JERUSALEM — Clashes between Israelis and Palestinians erupted overnight in Jerusalem as hundreds of supporters of an extremist Jewish supremacy group staged a march, chanting “Death to Arabs,” near the Old City.
The violence was the culmination of building tensions between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem and elsewhere over the past couple weeks. Palestinian media reported that 78 Palestinians were injured and 15 of them were treated in hospitals. About 20 Israeli police officers and at least 16 Israeli civilians were hurt as well.
More than 50 people were arrested in the melee, both in predominantly Palestinian East Jerusalem and mostly Jewish West Jerusalem, according to the police. The city’s mayor, Moshe Lion, said he had asked the police to ban the extremist group’s demonstration but had been told that was impossible.
“There is no doubt that it was superfluous,” Mr. Lion told Kan, Israel’s public radio. “It did not add to the quiet that we need now.”
in a statement for “responsible voices” to urge an end to incitement and to restore calm in the city.
chanting “Allahu akbar,” or God is Great, and “Martyrs are marching to Jerusalem in their millions,” a Palestinian rallying cry.
WASHINGTON — Stuart Force says he found solace on Facebook after his son was stabbed to death in Israel by a member of the militant group Hamas in 2016. He turned to the site to read hundreds of messages offering condolences on his son’s page.
But only a few months later, Mr. Force had decided that Facebook was partly to blame for the death, because the algorithms that power the social network helped spread Hamas’s content. He joined relatives of other terror victims in suing the company, arguing that its algorithms aided the crimes by regularly amplifying posts that encouraged terrorist attacks.
The legal case ended unsuccessfully last year when the Supreme Court declined to take it up. But arguments about the algorithms’ power have reverberated in Washington, where some members of Congress are citing the case in an intense debate about the law that shields tech companies from liability for content posted by users.
At a House hearing on Thursday about the spread of misinformation with the chief executives of Facebook, Twitter and Google, some lawmakers are expected to focus on how the companies’ algorithms are written to generate revenue by surfacing posts that users are inclined to click on and respond to. And some will argue that the law that protects the social networks from liability, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, should be changed to hold the companies responsible when their software turns the services from platforms into accomplices for crimes committed offline.
litigation group, which had a question: Would the Force family be willing to sue Facebook?
After Mr. Force spent some time on a Facebook page belonging to Hamas, the family agreed to sue. The lawsuit fit into a broader effort by the Forces to limit the resources and tools available to Palestinian groups. Mr. Force and his wife allied with lawmakers in Washington to pass legislation restricting aid to the Palestinian Authority, which governs part of the West Bank.
Their lawyers argued in an American court that Facebook gave Hamas “a highly developed and sophisticated algorithm that facilitates Hamas’s ability to reach and engage an audience it could not otherwise reach as effectively.” The lawsuit said Facebook’s algorithms had not only amplified posts but aided Hamas by recommending groups, friends and events to users.
The federal district judge, in New York, ruled against the claims, citing Section 230. The lawyers for the Force family appealed to a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and two of the judges ruled entirely for Facebook. The other, Judge Robert Katzmann, wrote a 35-page dissent to part of the ruling, arguing that Facebook’s algorithmic recommendations shouldn’t be covered by the legal protections.
“Mounting evidence suggests that providers designed their algorithms to drive users toward content and people the users agreed with — and that they have done it too well, nudging susceptible souls ever further down dark paths,” he said.
Late last year, the Supreme Court rejected a call to hear a different case that would have tested the Section 230 shield. In a statement attached to the court’s decision, Justice Clarence Thomas called for the court to consider whether Section 230’s protections had been expanded too far, citing Mr. Force’s lawsuit and Judge Katzmann’s opinion.
Justice Thomas said the court didn’t need to decide in the moment whether to rein in the legal protections. “But in an appropriate case, it behooves us to do so,” he said.
Some lawmakers, lawyers and academics say recognition of the power of social media’s algorithms in determining what people see is long overdue. The platforms usually do not reveal exactly what factors the algorithms use to make decisions and how they are weighed against one another.
