immigrating to the "Holy Land" increased tensions in the region. European geopolitics in the earlier half of the instability overall. The British Empire, especially, played a major role in the region. 10) The Balfour Declaration and France, Britain Deal. During World War I, in 1916, it convinced Arab leaders to revolt against the Ottoman Empire (which was allied with Germany).In return, the British government would support the establishment of an independent Arab state in the region, including Palestine. Yet, I'm contradiction to this, and to also get support of Jewish people, in 1917, Lord Arthur Balfour, then British Foreign Minister Empire's support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine." As a further complication, there was a deal between Imperial Britain and France to carve up the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire and divide control of the region. The spoils of war were to be shared. As with the 1885 Berlin Conference where Africa was carved up amongst the various European empires, parts of the Middle East were also to be carved up, which would require artificial borders, support of monarchies, dictators and other leaders that could be regarded as "puppets" or at least could be influenced by these external powers. 9) Role Of UNO And Partition Of Palestine After World War II, the newly formed United Nations (which then had less developing countries as members) recommended the partition of Palestine into two states and the internationalization of Jerusalem. The minority Jewish people received the majority of the land. US support for the Israel state was driven by internal politics as the CATO Institute. In November 1947 the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to recommend partition of Palestine into Arab and Palestine Jewish states. The two states were to be joined in an economic union, and Jerusalem would be administrated by the United Nations. The Arabs would get 43 percent of the land, the Jews 57 percent. The proposed apportionment should be assessed in light of the following facts: The Jewish portion was better land; by the end of 1947 the percentage of Palestine purchased by Jews was less than 7 percent: Jewish state; and Jews made up less than one-third of the population of Palestine. Moreover, the Jewish state was to include 497,000 Arabs, who would Constitute just under 50 percent of the new state's population. 8) Role Of US And Establishment Of Israel The United States not only accepted the UN plan, it aggressively promoted it amoung the other members of the United Nations. US President Harry Truman had been personally moved by the tragedy of the Jews and by the condition of the refugees. That response and his earlier studies of the Bible made him open to the argument that emigration to Palestine was the proper remedy for the surviving Jews of Europe. Yet he acknowledged later in his memories, that he was "fully aware of the Arabs' hostility to Jewish settlement in Palestine. " He, like his predecessor, had promised he would take no action without fully consulting the Arabs, and he reneged. Truman's decision to support establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine was made against the advice of most of the state Department and other foreign policy experts, who were concerned about US relations with the Arabs and possible Soviet penetration of the region. Secretary James Forrestal of the Defense Department and Loly Henderson, at that time State Department's chief of Near Eastern affairs, pressed those points most vigorously. Henderson warned that partition would not only create anti Americanism but would also require US troops to enforce it, and he stated his belief that partition violated both US and UN principles of self-determination. But Truman was concerned about the duplicatic political implications as well as the foreign policy implications of the partition issue. Truman's decision to support the zionist cause was also influenced by Samuel I. Rosenman, David K. Niles, and Clark Clifford, all members of his staff, and Eddie Jacobson, his close friend and former business partner Truman later wrote: The White House, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda amid at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist Leaders-actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats-disturbed and annoyed me. Pressure on Truman also came from non-Jewish fundamentalists and politicians. In some cases, support for Jewish admission to and statehood in Palestine may have had Another domestic political angle. The support sidestepped the sensitive issue of US immigration quotas, which had kept European Jews out of the United States Since the 1920s and had left them at the mercy of the Nazis. In other words, support for Zionism may have been a convenient way for people who did not want Jews to come to the United States to avoid appearing anti-semitic. American Classic liberals and others , including the American Council for Judaism, opposed the quotas, would have preferred to come to the United States. By mid-Novemner 1947 the Truman administration was firmly in the Zionist camp. when the State Department and the US mission to the United Nations agreed that the partition resolution should be changed to shift the Negev from the Jewish to the Palestinian state, Truman sided with the Jewish Agency. The United States also voted against a UN resolution calling on member states to accept Jewish refugees who could not be repatriated. The State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14 1948, but the Arab states rejected the partition of Palestine and the existence of Israel. The armies of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Trans-jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Egypt attacked but were defeated by the Israeli army. While the Jewish people were successful in creating their Homeland, there was no Palestine and no internationalization of Jerusalem, either. 