'PR campaign for next IDF chief'

Channel 2: Document shows plan to alter public image of army officers.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 6, 2010 23:46
2 minute read.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi

ashkenazi GOOD 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

 
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Strategic communication expert Eyal Arad denied a report on Channel 2 that his office had prepared a planned campaign to help Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant receive the appointment to become next IDF chief-of-staff on Friday night.

"The document is a forgery," Arad claimed according to Yair Lapid on Channel 2.

The document in question contains a proposal for a public relations campaign to have Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant appointed as the next IDF Chief-of-Staff, Channel 2 reported Friday evening.

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The document, containing the logo of the company Arad Communications operated by Eyal Arad and Lior Horev, discussed the need to create a positive image around Galant and creating negative images for current chief-of-staff Gabi Ashkenazi and another potential Ashkenazi replacement, Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz.

Alternatively, the document presented a possibility of promoting Gantz through the media as a replacement for Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin "and, thus, would be unable to compete for the chief-of-staff position," Channel 2 reported.

With respect to Ashkenazi, the author of the public relations campaign advised "developing a profile of a disgruntled [public official]," like former Likud minister David Levy and as someone who tends to take offense easily.

Eyal Arad, Arad Communications president and strategist, denied the Channel 2 report and alleged that the document was forged. "Anyone could have downloaded the company's logo from the internet," he said.

According to Arad, no one at his company prepared the document, and the firm has nothing to do with the ideas presented in the Channel 2 expose. "I invite investigators to come and check the company computers to find that this document was never written here," Arad stated.



Defense Ministry sources dismissed the possibility that the publication of the document will influence Defense Minister Ehud Barak decision on choosing a new chief-of-staff.

The sources said that the document is not relavent and and there is no reason to put a halt to the decision making process becasue of what was published in it.

Barak met Friday with Yoav Galant as part of the interview process to find a new chief-of-staff and is expected to meet with the other candidates at the beginning of next week.

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