From the 6/18 CNN report, "Israel behind airstrike in Syria, US official says":
An airstrike close to the Iraq-Syria border Sunday was carried out by Israel, and not by the US or the coalition fighting ISIS, a US official tells CNN.
Syrian state TV blamed the strike that targeted pro-regime forces and caused multiple casualties on the US-led coalition combating the terrorist group, but a spokesman for the coalition said there were no coalition strikes in the area near Abu Kamal.
The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the strike, per its normal policy. ...The 'normal' Israeli policy to refuse to take responsibility for airstrikes in another nation has worn thin as Israel has increased its strikes on Syria. PM Netanyahu is now openly stating that Israel will carry out attacks anywhere in Syria (see the CNN report) and obviously without providing a rationale for any attack beyond taking preemptive measures against Israel's enemies.
This forced CENTCOM to issue a denial on Sunday and, when Jerusalem still hadn't spoken up by Monday, prompted an unnamed U.S. official to identify Israel as the attacker.
I would like to believe that the contempt is unlike Netanyahu, but he and the Israeli defense establishment have been acting strangely as they've gotten more involved with the Saudi and Emirati regimes. A 6/16 article by James Dorsey, published at AMN, is an indication of just how strange things have gotten:
Israel adopts abandoned Saudi sectarian logic
Amid ever closer cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Israel’s military appears to be adopting the kind of sectarian anti-Shiite rhetoric that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is abandoning as part of a bid to develop a national rather than a religious ethos and promote his yet to be defined form of moderate Islam.
The Israeli rhetoric in Arabic-language video clips that target a broad audience across the Middle East and North Africa emerged against the backdrop of a growing influence of conservative religious conscripts and officers in all branches of the Israeli armed forces.
The clips featuring army spokesman Major Avichay Adraee were also designed to undermine support for Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip and backed recent mass anti-Israeli protests along the border with Israel, in advance of a visit to the Middle East by US peace negotiators Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt.
Citing a saying of the Prophet Mohammed, Major Adraee, painting Hamas as an Iranian stooge, asserted that “whoever acts like a people is one of them… You (Hamas) have officially become Shiites in line with the Prophet’s saying… Have you not read the works of the classical jurists, scholars…who have clearly warned you about the threat Iranian Shiism poses to you and your peoples?”
In a twist of irony, Major Adraee quoted the very scholars Prince Mohammed appears to be downplaying. They include 18th century preacher Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, whose ultra-conservative anti-Shiite interpretation of Islam shaped Saudi Arabia for much of its history; Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, a 14th century theologian and jurist whose worldview, like that of Wahhabism, inspires militant Islam; and Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Egyptian-born, Qatar-based scholar who was designated a terrorist by Saudi Arabia and the UAE because he is believed to be the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The enlightened Salafi scholar Imam Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab warned you about the threat posed by these people to the Islamic faith with the heresies that they adhere to. He says: ‘Look at this atheist’s words. You will see that he employs rafidah (rejectionist) terms. They (the rafidah) are more harmful to the faith than Jews or Christians….’ You follow the Iranians who pose a greater danger to you than any other force,” Major Adraee said referring to Shiites in derogatory language employed by ultra-conservative Sunni Muslims.
Major Adraee went on to quote Ibn Tamiyyah as saying: “I know that the best of them are hypocrites. They fabricate lies and produce corrupt ideas to undermine the Islamic faith.” Hypocrites is a term often used by ultra-conservatives to describe Shiites.
Major Adraee cited Sheikh Qaradawi as asserting that “the threat of the Shiites is their attempt to penetrate Sunni society. They are able to do so with their excessive wealth.” [Pundita note: And the Sunni oil kingdoms don't have excessive wealth?]
Addressing supporters of Hamas, Major Adraee asked: “Do you still want to be allies with these corrupt people while you claim to follow Islam…and respect Islamic scholars whose teachings you proudly disregard? Don’t be hypocrites.” Major Adraee concluded his remarks by warning that those who guided by Iran caused disruption would “be punished in the hereafter."There's more -- much more -- to Dorsey's article. But that's as much as I can take of an Israeli military officer promoting ideas adopted by the kind of people who want to wipe Israel off the map. That's taking agitprop into the looney bin.
However, I think the method informing the madness is to curry favor in Sunni oil kingdoms. President Trump is also busy currying favor with them. But from Dorsey's article, a difference is that these new-fangled Israeli hardliners are clearly making common cause with Saudi clerical hardliners. If true this is very bad news.
To return to Israel's actions toward Syria -- if the Netanyahu regime keeps playing the Victim card and the Predator card at the same time, this is going to backfire.