US calls for full power transfer in Syria
Washington —US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out a Syria strategy calling for a full transfer of power from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, a senior State Department official said. “We can’t break faith with the Syrian people who want real change,” said the official who briefed reporters on Clinton’s meeting here with officials from 16 regional and European powers.
Clinton set forth “essential elements and principles that we believe should guide that post Assad transition strategy, including Assad’s full transfer of power,” the official said.
Israel to build 850 homes in West Bank
Jerusalem—Israel’s plans to build hundreds of new homes in Jewish West Bank settlements have put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at odds again with Washington and the Palestinians, without appeasing settlers furious over the government’s plan to dismantle an illegally built settler enclave.
On Wednesday, officials announced the government would build 850 apartments after parliament, at Netanyahu’s urging, voted down a bill that would have legalized the Ulpana enclave and other settler outposts built illegally on privately held Palestinian land.
NJ Muslims file federal suit to stop NYPD spying
Washington—One of the Obama administration’s go-to civil rights groups in its efforts to build relationships with American Muslims is suing the New York Police Department over its surveillance programs, some of which were paid for with federal money. Eight Muslims filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday in New Jersey to force the NYPD to end its surveillance and other intelligence-gathering practices targeting Muslims in the years after the 2001 terrorist attacks. The lawsuit alleged that the NYPD’s activities were unconstitutional because they focused on people’s religion, national origin and race.
Learning from the Nakba
Ziad AsaliWE quickly gathered some possessions and climbed down and up the mountain to Bethany, and then to Jericho. We eventually resettled as refugees in Arab East Jerusalem. Because I was a graduating medical student at the American University of Beirut during the war of 1967, I became a double-refugee. After finishing my residency training in the United States, I returned to Jerusalem to practice medicine, but Israeli military officials denied me permission to stay. Thus it was that I became part of the first generation of my family in over 600 years to build a life outside of Jerusalem. Mine is one of three families studied by the Israeli historian Dror Ze’Evi in his book about Jerusalem in the 1600s. It was years later, as an American citizen, that I returned to visit the city of my birth.