'Report shows no intervention in IDF chief choice'

Ashkenazi hopes Harpaz report can prevent antagonistic relations between defense minister, IDF chief of staff developing again.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 5, 2012 14:04
2 minute read.
Changing of the guard

Russo, Galant, Ashkenaza and Barak toast wine 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesman)

 
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Former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi said Monday that the state comptroller's draft report on the "Harpaz Affair" indicates that nobody in the IDF leadership intervened in the selection process for his successor as IDF chief of staff.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss sent a copy of a draft on Sunday afternoon to most of those mentioned in it. The report took 14 months to complete, and was based on the testimonies of 300 witnesses, primarily military commanders and security officials, as well as thousands of documents and phone transcripts, a spokesman for the state comptroller said. It can not be published in full until all of the concerned parties have a chance to reply to him.

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In addition to the forged "Harpaz Document" the report also dealt with the bad relations between Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak while Ashkenazi served as IDF chief of staff.

Speaking at a ceremony in which a street was named after him in Or Yehuda, Ashkenazi said that he made mistakes and the important thing was to learn the report's lessons so that antagonistic relations between the defense minister and the chief of staff do not develop again in the future.

The report slammed the conduct of Ashkenazi and also criticized Defense Minister Barak over a disturbing feud that developed between the two most senior defense figures in the country at the time. The draft report sparked a new war of words between the two men on Sunday.

Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, a former intelligence officer and an associate of Ashkenazi, denied accusations by police that he forged a document in 2010 that detailed plans to damage the reputations of senior IDF officers who were contending for the post of chief of staff.

The document was designed to appear as if one of the contenders at the time, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, who had been Barak’s choice to replace Ashkenazi, had ordered for it to be drawn up.



The report took Ashkenazi and his bureau to task for allowing Harpaz to become involved in the affairs of the IDF chief of staff, for collecting dirt on Barak and for failing to notify the state comptroller of the fact that Ashkenazi’s bureau had come to possess the document.

However, Lindenstrauss cleared Ashkenazi of accusations that he organized a rebellion against Barak, and dismissed reports of business connections between Ashkenazi and Harpaz.

Yaakov Lappin and Joanna Parazczuk contributed to this report

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