Hackers Post False Syria Stories on Reuters Platform

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Today’s Top Stories

1. The Palestinians will apply to the UN General Assembly for non-member status on Sept. 27. Best coverage of the development goes to the Jerusalem Post‘s Khaled Abu Toameh. In a separate commentary, Toameh calls the gambit a ploy to distract the Palestinians from financial insolvency and the failure of national unity efforts:

Abbas is hoping to divert attention from his problems at home by embarking on a new “adventure” at the UN. From now until September, he is hoping to keep everyone busy with the new statehood bid at the UN.

Civil servants who are not receiving full salaries will be asked to stay quiet because their president is too busy waging a diplomatic intifada against the US and Israel at the UN.

Hamas will be asked to remain quiet and stop criticizing him because Abbas is “fighting in the international arena” to achieve UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

2. Hackers managed to take over a Reuters blogging platform to post false stories from Syria. Reuters announced that it took the blog offline while it looked into the problem. The Lede rounds up the links, and cached copies of the posts.

3. The Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp — home to 148,500 registered refugees — was shelled by the Syrian army, killing 21. According to Maan News:

The sources told Ma’an that the camp was being attacked with mortar shells, artillery shells, and heavy machine guns. A mortar shell landed on the office of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command causing serious material damage.

The shelling prompted Jonathan Schanzer (CNN) to note that Assad has lost his identity of “resistance” as nearly every Palestinian faction is distancing itself from Damascus. Do the Syrian rebels carry the new banner of resistance?

To be sure, many Palestinians have long appreciated Syria’s political and financial assistance to Hamas, PIJ, Hezbollah, and other factions that have engaged in “resistance” against Israel. But it has become impossible for even these violent factions to support a state responsible for the deaths of an estimated 18,000 people.

Recently, on the website of the Beirut-based al-Akhbar, the Lebanese writer Amal Saad-Ghorayeb tried to argue that the “real litmus [test] of Arab intellectuals’ and activists’ commitment to the Palestinian cause is no longer their support for Palestinian rights, but rather, their support for the Assad leadership’s struggle . . . “

This argument suggests that al-Assad’s support for the Palestinians was never about the cause.  Rather, it was a pretense he wielded for legitimacy.

Israel and the Palestinians

The PA cancelled a Ramallah conference when Israel said it would bar five foreign ministers from attending. The foreign ministers of Bangladesh, Cuba, Indonesia, Malaysia and Algeria were refused passage because those countries have no ties with Israel. Seven other foreign ministers would have been allowed to attend. Details at the Jerusalem Post.

Haaretz: An Israeli air strike killed terrorists in Gaza planning an attack along the Egyptian border.

Barry Rubin‘s capital idea:

There is absolutely nothing to prevent the United States from accepting west Jerusalem, pre-1967 Jerusalem as capital of Israel while maintaining that the status of east Jerusalem is to be determined by future negotiations.  The U.S. embassy could be moved to west Jerusalem, with the existing U.S. consulate there continuing to serve east Jerusalem and the West Bank, which means also dealing with the Palestinian Authority.

6 Reasons Israeli PR Sucks, and what you can do about it.

Shira Herzog responds pessimistically to Dani Dayan.

Father Raymond J. DeSouza slams anti-Israel resolutions under consideration by the United Church of Canada.

The BBC‘s pre-occupied with the Golan:

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