Hackers Attack Israeli Sites

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Hackers attacked Israeli web sites en masse today. Haaretz and AP reported that government web sites experienced some disruptions, “but the damage appeared minimal.”

Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, of the government’s National Cyber Bureau, said hackers had mostly failed to shut down key sites.

“So far it is as was expected, there is hardly any real damage,” Ben Yisrael said. “Anonymous doesn’t have the skills to damage the country’s vital infrastructure. And if that was its intention, then it wouldn’t have announced the attack ahead of time. It wants to create noise in the media about issues that are close to its heart,” he said.

Other unimpressed experts told the Jerusalem Post the attacks “suit amateur children.” Tweets from @BenjaminTudela had me laughing.


2. Jerusalem Post: Palestinian journalists are harassing and inciting violence against their Israeli counterparts. In one example:

In a similar incident, Ohad Hemo, who covers Palestinian affairs for Channel 2, said that activists had threatened him and his crew when he arrived at central Ramallah’s Manara Square to cover a rally.

Palestinian activists and journalists also published photos on Facebook depicting what they said was an assault against another Israeli journalist in Ramallah. One of the photos featured the correspondent’s smashed microphone on the ground after the assault.

It has become dangerous for Israeli reporters to enter Palestinian cities, mainly because of the incitement by some Palestinian journalists,” a veteran Israeli correspondent told The Jerusalem Post.

3. The Times of London reports that Hamas is now training Syrian rebels:

Other sources suggested that Hamas trainers were helping the FSA to dig tunnels beneath at least one contested area of Damascus in preparation for a widely expected assault on the city centre . . .

A Palestinian source from Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp said that it was common knowledge that a few hundred Hamas militants were fighting alongside the FSA in the Yarmouk and Neirab Palestinian camps in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria’s commercial capital.

4. Amira Hass’s Brazen Support for Violence: Alex Margolin weighs in on Amira Hass and the Haaretz columnist’s paean to Palestinian stone-throwers.

5. We put together a slideshow of remarkable quotes about news, journalism, propaganda, power, mind control, truth, reality, and other influences on society.


Israel and the Palestinians

Nahum Shahaf discussed his long-time opposition to the Mohammed al-Dura video with the Times of Israel.

After Palestinian protests got out of hand, the UNRWA suspended its Gaza operations.

I never heard of Iain Banks before, but he’s a writer who supports the anti-Israel BDS movement. He won’t let his books be marketed in Israel, but  judging from this op-ed in The Guardian‘s print edition, Israelis aren’t missing anything. ‘Nuff said.

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Israel today to push the peace process. More at the Wall Street Journal (via Google News).

The Teachers’ Union of  Ireland approves all-out academic boycott of Israel.

Norway‘s foreign minister angry that aid money went to salaries of convicted terrorists.

Good heads up at the IDF for flagging photo fakery. The image, a hand handcuffed to a hospital bed with an Arabic caption claiming this was Maysara Abu Hamdiya as he was dying of cancer was floating around social media.

The IDF discovered that the photo is really of a hospitalized Syrian rebel — photographed in December. Indeed, the Free Syrian Army posted this image near the end of 2012. An official Hamas twitter feed, @AlqassamBrigades tweeted the photo as Hamdiya, then subsequently deleted the tweet  from Twitter. But not from its Twicsy archive.

The caption claims to be Maysara Abu Hamdiya, but it's really a Syrian rebel.

The caption claims to be Maysara Abu Hamdiya, but it's really a Syrian rebel.


Rest O’ the Roundup

Although Iran can’t be pleased with Israel-Turkey rapprochement, the mullahs are perceiving Jerusalem’s Mavi Marmara apology as a sign of weakness. After all, if Recep Tayyip Erdogan can push Israel around, so can Tehran. See the Jerusalem Post’s analysis.

Washington Post columnist Mchael Gerson weighs in on Iranian anti-Semitic incitment:

David Ignatius: American public war fatigue may undermine Washington’s ability to militarily intervene in Iran or Syria.

• Syria’s sending militia members to Iran training. Reuters writes:

“It was an urban warfare course that lasted 15 days. The trainers said it’s the same course Hezbollah operatives normally do,” said Samer, a Christian member of a pro-Assad militia fighting in rural parts of Homs province in central Syria.

Egyptian court throws out lawsuit against satirist Bassem Youssef. This AP snippet is either a ray of encouragement for freedom of expression, or another example of Calvinball in Cairo. Or a bit of both . . .

Judge Hassouna Tawfiq said the court dropped the complaint against Bassem Youssef’s “ElBernameg,” or “The Program,” because the plaintiff did not have an interest in the case. Youssef still faces other investigations related to the show, but the ruling may set a precedent.

I can’t imagine why anyone in his right mind would want to be prime minister of Lebanon now.  Meet Tamam Salam, the new cannon fodder whose immediate task is to form a national unity government of technocrats. Take your pick of AP, NY Times, or BBC coverage.

For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.