Barak: Timing of Galant land scandal was not coincidence

Defense minister lashes out at what he insinuates was a deliberate campaign to defame his candidate for IDF chief of staff.

February 6, 2011 16:17
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

ehud barak 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday insinuated that the land seizure scandal which led to the cancellation of Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant's appointment to IDF chief of General Staff was not a coincidence, but rather part of a plan to torpedo his ascendence to the position. Barak's comments came during a cabinet discussion of the cancellation of Galant's appointment.

Barak said that the forged 'Harpaz Document' was the first attempt to take Galant out of the running for the IDF's top spot and that after that failed, the land scandal was purposely brought out in the final weeks before Galant was scheduled to replace Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.

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"The land affair which had been known about for years suddenly pops up again in the courts and gets to the High Court. Months pass with nothing happening. Whoever thinks that the postponing of the Galant land affair from coming out until the final weeks was a coincidence is living in a fantasy," said Barak.

The defense minister stated that if Galant had been appointed to be defense minister or strategic affairs minister with the same house and land seizure story, the attorney-general would have allowed the appointment after finding no legal fault in his behavior.

Barak said that the decision to cancel the appointment of Galant to IDF chief of General Staff was not an easy choice but it was the right one given the circumstances.

The defense minister criticized members of the government who attacked Galant publicly for his alleged improprieties, specifically bringing up an incident in which an MK referred to Galant as a "mafioso."

He also singled out Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon for saying in the media that the appointment of Galant and the controversies involved hurt the security of the country.

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