MKs praise Galant, slam Barak's timing

MKs view recommendation as ploy to distract from police probe.

Galant 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Galant 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Knesset members reacted to Defense Minister Ehud Barak's recommendation of OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant as the next IDF chief of staff with a mixture of support for the future army head and criticism for the timing of the decision.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon cautiously criticized Barak's announcement of his decision before police had concluded their investigation of the "Galant document" affair.
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"At the present moment, with all that is occurring around the appointment [of the next IDF chief of staff], where much has yet to be revealed [regarding the Galant document affair] I advise the government not to rush to bring the appointment to the cabinet for approval," Ya'alon said.
Kadima MK Yoel Hasson welcomed Barak's recommendation, but also criticized the defense minister's handling of the changeover.
"Ehud Barak has succeeded in choosing the next chief of staff and has appointed a fit man and outstanding commander who will be capable of continuing to move the IDF through successful operations. At the same time, Barak has failed in this process and cause the IDF significant damage."
Kadima MK Nahman Shai also had strong words for Barak, criticizing him and others for rushing to appoint a new IDF chief of staff to distract attention from the police investigation of the Galant document.
"It is important to remind everyone, including the defense minister, that the police investigation into this matter has not finished and we need to wait for its conclusion. The defense minister has hurried [to appoint a replacement] without reason. In any event, there is no possible way to ignore or pass over the the events that occurred during the process of selecting a new [IDF] chief of staff," said Shai.
One of the more upbeat reactions of the day came from the current IDF chief himself.
Ashkenazi called Galant on Sunday to congratulate him over Barak's decision to appoint him as the IDF's 20th chief of staff and offer him his full support, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in a statement.
Ashkenazi also called the other candidates for the position to ask them to continue to work for the benefit of the IDF and their country.