yoav galant 224.88.
(photo credit: IDF)
A document revealed on Channel 2 on Friday night that appeared to indicate that
political strategist Eyal Arad was advising OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav
Galant in his effort to be chosen as the next IDF chief of General Staff was
forged by enemies of Galant or Defense Minister Ehud Barak, political officials
alleged on Saturday night.
RELATED:The defense minster's dangerous petulanceBarak hails Ashkenazi...meets his would-be successorsRace is on for next chief of staff
The document, containing the logo of Arad
Communications, proposed a public relations campaign for Galant that would
create a positive image for him and negative images for incumbent Chief of
General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and another potential Ashkenazi
replacement, Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj.- Gen. Benny Gantz.
suggests promoting Gantz through the media as a replacement for Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin or Mossad chief Meir Dagan, ways to deal with
potential opposition to Galant’s appointment by Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, and highlighting differences between Galant and Ashkenazi on
Operation Cast Lead.
For Ashkenazi, who is to step down in February, the
document’s author advised “developing a profile of a disgruntled [public
official],” like former foreign minister David Levy, and as someone who tends to
take offense easily. Several newspaper reports already made the Ashkenazi-Levy
comparison on Friday morning.
Arad denied any connection to the document
and said he would file a complaint with police on Sunday morning alleging
forgery. He said that to facilitate the investigation, he would give the police
names of possible suspects and full access to his firm’s computer systems and
“The document is obviously a forgery,” Arad told The
“I have nothing to do with who is going to be the next
chief of staff. My acquaintance with the candidates is very scant and I have not
been in touch with any of them personally in recent months.”
declined to speculate publicly about who might have forged the
“Police can make a short list of people and investigate them,”
he said. “This puts a blemish on the selection of the chief of General Staff.
It’s important that the public know that the process was not mired by
Politicians speculated behind the scenes about various
enemies of Barak and Galant who might have been behind the document. They
mentioned a current senior IDF officer who has sparred with Barak, and former Barak aides,
as prime suspects.
“There is a gang of people who for the past three
years are busy every day with manipulations, cooperating with reporters in
character assassination against Ehud Barak,” a source close to Barak said
without connection to the Galant document.
Others suspected Rightists,
angry at Galant, who was the military aide to prime minister Ariel Sharon during
the disengagement from Gaza.
Defense Ministry sources dismissed the
possibility that the publication of the document would influence Barak’s
decision on choosing a new army chief. The sources said that the document was
not relevant and and there was no reason to put a halt to the decision-making
process because of it.
Barak met on Friday with Galant as part of the
interview process to find a new chief of staff and is expected to meet with
Gantz on Sunday morning.
MKs Nachman Shai (Kadima) and Miri Regev (Likud)
asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Saturday to order the Shin Bet to
the Galant document. Shai said the chief of staff appointment
“should not be made prematurely at this point,” until the origin and
authenticity of the document could be determined.
“This matter must be
investigated immediately to lift the cloud hanging over the selection of the
chief of General Staff and ensure that it will be transparent,” Shai said.