The news of the last few weeks has been filled with complaints that the United States is electronically spying not only on enemies but on allies as well. As I wrote in a previous blog post, if we have in fact targeted the cell phones of leaders of friends and allies, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, we should stop. Yes, the world is a dangerous place and gentlemen do read each others’ mail, but deliberately targeting the leader of an ally such as Germany is wrong and stupid. And especially so given the risk, these days, that such conduct will leak and damage important allied relationships.
Spying this way on allies is bad enough. Revealing their secrets to the press is even worse. Yet we have a pattern of doing this when it comes to Israel, and the most recent example came on October 31.
Earlier this past week a Syrian military base in Latakia was hit, and apparently an important quantity of missiles meant for delivery to Hezbollah were destroyed. There was speculation about the attack, including suggestions that Israel rather than Syrian rebels conducted it. But Israel remained mum, as it always does. It believes that its security is greatly enhanced by such silence, in part because bragging about these attacks might well humiliate Hezbollah or Assad and push them into some kind of retaliation. It is for this reason that Israel sought absolute American and Israeli official silence after its attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007. Indeed Israel still to this day, six years later, does not officially acknowledge that it conducted that attack. The United States remained silent about that attack until the danger of retaliation was thought to be gone.
But once again this week American officials told the press that Israel was responsible for an attack on Syria as soon as it occurred.
Whole thing here.