Ashkenazi, Barak trade barbs over Harpaz Affair

Barak filed a declaration in a case in the Lod District Court on Tuesday in which he made the allegations against Ashkenazi, other officers.

August 14, 2013 20:04
1 minute read.
Barak, Ashkenazi

Barak, Ashkenazi_300. (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 echelon.

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 Harpaz.

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 Barak.

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.

It 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 civilian laws.

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 Barak.

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 investigation.

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