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    A Wall Street Law Firm Wants to Define Consequences of Anti-Israel Protests

    Sullivan & Cromwell is requiring job applicants to explain their participation in protests. Critics see the policy as a way to silence speech about the war.For as long as students at colleges across the United States have protested the war in Gaza, they’ve drawn the fury of some of the financial world’s mightiest figures — investors, lawyers and bankers — who have flexed their financial power over universities, toppling school leaders in the process.It didn’t stop the students. The protests intensified this year until campuses emptied out for the summer.Now, a prominent Wall Street law firm is taking a more direct approach with protesters. Sullivan & Cromwell, a 145-year-old firm that has counted Goldman Sachs and Amazon among its clients, says that, for job applicants, participation in an anti-Israel protest — on campus or off — could be a disqualifying factor.The firm is scrutinizing students’ behavior with the help of a background check company, looking at their involvement with pro-Palestinian student groups, scouring social media and reviewing news reports and footage from protests. It is looking for explicit instances of antisemitism as well as statements and slogans it has deemed to be “triggering” to Jews, said Joseph C. Shenker, a leader of Sullivan & Cromwell.Candidates could face scrutiny even if they weren’t using problematic language but were involved with a protest where others did. The protesters should be responsible for the behavior of those around them, Mr. Shenker said, or else they were embracing a “mob mentality.” Sullivan & Cromwell wouldn’t say if it had already dropped candidates because of the policy.“People are taking their outrage about what’s going on in Gaza and turning it into racist antisemitism,” Mr. Shenker said.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Columbia Removes Three Deans, Saying Texts Touched on ‘Antisemitic Tropes’

    Nemat Shafik, the university president, called the sentiments in the text messages “unacceptable and deeply upsetting.”Three Columbia University administrators have been removed from their posts after sending text messages that “disturbingly touched on ancient antisemitic tropes” during a forum about Jewish issues in May, according to a letter sent by Columbia officials to the university community on Monday.The administrators are still employed by the university but have been placed on indefinite leave and will not return to their previous jobs.Nemat Shafik, the Columbia president, described the sentiments in the text messages as “unacceptable and deeply upsetting, conveying a lack of seriousness about the concerns and the experiences of members of our Jewish community.” She said the messages were “antithetical to our university’s values and the standards.”The announcement came about a month after a conservative website published photos that showed some of the text messages sent by the administrators.And it followed weeks of unrest at Columbia over the war in Gaza as the university emerged as the center of a nationwide protest movement. Pro-Palestinian demonstrations led Dr. Shafik to order the arrest of students on trespassing charges this spring. In late April, protesters occupied a campus building, leading to more arrests. In May, citing security concerns, the university canceled its main commencement ceremony.The three Columbia administrators involved in the text message exchanges are Cristen Kromm, formerly the dean of undergraduate student life; Matthew Patashnick, formerly the associate dean for student and family support; and Susan Chang-Kim, formerly the vice dean and chief administrative officer. They did not immediately respond to requests for comment.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    France’s New Popular Front Was Formed to Keep Far Right From Power

    Even as vote counting was still underway across France on Sunday night, one thing was clear: The left-wing coalition called the New Popular Front did much better than expected and helped deny the far right a victory.Projections show the coalition coming out in front and gaining dozens of seats — a feat for an alliance that was forged only last month with the goal of keeping the far-right National Rally from power. The alliance includes four left-wing parties: Communists, Socialists, Greens and the far-left party, France Unbowed. While many in France cheered what appeared to be a loss for the far right, others were fearful of what the far left might bring.Last week, after the first vote in a two-round election, the coalition withdrew more than 130 of its candidates from three-way races in which the far right had a chance of winning — and pushed their supporters to vote strategically against far-right candidates.The strategy appeared to have worked.Despite the apparent win for the left, the polls showed that no party or alliance got an absolute majority that would make it the likely choice to form a government. Still, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, founder of France Unbowed, a pugnacious and divisive figure, quickly declared that his party was not willing to negotiate to form a coalition government. Instead, he demanded that the left-wing alliance be given the reins to govern so it could implement its “entire program.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    After 9 Months of War, Israelis Call for a Cease-Fire Deal and Elections

