Comptroller should focus report on Barak, Ashkenazi

If Weinstein continues to refuse to open a criminal probe into Harpaz affair, then the report will probably end up meaning nothing.

Harpaz 311 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Harpaz 311
(photo credit: Channel 10)
In 2010, a few weeks before stepping down as IDF deputy chief of staff, Benny Gantz told a meeting of the military’s top brass that it was time to get rid of the carcass stench that was in the air throughout the IDF’s Kirya headquarters. He was referring to the “Harpaz affair.”
It has taken almost two years, but come the beginning of July Gantz will finally get what he asked for when State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is expected to publish the final report.
On Monday, the High Court of Justice ruled in favor of Col. Erez Weiner’s request to obtain almost all of the material pertaining to the so-called Harpaz affair, named for Boaz Harpaz, the alleged forger of the document that cast the IDF into the whirlwind it has yet to completely emerge from.
The court’s decision was not surprising.
What was surprising was Lindenstrauss’s original refusal to give Weiner – who seems to be the main victim of the pending report – the documents he asked for in order to have a fair shot at clearing his name.
More telling was Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein’s refusal to represent Lindenstrauss at the court hearings and the subsequent clash between the two over whether a criminal probe needed to be opened into the case.
Lindenstrauss believes there should be one; Weinstein disagrees.
For Weiner, the next few weeks will be critical as he writes his response to the draft report issued to those involved – Weiner, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former chief of staff Lt.-Gen (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi – in March.
Weiner was criticized in the draft report, for example, for the way he handled the document once it was given to him by Harpaz. He showed it to one of his friends, Col. (res.) Gabi Siboni, in order to consult with him about what to do – but Siboni ended up leaking it to Channel 2, a move Weiner was not aware of.
The question is, however, how Lindenstrauss had expected Weiner to act instead.
Under orders from the chief of staff not to do anything with the document, but frustrated by the hostility between Ashkenazi and Barak, Weiner consulted with a friend.
That does not necessarily mean he conspired to commit a crime.
The main question is what will happen once the comptroller’s final report comes out. If Weinstein continues to refuse to open a criminal probe, then the answer is, for the general public, that the report will probably end up meaning nothing.