Syrian Warplanes Bomb Palestinian Refugee Camp

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Two separate Palestinian polls don’t bode well for peace prospects. In the first, conducted by Arab World Research and Development (AWRAD), 88 percent of the Palestinians said they believe armed resistance is the best way to achieve independence. The second poll, from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) found that if elections were held today, Ismail Haniyeh would easily beat Mahmoud Abbas.

Elliott Abrams‘ response to the polls hits the nail on the head:

But the most striking number is that the vast majority of Palestinians support Hamas’s “armed struggle,” which is to say terrorism. The only good news here is that Hamas as an organization has not won the “hearts and minds” of a majority of Gazans during its five years of misrule. The very bad news is that it has apparently persuaded Palestinians that “armed struggle” is the way forward.

2. Reuters: Syrian warplanes bomb Yarmouk refugee camp; 25 Palestinians killed. Later in the day, Reuters/Maan News reported Syrian army forces massing outside the camp. The NY Times says the attack caused many pro-gov’t Palestinian fighters to switch allegiances, adding:

For many Yarmouk residents — refugees from conflict with Israel and their descendants — the attacks shattered what was left of the Syrian government’s claim to be a champion and protector of Palestinians, a position the Assad family relied upon as a source of domestic and international legitimacy in more than 40 years of iron-fisted rule.

But the story’s not so simple. Alex Thomson of UK Channel 4 tweeted from Syria:

Alex Thomson

3. Ankara’s playing dirty, using Turkey’s Jewish community for leverage on Israel. The Times of Israel explains how:

Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has launched an investigation of at least five Turkish citizens it believes collaborated with Israel in the 2010 takeover of the Gaza-bound ship Mavi Marmara, according to Turkish media reports.

MIT believes the suspects either assisted the Israeli troops who boarded the vessel or later took part in the interrogation of the ship’s activists in Israel, the Turkish daily Yeni Safak reported on Friday . . .

Rafael Sadi, spokesperson for the Association of Turkish Immigrants in Israel, told Maariv that the Turkish authorities “are trying to intimidate the Jews” as well as to send Israel the message that if Turkish demands are not met, the Turkish Jewish community is liable to suffer the consequences.

4. HonestReporting readers broke with tradition for the 2012 Dishonest Reporting Awards. See our roundup of the year’s most skewed and biased coverage.

2012 Dishonest Reporting Awards

Israel and the Palestinians

The NY Times corrected the record on E1 development, confirming that plans wouldn’t really destroy the contiguity of a Palestinian state. Despite the hype, E1 doesn’t cut West Bank in two.

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad calls for economic boycott of all Israeli products — not just ones from settlements. The Jerusalem Post writes:

He said his call for a total boycott of Israeli products came also in response to the Israeli government’s decision to withhold tax revenues belonging to the PA.

Australian blowback against The Age cartoonist Michael Leunig’s recent poison pen continues. Commenting in The Age, Nick Dyrenfurth comments:

But criticisms can be made without resorting to Nazi comparisons. Such analogies are intellectually lazy, deliberately cruel and counter-productive attempts to simplify a complex political situation. Often they are anti-Semitic.

Dyrenfurth’s criticisms are especially noteworthy because he has expertise in political cartooning having contributed to this scholarly eBook on the topic.

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