Ashkenazi obstructed investigation, Boaz Harpaz charges

Back and forth on narrative leaves credibility of Harpaz in question.

Former IDF chief of staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi 370 (photo credit: Screenshot CNN)
Former IDF chief of staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi 370
(photo credit: Screenshot CNN)
Former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi tried to obstruct the Harpaz investigation, according to Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz in two interviews he gave over the weekend with Channel 1 and Yediot Aharonot.
Harpaz said that days after an investigation into the Harpaz Affair began, Ashkenazi called him and told him to play down their connection and the frequency of their contact.
The claim is unable to be verified because unlike calls from Ashkenazi’s office telephone, of which all were recorded, Harpaz said this call was from the house telephone of a friend of Ashkenazi’s wife, Ronit, and not recorded.
Harpaz also said that Ashkenazi, in contradiction to his statements to police, encouraged an individual to provide documents to the State Comptroller which eventually torpedoed the chances of Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant’s candidacy to succeed Ashkenazi.
The Harpaz Affair involves allegations of Harpaz forging a document to undermine Galant’s candidacy for IDF chief of staff as part of a general behind-the-scenes political war between Ashkenazi and then-defense minister Ehud Barak.
Ashkenazi’s spokesman had no comment by press time. But Harpaz himself has changed his story multiple times and few commentators are ready to take anything he says at face value. The State Comptroller found many of his statements to be untrue.
When first questioned by police, Harpaz denied that he had forged the “Harpaz Document,” but later admitted to forging it. But eventually, he returned to his original denial that he had forged it.
Commentators observed that Harpaz’s interviews appeared to be part of a new public relations campaign to obtain leniency in eventual charges the state might bring against him, by offering himself up as a potential state witness against Ashkenazi and Ashkenazi’s former top aids, who are also under investigation.
To date, no one has been indicted in the Harpaz Affair.
But absent a special agreement with the state, Harpaz is expected to be indicted based on past Justice Ministry announcements, while the investigations into Ashkenazi and his aids, and possibly into Barak, are ongoing.