The Harpaz letter will not go away
Boaz Harpaz: 'I regularly shared information with Ashkenazi, his wife and Weiner. They directly or through the IDF spokesman made sure to pass it on to the press.'
At the end of October 2010, Haaretz published a front-page report about a police investigation into the Harpaz affair, revealing that close associates of army chief Gabi Ashkenazi had searched for damaging material on Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Southern Command head Yoav Galant.
Long, hard, exhausting, slow work by investigators of the State Comptroller's Office led them in 2013 to the same bottom line, which the senior police officers reached within two weeks more than two years ago.
A lot of details appear in the state comptroller's report and in the accompanying documents. With the knowledge of the chief of staff, the chief of staff's assistant and a friend of the chief of staff busied themselves passing on to the chief of staff's office poisonous information on the political echelon to which the chief of staff was beholden. After the chief of staff brought them together, the assistant and the friend collected material (some of it pornographic ) that was poisonous to three senior officers who stood in the chief of staff's way. The wife of the chief of staff turned over poisonous material to journalists, and the chief of staff's office was up to its neck in its poison which poisoned the IDF and poisoned Israeli democracy.
But the state comptroller laid the truly explosive material on page 101 of the report, in which he brings up things that Boaz Harpaz wrote him on May 1, 2012: "I collected information on the defense minister, Yoni Koren and Gen. Galant. I regularly shared it with Chief of Staff Ashkenazi, his wife, his assistant Col. Weiner. They directly or through the IDF spokesman made sure to pass it on to the press. ... A chain of events noted below proves that Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, his wife Ronit and Col. Erez Weiner are the ones who acted, initiated and were fully aware of every one of the topics and stages, and were involved deeply in carrying it out."
These words are the heart and soul of the State Comptroller's Report. Their significance is clear. The man who stands at the center of the affair claimed before a state body that he was run directly by the chief of staff, and that the incriminating material he collected was distributed to the media by the IDF spokesman. The officer, whose name is mistakenly carried by the affair, bravely admitted before state authorities that the chief of staff recruited him to run a dirty war against the political echelon and against senior army officers.
It's impossible to exaggerate the importance of the Harpaz letter. If things written in them are lies, then it's a terrible blood libel, which must be revealed. If the things written in them are true, there was a rebellion in Israel. Not a military rebellion involving tanks around parliament, but rather a rebellion by a military gathering slanderous information about ministers and generals and distributing it to the press to delegitimize the ministers and generals. It's not a rebellion by a general executing his rival but an uprising by a general publicly destroying his civil and military rivals in order to pose a threat, and using the methods of J. Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy.
The conclusion is simple. It's impossible to bury the Harpaz letter. This letter alone requires the opening of a deep, immediate and comprehensive criminal investigation. Adding other testimony the comptroller brings up, the Harpaz letter also requires a state commission of inquiry. A country that turns its back on this kind of evidence stops being a state of laws. A state that tries to bury this kind of villainy is a state from which a stench arises.
The state prosecutor who just now indicted the foreign minister whose ambassador opened up a letter for him cannot whitewash this suspicion - that in the top ranks of the IDF a breach of trust was committed. Benjamin Netanyahu and Yehuda Weinstein have no choice. Whether or not they want to, the obligation is upon them to investigate and reveal the truth and clean out the rotten stables.