7) Suez Canal Crisis 1956 The Suez Canal in Egypt was opened in 1869. The shipping canal is 171 km (106 miles) long and connects the Mediterranean at Port Said with the Red Sea. A substantial shareholding (172,602 shares) was purchased by the British government in 1875. In 1882 the the British Army occupied Egypt in order to protect the Suez Canal. They remained in Egypt and the British government installed a Counsul-general to rule the country. On the outbreak of the Second World War the British had 36,000 troops guarding the canal and the Arabian oil fields. In 1952 General Muhammed Neguib and Colonel Gamal Abdul Naseer forced Farouk I to abdicate. After the Egyptian Revolution Neguib became commander-in-chief, prime minister and president of the republic whereas Naseer held the post of prime minister of the interior. In April 1954 Naseer replaced Neguib as prime minister. Seven months later he also became president of Egypt. Over the next few months Naseer made it clear he was in favour of liberating Palestine from the Jews. He also began buying fighter aircraft, bombers and tanks from Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. Gamal Abdel Nasser redistributed land in Egypt and began plans to industrialize the country. He began the building of the Aswan Dam. Nasser was convinced that this would extend arable lands in Egypt and would help the industrialization process. He also advocated Arab independence and reminded the British government that the agreement allowing to keep soldiers at Suez expired in 1956. President Dwight Eisenhower became concerned about the close relationship developing between Egypt and the Soviet Union. In July 1956 Eisenhower cancelled a promised grant of 56 million dollars towards the building of the Aswan Dam which was partly in response to Egypt recognizing the People's Republic of the attack were primarily to regain Western control of the canal and precipitate the fall of Nasser from power, whose policies were viewed as potentially threatening the strategic interests of the three nations. Nasser was furious and on 26th July he announced he intended to nationalize the Suez Canal. The shareowners, the majority of whom were from Britain and France, were promised compensation. Nasser argued that the revenues from the Suez Canal would help to finance the Aswan Dam. Anthony Eden, the British prime minister, feared that Naseer intended to form an Arab Alliance that would cut off oil supplies to Europe. On 21th October Guy Mollet, Anthony Eden and David Ben-Gurion met in secret to discuss the problem. During these talks it was agreed to make a joint attack on Egypt. On 29th October 1956, the Israeli Army, led by General Moshe Dayan, invaded Egypt.Two days later British and French bombed Egyptian airfields. British and French troops landed at Port Said at the northern end of the Suez Canal on 5th November. By this time the Israelis had captured the Sinai Peninsula. President Dwight Eisenhower grew increasingly concerned about these developments. On 30th October he decided to take action and announced he was going to suspend aid to Israel in protest against its invasion of Egypt. The following day Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, criticized Britain and France for trying to take the Suez Canal by force. 6) 1967 War And UN Security Resolution In 1967, Israel simultaneously attacked Egypt, Syria and Jordan in a "pre-emptive strike“ against the Arab troops along its borders. Israel captured key pieces of land, such as the strategic Golan Heights to the north on the border with Syria, to the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt. In fact, Israel more than doubled it's size in the six days that this war took place. Since then, negotiations have been around returning land to pre-1967 states, as required by international law and UN resolutions. Resolution 242 was passed on 22 November 1967 and embodies the principle that has guided most of the subsequent peace plans - the exchange of land for peace. The resolution called for the " withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict", and "respect for and acknowledge of the sovereignty , territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force". In 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur to attempt to regain their lost land, but failed. 5) Camp David Accords 1978 And The Intifada There were several peace plans following the 1967 War, but nothing happened until after the 1973 Yom Kippur or October War. There followed a new mood for peace, as shown a historic visit to Jerusalem by the Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, in November 1977. US President Jimmy Carter capitalised on the new mood and invited president Sadat and the Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, for talks at the presidential retreat at Camp David known as Camp David Accords 1978 near Washington. The talks lasted for 12 days and resulted in two agreements. The first was called A Framework for Peace in the Middle East. It laid down principles for peace, expanding on resolution 242, set out what it hoped was a way of resolving what is called "Palestinian problem", agreed that there should be a treaty between Egypt and Israel and called for other treaties between Israel and its neighbors. The weakness of the first agreement was the section on the Palestinians. The plan aimed to set up a "self-governing authority" in the West Bank and Gaza, leading to eventual "final status" talks, but the Palestinians were not party to the agreement. The second Accord was the Camp David framework for the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. This followed in 1979, after an Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai. This was the first the recognition of Israel as a state by a major Arab country. The talks probably stand as the most successful negotiations in the whole peace process. The treaty has lasted, and it substantially strengthened Israel's position. However the peace between Egypt and Israel has not been warm. President Sadat was himself later assassinated. In 1978, due to rising Hezbollah attacks from South Lebanon, where many Palestinian refugees still were, Israel attacked and invaded Lebanon. In 1982, Israel went as far up Lebanon as Beirut, as bloody exchanges followed between Israeli attempts to bomb Yasser Arafat's PLO location, and Hezbollah retaliations. In 1985, Israel declared a strip of South Lebanon to be a Security Zone (never recognized by the UN, and hence Israel was always occupying this other nation.) Many civilians were killed on both sides. Israel withdrew in May 2000. One of the leading occasions. After 22 years, Israel withdrew in May 2000. One of the leading Israeli military personnel was the future Israel Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. In the late 1980s came the Palestinian uprising-the Intifada. While there was much of a non-violence movement initially, the mainstream media with nothing more than sling shots and stones. Thousands were killed by the Israeli military, Many suicide activities killed Israeli soldiers and caused other damage. Many innocent civilians were killed on both sides. 