Ya'alon: Barak has dragged the IDF into madness

Deputy prime minister says Ashkenazi should have served until new appointment; Mofaz: Ego made decision not to extent current chief's term.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 2, 2011 10:58
2 minute read.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe 'Bogie' Ya'alon.

yaalon office 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Deputy Prime Minister and former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon said Wednesday that it is the government's responsibility to appoint a new IDF chief of staff as quickly as possible. Ya'alon was referring to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to cancel the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, following a long fought battle in the court over issues with his appointment.

Ya'alon told Israel Radio that the best possible scenario would have been to allow outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi to continue to serve in his role until a new candidate takes the position, rather than appointing Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh to the role.

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Ya'alon claimed that Barak was was leading the IDF system into insanity, but that some of the responsibility rests on the entire government as well. In Ya'alon's opinion, it is strictly the role of the government to fill the void left by recent legal proceedings, and that "the process of the last few months hurt the IDF, the chief of staff, General Galant, Chief of Staff Ashkenazi, and the entire government's status."

The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee also gathered Wednesday morning for a special meeting regarding Netanyahu and Barak's decision to cancel Galant's appointment.

According to an official statement released by committee chair MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), Wednesday was a "complex and sad day for the state of Israel." Mofaz said that he "opposes the personal persecution campaign against him [Galant]." He added that the committee plans to discuss the legitimacy of the process that Galant underwent, and to examine the possibility of imposing tight parliamentary supervision on future proceedings.

According to Mofaz, the past procedures surrounding Galant's appointment presented a "fundamental constitutional problem." He added: "the decision that was accepted yesterday by the defense minister and prime minister does not reflect what is right and needed for Israel at this time."

Like Ya'alon, the negative opinions on the situation do not center around the man who will fill the temporary appointment himself: Naveh. Rather, the internal conflict resides on the decision not to simply extend Ashkenazi's term until the role is filled.

Mofaz stressed, "My criticism is not personally directed at Deputy Chief of Staff General Yair Naveh, rather the inevitable feeling that ego and personal considerations made the decision not to extend the current chief of staff's term."

Mofaz also believed that in light of the "strategic changes taking place in the Middle East," referring most likely to the upheavals taking place in Arab countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan, the "government should have acted differently."


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