Galant denies 'false' allegations

Maj.-Gen calls document "malicious, evil slander."

Galant (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In his first response to the mounting Galant document scandal, Maj.-Gen Yoav Galant hit back harshly at the allegations against him Sunday, calling the Galant document "false, malicious, evil slander," and denying any contact with the office of PR man Eyal Arad. The response came in a letter he wrote to IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, which was published by Channel 1.
"I have not had any contact with Eyal Arad's office," Galant wrote. "I did not turn to him for counseling, I did not hire his services, nor did he work for me in any way. The document is false, malicious, evil slander."
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The Galant document, exposed by Channel 2 on Friday, purportedly details a PR campaign to secure Maj.-Gen Yoav Galant the IDF chief of staff position. 
Eyal Arad, whose PR company Arad Communications' logo was on the document, claimed it was a forgery and denied any involvement in its publication.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered the police Sunday to open a limited investigation into the Galant scandal to determine whether the document is authentic.
The investigation will be carried out by the International Investigations Unit of the police. Weinstein said he had asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak not to appoint a new chief of staff until the limited investigation was finished. Weinstein agreed earlier Sunday to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's request to investigate the Galant scandal, and held an initial consultation 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."
Barak added that he supported Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to turn the matter over to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
Weinstein spoke with State Prosecutor Moshe Dror, head of police investigations and intelligence Maj.-Gen. Yoav Asgalovic, and "other relevant sources" at his Justice Ministry meeting before making the decision to initiate the limited investigation.
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.”