    A day of nationwide anti-government protests comes amid signs of progress toward a truce and hostage deal with Hamas, as well as continued fighting.Israelis on Sunday marked nine months since the devastating Hamas-led attack of Oct. 7 and the start of the ensuing war in Gaza with a nationwide day of anti-government protests at a time that many here view as a pivotal juncture in the conflict.Primarily calling for a cease-fire deal with Hamas that would see hostages return from captivity and for new elections in Israel, protesters brought morning traffic to a standstill at several major intersections in cities and on highways across the country. By lunchtime, much of central Tel Aviv was blocked in one of the biggest protests in months.Some progress has been made in recent days for a resumption of negotiations toward a tentative deal after weeks of an impasse, even as the fighting continues in Gaza, where an Israeli strike hit in the area of a U.N. school on Saturday, and across Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.But many Israelis, among them the families of some of the hostages, fear that the cease-fire efforts could be torpedoed not only by Hamas, but also by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel who, they say, might prioritize the survival of his government over a deal that could topple it.The leaders of two ultranationalist parties who are key elements of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition have threatened to bring the government down if the prime minister agrees to a deal before Hamas is fully destroyed — a goal that many officials and experts consider unattainable.The far-right parties in the governing coalition “don’t want a deal,” Shikma Bressler, a protest leader, said in a social media post early Sunday, adding, “They need Armageddon.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Israeli Leaders to Discuss Hamas Response on Cease-Fire Proposal

    Mediators have renewed discussions about a cease-fire proposal, but wide gaps remain between Israel’s government and Hamas.Israeli ministers were set to meet on Thursday evening to discuss Hamas’s response to a new proposal for a truce in Gaza and the release of hostages, even as an unusually large rocket and drone attack by Hezbollah, the Lebanese armed group, sparked wildfires on the country’s northern border.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel greenlit a new delegation of negotiators to engage in more in-depth talks with mediators following Hamas’s response, said an Israeli official who circulated a written statement to reporters on condition of anonymity. Such meetings have been rare for the past several weeks as negotiations ground to a halt in June. Regional mediators — mostly Qatar and Egypt — have sought to revive dormant talks about a cease-fire in Gaza after nearly nine months of war. The Biden administration hopes that a truce in Gaza will allow Israel and Hezbollah, which has been firing at Israel in solidarity with Hamas, to reach a diplomatic settlement as well.The discussions are based on a three-stage framework deal publicized by President Biden in late May and endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. Last week, Qatari mediators sent Hamas possible amendments in an effort to bridge gaps between the two sides. Hamas had demanded stronger guarantees to limit Israel’s ability to call off the agreement and return to battle before the second stage of the agreement, which would see a permanent cease-fire. On Wednesday, Hamas announced that it had “exchanged some ideas” with the mediators on the cease-fire deal, saying it was “dealing positively” with ongoing talks on the matter. They also submitted a formal response that was ultimately transferred to Israel for examination, the Israeli government said. A second Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said on Wednesday night that wide gaps between the sides remained but that Hamas’s response left potential to move forward in the talks. The official declined to offer further details.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    President Biden and Donald Trump, Some Tough Questions for Each of You

    The stakes in this year’s presidential election are the greatest in my lifetime. So as a way to frame the choice before voters, I offer these foreign policy questions for President Biden and Donald Trump in the debate on Thursday:President Biden, for months you called on Israel to refrain from invading Rafah and to allow more food into Gaza. Yet Israel did invade Rafah, and half a million Gazans are reported starving. Haven’t you been ignored? And isn’t that because of your tendency to overestimate how much you can charm people — Senate Republicans, Xi Jinping, Benjamin Netanyahu — to cooperate with you? When will you move beyond charm and use serious leverage to try to achieve peace in the Middle East?Mr. Trump, the Abraham Accords you achieved among Israel and several Arab countries were a legitimate foreign policy success, but you largely bypassed Palestinians. Perhaps as a result, those accords may have been a reason Hamas undertook its terror attack on Israel on Oct. 7, to prevent Saudi Arabia from joining and recognizing Israel. So did the Abraham Accords bring peace or sow the seeds of war? Isn’t it a mistake to ignore Palestinians and to give Israel what it wants, such as moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, without getting anything in return?President Biden, you have been pushing a plan for Gaza that involves a cease-fire and a three-way deal with Saudi Arabia, America and Israel ending in a path to Palestinian statehood. Maybe it’ll come together, but if not, what’s your Plan B? If this war drags on, or expands to include Lebanon and perhaps Iran, how do you propose to deal with the Middle East more effectively than you’ve dealt with it so far?Mr. Trump, you’ve suggested that Israel is taking too long to finish the war in Gaza. So what precisely are you advocating? Are you saying that Israel should use more 2,000-pound bombs to level even more of Gaza and kill many more civilians? Or are you saying that Israel should cut a deal that leaves Hamas in place and then pull out?President Biden, Iran has enriched uranium to close to bomb-grade levels. In days or weeks, it could probably produce enough fuel for three nuclear weapons (though mastering a delivery system would take longer). Can we live with an Iran that is a quasi-nuclear power? What is the alternative?Mr. Trump, the reason Iran is so close to having nuclear weapons is that you pulled out of the international nuclear deal in 2018, leading Iran to greatly accelerate its nuclear program. Since you created this dangerous situation, how do you suggest we get out of it? If you are president again, do you contemplate solving this problem through a war with Iran — one that might now involve nuclear weapons? Or will you accept a nuclear Iran as the consequence of your historic mistake?We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    South by Southwest Cuts Ties to Army After Gaza-Inspired Boycott