“Amplification and automated decision-making systems are creating opportunities for connection that are otherwise not possible,” said Olivier Sylvain, a professor of law at Fordham University, who has made the argument in the context of civil rights. “They’re materially contributing to the content.”
That argument has appeared in a series of lawsuits that contend Facebook should be responsible for discrimination in housing when its platform could target advertisements according to a user’s race. A draft bill produced by Representative Yvette D. Clarke, Democrat of New York, would strip Section 230 immunity from targeted ads that violated civil rights law.
A bill introduced last year by Representatives Tom Malinowski of New Jersey and Anna G. Eshoo of California, both Democrats, would strip Section 230 protections from social media platforms when their algorithms amplified content that violated some antiterrorism and civil rights laws. The news release announcing the bill, which was reintroduced on Wednesday, cited the Force family’s lawsuit against Facebook. Mr. Malinowski said he had been inspired in part by Judge Katzmann’s dissent.
Critics of the legislation say it may violate the First Amendment and, because there are so many algorithms on the web, could sweep up a wider range of services than lawmakers intend. They also say there’s a more fundamental problem: Regulating algorithmic amplification out of existence wouldn’t eliminate the impulses that drive it.
“There’s a thing you kind of can’t get away from,” said Daphne Keller, the director of the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center, “which is human demand for garbage content.”
JABA, West Bank — When Joe Biden was elected president, residents of the tiny hilltop village of Jaba in the occupied West Bank cheered.
They hope the new American president will restore funding to a project to transform a rundown school in their village into a modern facility by adding an impressive three-story building with a library, a new science lab, more classrooms, an office for social workers and a shaded basketball court.
Work on the project stopped in 2019 after the Trump administration effectively ended aid to the Palestinians.
Jaba, home to about 1,300 residents near Bethlehem, is set on a series of small rolling hills that straddle Israel and a string of settlements. It has few businesses; its sole medical clinic operates one day a week; and its streets are narrow. It also suffers from a housing shortage because it is in an area where Israel rarely allows new construction.
The original plan to expand the school would have represented one of the village’s most significant upgrades in the past decade. It would have allowed it to increase its student body from 80 to 250, including 50 girls.
“We hope Biden will find a way to rectify the cruel decision to halt funding to the school,” said Jaba’s mayor, Diab Mashala, sipping coffee in his spacious living room. “It is vital to the future of our children.”
Many Jaba residents were excited about the school’s expansion because it would have made grades 11 and 12 available in the village. Students in those two grades must now travel to a larger school in the neighboring village of Surif, a one-and-a-half-mile journey that parents complain can be dangerous because of occasional assaults by ultranationalist settlers.
“I would feel much less anxious if my son could learn in our village,” said Muheeb Abu Louha whose son studies in Surif.
Along the trek between the villages, students must bypass a large roadblock — an orange gate surrounded by piles of burned trash and mounds of dirt — and then walk the rest of the way or hail a taxi or minibus. The only other option is a circuitous 30-minute car ride.
Humam al-Tos, a senior, said settlers have hurled stones at him more than once.
“It’s terrifying,” said Mr. al-Tos, 18, who hopes to study mechanical engineering in Turkey. “When the army comes, they stop them. But when the army isn’t in the area, they do what they want.”
The Israeli military would not say whether it was aware of settlers attacking students between Jaba and Surif, but said it “does not stand by” when it witnesses violence. And on a warm day in mid-February uniformed boys and girls walked along the narrow road without incident.
The roadblock has not been removed, Israeli security officials said, because the road does not meet Israel’s safety requirements and the Palestinian Authority must submit to Israel a plan to repair it before any efforts to reopen the road can begin.
Palestinian officials did not respond to requests for comment.
The school itself is a symbol — one example of how the Palestinians hope the United States will restore relations with them.
During a recent tour of the partially built structure in Jaba, layers of dirt, dust and trash were collecting in its interior, rebar protruded from its rooftop and walls of exposed concrete blocks appeared to be weathered.
In late February, the United Nations Development Program and the Education Cannot Wait fund solicited bids for completing a small part of the project, but program officials said while they would work to make an 11th-grade classroom available, there were no funds to construct a 12th-grade one. It also said it would install a multipurpose room and a canteen.
