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The Hindu Vocab 23rd Dec 2017

Affirmative vote: on US’ move on Jerusalem

The U.S. must heed the UN resolution and reconsider its Jerusalem move

The UN General Assembly vote on a resolution calling for the final settlement of Jerusalem through negotiations may have been pitched as a contest between Israel and Palestine; however, it became a referendum (जनमत-संग्रह) on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital. The final outcome should force the U.S. to rethink its move, with 128 of the UNGA’s 193 member-countries voting for the resolution, and only nine against it. Among those voting for the resolution that “deeply regretted” (गहरा खेद व्यक्त किया) the U.S. decision were its NATO allies (सहयोगी), Germany, the U.K. and France, its Asian allies Japan and South Korea; its closest neighbours Canada and Mexico chose merely to abstain (दूर रहना). The overwhelming (ज़बर्दस्त) majority ignored Mr. Trump and his UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s threats that all countries that defied (सामना करना) America would be ‘named and shamed’ and face cancellation of U.S. aid. The suggestion was that the U.S. would exact its revenge by refusing to support these countries when they next need it at the UN. Israel showed deep derision (ठठोली,उपहास) for the world body, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to as a “house of lies”, while his UN envoy called the 128 countries “puppets forced to dance”. Such threats and epithets (उपाधि विशेषक) mark new lows in international diplomacy, and Israel and the U.S. come away looking like churlish (अशिष्ट) bullies (धौंसदिखानेवाला) for issuing them. With all its weaknesses, the UN is a global collective, and it is imperative to acknowledge its mandate when such a large number of nations speak in one voice. The U.S. only recently asserted its intention to uphold the international rules-based order in its National Security Strategy document. It cannot now just walk away from both UN resolutions and its national commitment to the Israel-Palestine peace process by unilaterally (एकपक्षीयतासे) changing its stand on the status of Jerusalem, without being accused of doublespeak.

By voting for the resolution, India has affirmed its traditional policy in favour of a negotiated settlement for Jerusalem as part of a larger two-state solution for Israel and PalestineAlthough Prime Minister Narendra Modi avoided mentioning the contours (आकार, रूपरेखा) of the settlement during his visit to Jerusalem in July this year, India’s support to the creation of a Palestinian state according to UN Resolution 181 (1948) was heavily underscored in his statement to the UN in November, just days before Mr. Trump’s decision. There had been some speculation that in the face of the U.S. threats over the resolution, as well as Mr. Netanyahu’s impending (आसन्न) visit to India in January, India would dilute its support to those principles in favour of close strategic ties with both nations. In choosing to vote for the resolution at the UNGA, India has shown a clarity of purpose that also aligns with the broad global consensus (मतैक्य/अनुकूलता).


1. Referendum: the principle or practice of submitting to popular vote a measure passed on or proposed by a legislative body or by popular initiative
Synonyms: public vote, plebiscite, popular vote, ballot, poll

2. Allies: A state formally cooperating with another for a military or other purpose
Synonyms: associate, colleague, friend, confederate, partner, supporter, accomplice, helper, accessory, abetter
Antonyms: enemy, opponent

3. Abstain: Restrain oneself from doing or enjoying something
Synonyms: refrain, desist, hold back, forbear, keep, renounce, avoid, shun, eschew, abandon, abjure, forgo, go without, do without, refuse, decline
Antonyms: indulge in

4. Overwhelming: to subject to incapacitating emotional or mental stress
Synonyms: crush, devastate, floor, grind (down), oppress, overcome, overmaster, overpower, prostrate, snow under, swamp, whelm
Words Related To Overwhelm: avalanche, smother, deluge, drown, sink, confute, defeat, refute, break, demoralize, distress, disturb, rock, shatter, stagger, throw, unman, unnerve, upset

5. Defied: to go against the commands, prohibitions, or rules of
Synomyns: disobey, mock, rebel (against)
Words Related to Defy: disoblige, mutiny (against), revolt (against), disregard, ignore, overlook, overpass, pass over, tune out, brush off, dismiss, flout, pooh-pooh (also pooh), reject, scoff (at), scorn, shrug off, wink (at)

6. Derision: a person or thing that is made fun of
Synonyms: butt, laughingstock, jest, joke, mark, mock, mockery, sport, target
Antonyms: chump, dupe, fall guy, fool, gull, monkey, pigeon, sap, sucker, victim

7. Epithets: a descriptive or familiar name given instead of or in addition to the one belonging to an individual
Synonyms: alias, byname, cognomen, nickname, handle, moniker (also monicker), sobriquet (also soubriquet), surname
Antonyms: appellation, denomination, denotation, designation, label, tag, title, anonym, nom de guerre, nom de plume, pen name, pseudonym

8. Bullies: A person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable.
Synonyms: awesome, bang-up, banner, beautiful, blue-chip, blue-ribbon, boffo, bonny, dynamite, fab, fabulous, famous, fantabulous [slang], fantastic, fine, first-class, first-rate, first-string, five-star, four-star, frontline
Words Related To Bullies: acceptable, adequate, all right, decent, good, OK (or okay), passable, satisfactory, tolerable, better, exceptional, fancy, high-grade, high-test, premium, select, special, superfine, classical, standard, traditional

9. Unilaterally: Used to indicate that something is done by only one person, group, or country involved in a situation, without the agreement of others.

10. Contours: a line that traces the outer limits of an object or surface
Synonyms: outline, figure, silhouette
Words Related: delineation, sketch, cast, configuration, conformation, form, geometry, shape, framework, skeleton

11. Impending: being soon to appear or take place
Synonyms: approaching, coming, imminent, forthcoming, nearing, oncoming, pending, proximate, upcoming
Antonyms: bygone, erstwhile, foregone, former, old, onetime, other, past, quondam, sometime, whilom

12. Consensus: the state of being of one opinion about something
Synonyms: accord, concurrence, concurrency, agreement, unanimity, unison
Antonyms: conflict, disagreement, dissensus, dissent, opposition, resistance, disapprobation, disapproval, disfavor

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