Turkel: Galant deposed because of media lashing

Retired judge regrets that PM, defense minister didn't support committee members, says no information would have prevented Galant appointment.

Turkel 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Turkel 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Senior Appointments Committee head and former Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel expressed regret on Wednesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak did not give him enough support in his investigation regarding the nomination of Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant to the post of IDF chief of General Staff.
“Galant was rejected because of media lashing,” Turkel said in an interview with Israel Radio.
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“I am upset that the prime minister and defense minister did not give me more support,” he said, expressing offense at media reports that his panel’s investigation of Galant had been superficial and that it had simply “rubber-stamped” the nomination.
Turkel added that “I expected there would be more of an attempt to defend the members of this committee.”
Speaking about Galant, Turkel commented, “It is inconceivable that a man that served his country faithfully for so many years and through so many different roles would be deposed in this manner.”
Netanyahu and Barak revoked Galant’s nomination after Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein decided that the state could not represent the former head of the Southern Command before the High Court of Justice in a petition against his appointment as successor to Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.
The petition, by the Green Movement, stated that Galant had engaged in allegedly shady, if not illegal, behavior regarding a number of land affairs on his moshav, Amikam.
“Galant was ousted because the media lashed out at him. From the information that was in my hands, the committee had no reason to refuse the appointment of Galant to be the IDF chief of staff” Turkel said.
Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh, current deputy chief of staff, will become the interim chief of General Staff when Ashkenazi steps down on February 14.
His temporary assignment will last for 60 days or until the next chief of General Staff is chosen. Naveh has himself been named as a possible candidate.