For handicapped students, the project is crucial because it would be much easier not to have to travel to Surif. “Finishing high school here would be a difference-maker for me,” said Khader Abu Latifa, 14, a ninth grader who has a muscle-related disease.
Khader started walking at the age of eight but he still struggles to take steps. He said he hoped his father would drive him to Surif when he entered 12th grade, but worried the older man would not always be available to give him a ride.
And for a handful of girls, the school project embodies their only hope to obtain an education.
Several religiously conservative families in the village refuse to allow their daughters to study in other towns, forcing them to drop out before completing high school, said Mr. Mashala. “Giving these girls the option to complete their studies could be transformative for them,” he said.
But while a number of people in Jaba say they are optimistic that the Biden administration will restore the needed funding, bipartisan legislation known as the Taylor Force Act, signed into law by Mr. Trump in 2018, could complicate efforts to do that.
The act restricts the U.S. government’s ability to disburse aid that “directly benefits” the Palestinian Authority as long as the authority pays salaries to families of Palestinian security prisoners and slain attackers.
Analysts, however, said that what “directly benefits” the Palestinian Authority must be defined by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“Would funding construction of this school, which is controlled by the Palestinian government, be considered direct support of the Palestinian Authority? It may or may not be,” said Joel Branould, an expert on U.S. law surrounding foreign aid to the Palestinians. “It is up to the secretary of state to decide.”
A State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. looks forward to resuming economic and humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, but would do so in a manner consistent with relevant U.S. law.
The Palestinian Authority hasn’t announced plans for any significant reforms to its highly popular payment system in the coming months.
Mr. Mashala, who has been mayor since 2017, questioned the logic of holding students accountable for policies they had no part in developing.
“Our kids have nothing to do with politics,” he said. “They are totally innocent. Why should they pay the price for something they have nothing to do with?”
Hours after the interview was broadcast in the U.S. on Sunday, Britain was already grappling with the shock wave rippling out across the Atlantic, exposing a deep royal rift.
For many Black Britons, in particular, the interview offered a scathing assessment of the royal family and resurfaced barely submerged tensions over entrenched racism.
Recap: Meghan Markle made dramatic disclosures, including that there were “concerns and conversations about how dark” her son Archie’s skin might be when she was pregnant with him. (Harry later said neither Queen Elizabeth II nor Prince Philip was the source of that comment.) Meghan also disclosed that her life as a member of the royal family had become so emotionally desolate that she contemplated suicide. When she asked for help, she said, palace officials rebuffed her. Here’s what else we learned.
Reactions: The interview left the country divided, with major news outlets publishing biting commentary. On social media, some denounced the couple’s infidelity to the family, while others firmly defended them. The palace has not yet responded, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to stay out of royal matters.
attracted 17.1 million viewers on CBS, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. The program is airing in Britain Monday night.
setting up makeshift operations on university campuses, hospitals and Buddhist pagoda complexes.
On Sunday, security forces stormed Yangon General Hospital and universities in Mandalay. “I think they are trying to prepare for a brutal war against the people,” a security guard at Mandalay Technological University said. The abbot of the Mahamuni Buddha Temple in Mandalay said that soldiers had taken over the pagoda’s grounds for a month.
U Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations, gave the U.N. General Assembly the defiant three-finger salute adopted by the protest movement, calling the military rule illegitimate. The generals fired him, but his replacement refused the job and the U.N. declined to recognize his dismissal, so he remains at his post.
plans to vaccinate at least 110,000 Palestinians over the next two weeks, including about 80,000 employed in Israel and about 30,000 employed in the West Bank.
Israel has outpaced the rest of the world in vaccinating its own citizens, including Jewish settlers in the West Bank, but has faced intense criticism for providing only token amounts of vaccine for Palestinians living under its control. The new vaccination campaign was worked out with the Palestinian Authority more than a month ago and approved by the Israeli government late last month.
episodes of high heat and high humidity that go beyond the limits of human survival, according to a new study.
Extreme heat and high humidity prevent the body from cooling down, stressing the cardiovascular system. The tropics, a region that encircles Earth at the Equator, is home to more than 3 billion people. Above, Aceh, Indonesia, part of the region.
