Issue of next IDF deputy chief remains undecided

While Gantz might prefer Eizenkot, he also might be forced to propose a different candidate in order to not clash with Barak.

March 8, 2012 04:19
1 minute read.
Benny Gantz

Benny Gantz 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Who will be the next IDF deputy chief of staff? As the fallout from the State Comptroller’s Report on the Harpaz Affair continues to send aftershocks throughout the IDF, the identity of Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz’s next deputy remains unclear.

Gantz’s preferred candidate is believed to be Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who served as the head of the OC Northern Command until July and has been waiting to be appointed the deputy chief of staff in place of Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh. Expectations were that Eizenkot would then compete against Naveh in 2014 to replace Gantz.

But now, that might not be the case due to the possibility that Defense Minister Ehud Barak will nix Eizenkot’s appointment due to his involvement – albeit indirect – in the affair.

The Harpaz Document – named for the alleged forger Boaz Harpaz – was a paper that detailed a strategy on how to get former OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant appointed chief of staff. Galant was appointed but in the end lost the job over a land scandal he was involved in at his home in Moshav Amikam.

Gabi Ashkenazi, the chief of staff at the time who received the document, showed it to Eizenkot, who decided not to bring it to Barak’s attention.

One of Eizenkot’s closest friends, Gabi Siboni, was later instrumental in leaking the document to Channel 2 in August 2010.

If Eizenkot is not appointed, the two other candidates waiting on the sidelines are OC Central Command Maj.- Gen. Avi Mizrahi, who will step down Sunday after twoand- a-half years in the post, and Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, current IDF attaché to Washington.

While Gantz might prefer Eizenkot, he also might be forced to propose a different candidate in order to not clash with Barak. In 2009, he was a so-called “compromise candidate” when he was tapped as deputy chief of staff under Ashkenazi, who already then wanted Eizenkot in the post while Barak preferred Galant.

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