A-G begins Galant scandal probe

Barak calls for quick examination of document's authenticity.

Weinstein 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Weinstein 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein agreed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's request to investigate the Galant scandal, and will hold an initial consultation Sunday at the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem.
Also Sunday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak broke his silence on the matter, saying he was "convinced the document's authenticity can and should be quickly examined, and the identity of those responsible exposed."
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Barak added that he supported Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to turn the matter over to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
Attorney General Weinstein will speak with State Prosecutor Moshe Dror, head of police investigations and intelligence Maj.-Gen. Yoav Asgalovic, and "other relevant sources" at his Justice Ministry meeting.
The "Galant document" is a purported PR campaign prepared by Eyal Arad to advise Maj.-Gen Yoav Galant on securing the position of next Chief of Staff of the IDF. It is unclear whether the document is authentic.Netanyahu said at a Sunday cabinet meeting that he had asked Weinstein to investigate the scandal "as soon as possible." IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi announced that the IDF will participate in the investigation as well.
According to the statement issued on his behalf Sunday, Ashkenazi expressed his regret that matters which could damage the image of the IDF are getting in the way of the very important process of appointing a chief of staff.
Ashkenazi said that if the document is found to be real then there will be serious consequences, and if it is found to be fake then it will also be treated very seriously.
The chief of staff hoped that the truth would be exposed to remove the suspicions from any officer or civilian.
The alleged source of the document, Eyal Arad, claimed it was a forgery and he had no involvement in its publication.
The document, which contains 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.It 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 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 other resources.
“The document is obviously a forgery,” Arad told The Jerusalem Post.
“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.”