Here’s what else is happening
Australia murder case: In 2003, a court sentenced Kathleen Folbigg to 40 years in prison for smothering her four children, with tabloids calling her a murderer. But after years of her claiming innocence, saying the children died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, 90 scientists say she is right and are demanding her release.
George Floyd: Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in connection with Mr. Floyd’s death. Mr. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Afghan peace: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has proposed a United Nations-led peace conference in Turkey aimed at forming an inclusive Afghan government with the Taliban and establishing a three-month reduction in violence leading to a cease-fire. The U.S. has not decided whether to withdraw its remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by May 1.
Foreign Affairs article by Cai Xia, a former Chinese Communist Party insider, on why she backed away from Beijing.
Now, a break from the news
Thai curry risotto, effortlessly lending lots of flavor.
Read: Imbolo Mbue’s “How Beautiful We Were” is set in an African village ravaged by an American oil conglomerate. What starts as a David-and-Goliath story slowly transforms into a nuanced exploration of self-interest, of what it means to want in the age of capitalism and colonialism.
Do: Here are five workouts that take less than 10 minutes.
Let us help you discover an interesting pastime. At Home has ideas on what to read, cook, watch, and do while staying safe at home.
And now for the Back Story on …
A translator’s book recommendations
The prolific translator Margaret Jull Costa, who has brought Portuguese- and Spanish-language fiction and poetry into the English-speaking world, spoke to our Books desk about what she’s reading.
What books are on your night stand?
Well, none, since I never read in bed, but there’s always a pile next to my favorite chair. At the moment, this includes “Buddenbrooks,” which we’re reading with a group of friends, “Le Château de Ma Mère,” by Marcel Pagnol, which my husband and I are reading with our French tutor, a collection of novellas and short stories by the Portuguese writer Maria Judite de Carvalho, who I’m keen to translate more of. And Michael Gorra’s “Portrait of a Novel,” about the writing of “Portrait of a Lady” (possibly my favorite novel), which has been on my pile for far too long and should be read soon.
P.S. • We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is the second part of our look at the biggest issues facing the Biden administration. • Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Sounds from owls (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here. • The Times won 127 awards in the Society for News Design’s Best of Digital Design competition. The Best in Show award went to our piece “Who Gets to Breathe Clean Air in New Delhi?”
“People on the conservative side saw this as an example of the weakness and absence of the Palestinian Authority, and the impotence of the Palestinian condition,” said Sari Nusseibeh, a Palestinian intellectual and former head of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem. Though Palestinian society was once more accepting of diversity, it has grown more conservative in recent years as the struggle for statehood sputtered and some Palestinians turned to tradition and religion to sustain their identity, Prof. Nusseibeh said.
Ms. Abdulhadi was born on the eve of a more hopeful time, in October 1990. Her family had been living in exile in Jordan since 1969, after the Israeli authorities expelled her grandmother, Issam Abdulhadi, a leading women’s rights activist.
But as peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians gathered pace in the early 1990s, Israel allowed certain exiled leaders to return with their families, in a gesture of good will. Among them were Issam and her family, including young Sama’ and her older brother and sister. Her father, Saad, is a publisher and events manager, and her mother, Samira Hulaileh, runs a forum for businesswomen. She met for this interview in their hilltop home, as Ms. Hulaileh served homemade lamb dumplings.
As a child, Ms. Abdulhadi was always a trailblazer. With her grandmother, she successfully lobbied her headmaster to let her form a girls’ soccer team (she later played for the national team). As a teenager, she organized hip-hop battles and break-dancing events, and acquaintances from the time remember her as a powerful presence.
“It was the same feeling that you still get today,” said Derrar Ghanem, a contemporary who also later helped build Ramallah’s electronic music scene. “She walks in and you think, ‘Who’s that?’”
Ms. Abdulhadi began to experiment as a D.J. amid the second intifada, the Palestinian uprising that killed about 1,000 Israelis and 3,000 Palestinians during the early 2000s. She used her father’s sound equipment to play music at friends’ events.