    The festival said it would no longer be sponsored by the U.S. Army or weapons manufacturers, which had prompted artists to withdraw from this year’s gathering.The South by Southwest festival, which dozens of artists withdrew from this year to protest its sponsorship by the U.S. Army and defense contractors in light of their ties to Israel, announced this week that it would no longer accept their support.“After careful consideration, we are revising our sponsorship model,” the festival, which is held each year in Austin, Texas, said in a brief statement on its website. “As a result, the U.S. Army, and companies who engage in weapons manufacturing, will not be sponsors of SXSW 2025.”No further details were offered, and SXSW declined to elaborate on the statement.A group called the Austin for Palestine Coalition said in a social media post in March, at the time of the festival, that more than 80 bands, artists and panelists had declined to attend “in solidarity with Palestine.”The Army hopes to work with SXSW again some day.“We look forward to a chance to work together in the future,” said Lt. Col. Jamie Dobson, the public affairs officer at the Army Futures Command in Austin, which works on technology and innovation. “A.F.C. loves being here in Austin. It’s a great community. And we were very proud of the partnership we had this past year.”She added, “We had a really good experience, especially on the innovation side, connecting with industry partners, technology leaders, everyone that gets pulled in.”Ibrahim Batshon, the chief executive of a digital music licensing platform called BeatStars, participated in the March boycott and said in an interview on Wednesday that he was pleased by the decision from SXSW, which he had attended for nearly 20 years.“We’ve always been huge fans and supporters of this multicultural art and music and film festival that has been a staple in artists’ lives,” he said.Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a Republican, had dismissed the protesters in March, writing on social media, “Bye. Don’t come back,” and noting the state’s ties to the military. “We are proud of the U.S. military in Texas,” he wrote. “If you don’t like it, don’t come here.”Numerous cultural institutions around the country and the world have faced protests related to Israel and its conduct during the war in Gaza. More

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    Bowman Falls to Latimer in House Primary in New York

    Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York, one of Congress’s most outspoken progressives, suffered a stinging primary defeat on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, unable to overcome a record-shattering campaign from pro-Israel groups and a slate of self-inflicted blunders.Mr. Bowman was defeated by George Latimer, the Westchester County executive, in a race that became the year’s ugliest intraparty brawl and the most expensive House primary in history.It began last fall when Mr. Bowman stepped forward as one of the leading critics of how Israelis carrying out their war with Hamas. But the contest grew into a broader proxy fight around the future of the Democratic Party, exposing painful fractures over race, class and ideology in a diverse district that includes parts of Westchester County and the Bronx.Mr. Bowman, the district’s first Black congressman and a committed democratic socialist, never wavered from his calls for a cease-fire in Gaza or left-wing economic priorities. Down in the polls, he repeatedly accused his white opponent of racism and used expletives in denouncing the pro-Israel groups as a “Zionist regime” trying to buy the election.His positions on the war and economic issues electrified the national progressives, who undertook an 11th-hour rescue mission led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. But they ultimately did little to win over skeptical voters and only emboldened his adversaries.A super PAC affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby, dumped $15 million into defeating him, more than any outside group has ever spent on a House race.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More