In 2010, a few weeks before stepping down as IDF deputy chief of staff, Benny
Gantz told a meeting of the military’s top brass that it was time to get rid of
the carcass stench that was in the air throughout the IDF’s Kirya headquarters.
He was referring to the “Harpaz affair.”
It has taken almost two years,
but come the beginning of July Gantz will finally get what he asked for when
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is expected to publish the final
On Monday, the High Court of Justice ruled in favor of Col. Erez
Weiner’s request to obtain almost all of the material pertaining to the
so-called Harpaz affair, named for Boaz Harpaz, the alleged forger of the
document that cast the IDF into the whirlwind it has yet to completely emerge
The court’s decision was not surprising.
What was surprising
was Lindenstrauss’s original refusal to give Weiner – who seems to be the main
victim of the pending report – the documents he asked for in order to have a
fair shot at clearing his name.
More telling was Attorney-General Yehuda
Weinstein’s refusal to represent Lindenstrauss at the court hearings and the
subsequent clash between the two over whether a criminal probe needed to be
opened into the case.
Lindenstrauss believes there should be one;
For Weiner, the next few weeks will be critical as
he writes his response to the draft report issued to those involved – Weiner,
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former chief of staff Lt.-Gen (res.) Gabi
Ashkenazi – in March.
Weiner was criticized in the draft report, for
example, for the way he handled the document once it was given to him by Harpaz.
He showed it to one of his friends, Col. (res.) Gabi Siboni, in order to consult
with him about what to do – but Siboni ended up leaking it to Channel 2, a move
Weiner was not aware of.
The question is, however, how Lindenstrauss had
expected Weiner to act instead.
Under orders from the chief of staff not
to do anything with the document, but frustrated by the hostility between
Ashkenazi and Barak, Weiner consulted with a friend.
That does not
necessarily mean he conspired to commit a crime.
The main question is
what will happen once the comptroller’s final report comes out. If Weinstein
continues to refuse to open a criminal probe, then the answer is, for the
general public, that the report will probably end up meaning nothing.