Former IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avi Benayahu vowed on Wednesday to
“uncover” an alleged attempt by former defense minister Ehud Barak to damage the
reputation of Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, who served under Barak as chief of
Benayahu made the comments on Army Radio, ahead of a court session
over a slander lawsuit he launched against the McCan-Erickson public relations
firm, and the Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz newspapers. The lawsuit said an
advertisement placed by the PR agency in the two papers in 2011, which accused
Ashkenazi and Benayahu of organizing a “putsch” at army headquarters, was
The chairman of McCan-Erickson, Ilan Shiloah, came forward on
Tuesday evening and announced that he placed the message in the newspapers,
adding that he acted as a concerned citizen, and that he did not regret the
The lawsuit is part of the wider affair centering around a forged
document, known as the “Harpaz document,” which was designed to discredit a
candidate for the position of chief of staff put forward by Barak.
State Comptroller’s Report released in January charted an ever-escalating feud
between Ashkenazi and Barak. Relations between their two bureaus became
dysfunctional to a worrying degree, the report found, culminating in the forged
Earlier this month, the police announced it would launch a
wider criminal investigation, due to new evidence.
“At the end, they’re
not after me, they’re after Gabi Ashkenazi,” Benayahu told Army Radio on
Wednesday. “Ehud Barak submitted an affidavit to aid whom? Ilan Shiloah? [Now]
he [Barak] is exposed to cross examination. We’ll question him on his links with
Boaz Harpaz [the ex-intelligence officers charged with drawing up the false
document], if they existed, and the reasons that led him and the prime minister
to cancel the appointment of [Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav] Galant,” Benayahu
In Barak’s affidavit, the former defense minister accused Ashkenazi
of being at the head of a group of senior officers that acted improperly to
torpedo Galant’s appointment.
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