(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / IDF Spokesperson )
Former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi on Wednesday hit back
at former Defense Minister Ehud Barak over his recent accusations that Ashkenazi
led a group of IDF officers in illegal actions to undermine the political
Ashkenazi’s statement constituted the latest development in the
long-running Harpaz Affair.
Barak filed a declaration in a case in
Central District Court in Lod on Tuesday in which he made the allegations
against Ashkenazi, former IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avi Benyahu,
Ashkenazi’s former top aide Col. (res.) Erez Viner and Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz
Ashkenazi responded that two reports, by current State
Comptroller Joseph Shapira and his predecessor Micha Lindenstrauss, had
exonerated Ashkenazi from all of the worst charges that Barak had accused him of
in the media, such as trying to engage in a “putsch” against
Ashkenazi added that all of the allegations were old repeats and
that he was confident that any ongoing investigations would also find that the
allegations were untrue.
The Harpaz Affair started with 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.
metastasized to represent years of infighting between Ashkenazi and Barak over a
range of issues, and only a few weeks ago led to Attorney-General Yehuda
Weinstein to ordering a police investigation into whether Ashkenazi violated any
While Barak’s allegations were not novel, the declaration
does provide greater detail and a more comprehensive picture of Barak’s view of
the saga than has been given to date.
Barak goes into detail in alleging
how Benyahu tried to undermine Barak in the high command of the IDF and then
with the media, as well as allegations of Ashkenazi’s aids spying on
He also details his version of closer ties between Ashkenazi and
Harpaz, mostly denied by Ashkenazi, as well as derides Harpaz with information
about past indiscretions.
While Barak was also blasted in the
comptrollers’ reports for allegedly undermining Ashkenazi, tampering
unreasonably with appointments in the IDF and possibly having aides collect
information and spy on Ashkenazi, Ashkenazi is the only one under criminal