4) The Madrid Conference 1978 Madrid Conference 1991, co-sponsored by the US and the Soviet Union, was designed to follow up the Egypt-Israel treaty by encouraging other Arab countries to sign their own agreement with Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria were invited as well as Israel and Egypt. The Palestinians were also represented, but as part of a joint delegation with Jordan and not by Yasser Arafat or other leading figures in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to whom the Israelis objected. The conference eventually led to a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan in 1994, but this probably would have happened anyway, Israeli talks with Syria and Lebanon took place after Madrid but have since stalled, complicated by border disputes and, more recently, the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah militants. The Palestinian track soon gave way to secret talks led to the Oslo agreement. 3) Oslo Agreement 1993 The Oslo Agreement 1993 tried to tackle the missing element of all previous talks-a direct agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, represented by the PLO. It's importance was that there was finally mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO. The talks took place in secret under Norwegian auspices and the agreement was signed on the White House lawn on 13 September 1993, witnessed by President Bill Clinton. The PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, and the Israeli Prime Minister, yitzhak Rabin, shook hands. The Oslo Agreement stipulated that Israel troops would withdraw in stages from the West Bank and Gaza, that a "Palestinian Interim Self-Governing Authority" would be set up for a five-year transitional period, leading to a permanent settlement based on resolutions 242 and 338. The agreement spoke of putting "an end to decades of confrontation and conflict" and of each side recognising "their mutual legitimate and political rights". Therefore, though not stated explicitly in text, the implication was that a state of Palestine would one day be set up alongside Israel. There was an exchange of letters in which Yasser Arafat stated: "The PLO recognises the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security." Yitzhak Rabin said: "The Government of Israel has decided to recognise the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people." Hamasaki and other Palestinian rejection groups did not accept Oslo and launched suicide bomb attacks on Israelis. There was opposition within Israel from settler-led groups. Oslo was only partially implemented. 2) Roadmap 2003 The Roadmap 2003 is a plane drawn up by the "quartet" - the United States, Russia, the European Union ant United Nations. It does not lay down the details of a final settlement, but suggests how a settlement might be be approached. It followed efforts made by US Senator George Mitchell to get the peace process back on track in 2001. The plan was preceded by an important statement in June 2002 by President George W Bush who became the first US President to call for a Palestinian state. It proposed a phased timetable, putting the establishment of security before a final settlement. It is designed to create confidence, leading to final status talks. Phase 1: Both sides would issue statements supporting the two-seater solution, the Palestinians would end violence, act against "all those engaged in terror", draw up a Constitution, hold elections and the Israelis would stop settlement activities and act with military restraint. Phase 2: Would see the creation, at an international conference, of a Palestinian state with "provisional borders" Phase 3: Final agreement talks The roadmap has not been implemented. Its timetable called for the final agreement to be reached in 2005. It has largely been overtaken by events, but remains a reference point for negotiations. 1) 2006 War The start of 2006 saw the more extreme Hamas organization gain power. Hamas has been listed by many countries as a terrorist organization, though others see it as an independence movement. However, its means are certainly. Probably less well known than its militant tendencies has been the other reasons for its popularity. The Palestinian Authority often fails to provide such services; Hamas' efforts in this area-as well as a reputation for honestly, in contrast to many Fatah officials accused of corruption -help to explain the broad popularity it summoned to defeat Fatah in the PA's recent elections. Ehud Olmert became Israel's new Prime Minister in April 2006, after serious illness befell Sharon, and the Israeli Cabinet declared him incapacitated. US involvement in the Middle East has also been seen as a critical issue. The US and West's interests in the wider region has generally been due to oil. Israel and Palestinian territories do not have oil themselves, but are surrounded by states that do. Strong military and financial support of Israel lends well to having a powerful in the region. While the UN Security Council has attempted to pass numerous resolutions critical of Israel the United States has vetoed almost all of them. Nevertheless there have been some resolutions demanding that Israel return land that was captured in the 1967 War etc (such as UN Resolution 242).The 1948 UN Resolution 181 allowed for both Jews and Arabs to live in Israel, which goes counter to claim of some groups that Israel should not exist. Often the international community is critical of Israel inaction, but the US veto prevents anything coming of it. Instead, Israeli land expansion and settlements have continued. The US has also provided Israel with enormous military aid, to the extent that in the Middle East, Israel has the most advanced and superior military. Their high tech/military industries are also very advanced. Israel also has nuclear weapons capabilities. A series of targeted assassination by Israel against Hamas and Hezbollah, and resulting violent retaliations escalated in mid-2006 with the capture of Israel soldiers. That led to an escalation of conflict, with air strikes by Israel against Lebanon and Hezbollah, destroying much of the main infrastructure.
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