Probe into Maj.-Gen. Galant Scandal: Plan to Slander IDF Chief?
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has agreed to head a probe into the so-called "Galant document," which suggests that a plot exists to make current IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi look bad and to improve the chances of Major-General Yoav Galant to replace him, as Ashkenazi's term nears its end.
Ashkenazi is not on good terms with Galant and would not support him as his replacement.
The document bears the logo of a public relations firm run by strategy guru Eyal Arad. It outlines a campaign to make Ashkenazi and another potential successor, IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Major-General Benny Gantz, look bad, while building a positive image for Galant.
Specifically, the document suggested making Ashkenazi appear to be disgruntled and easily offended.
Arad issued a statement denouncing the document as a forgery. Shortly after the allegations were made public by Channel 2 TV, he invited investigators to look at company computers in order to verify that the document was not written by any of his employees. He also filed a complaint with the police Sunday morning.
His company is not involved in any way in the race for the chief IDF spot, he said.
Weinstein has informed Defense Minister Ehud Barak that while Barak may continue to interview candidates for the position of Chief of Staff, he may not reach a final decision until the probe has been finished. The investigation will be conducted as quickly as possible, Weinstein assured him.
Ashkenazi released a statement expressing concern that even if the document is false, the affair may erode the image of the IDF, and said the military will cooperate fully in the investigation if necessary.
Barak, who remained silent regarding the affair for two days, announced Sunday that he fully supports Weinstein's investigation, and that he had played a part in the decision to turn the matter over to the Attorney General.
Galant released a statement Sunday night in which he referred to the allegations as "wicked" and "slanderous" and denied any connection with Eyal Arad.