Former IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avi Benayahu ended his defamation lawsuit
against Ilan Shiloah for publishing allegedly defamatory material about Benayahu
in relation to the Harpaz Affair, it was announced Tuesday.
Shiloah, the other three defendants – the McCann Erickson advertising agency
where Shiloah is chairman, as well as Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz – had been
removed from the case recently when Shiloah took personal responsibility for
originating the information that led to all of the published items about
The settlement did not provide for Shiloah to formally
apologize or fully withdraw his statements about Benayahu, but he did admit that
Benayahu had not been involved in creating the Harpaz document at the heart of
the Harpaz Affair.
In addition, while Shiloah is not paying Benayahu
damages, he did agree to pay NIS 50,000 as a contribution to the IDF.
settlement ends a major spin-off case of the criminal investigations into the
Harpaz Affair, which could have led to former defense minister Ehud Barak and
former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi testifying
against each other in court in December.
In mid-August, Ashkenazi and
Barak traded barbs over Barak’s recent accusations, by affidavit submitted to
the court in the same case, that Ashkenazi led a group of IDF officers in
illegal actions to undermine the political echelon.
The Harpaz Affair
started with Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, who has admitted to forging a document
to undermine Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, Barak’s original choice to succeed
Ashkenazi as IDF chief of staff.
It metastasized to represent years of
infighting between Ashkenazi and Barak over a range of issues, including a
massive and shocking report by former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss
(technically completed by his current successor Joseph Shapira), and only
recently led to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein ordering a full state
investigation into whether Ashkenazi violated any civilian laws.