Text size

A group of senior jurists wrote yesterday to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, urging him to recommend the government to refer the appointment of Major General Yoav Galant for a review by the Turkel committee − which this time will be supplied with the full relevant material.

The signatories include Professor Menachem Mautner, who is related to Galant; Professor Shimon Shetreet; and leading attorneys Ram Caspi, Hanina Brandes and Pini Rubin.

Professor Asa Kasher, author of the IDF ethical code, also signed the letter.

“We believe that Maj. Gen. Galant has withstood supreme loyalty tests in his 34 years of military service to an exemplary degree,” the letter said. “We are under the impression that the total balance of the claims against Maj. Gen. Galant, on the one hand, and the irreproachable loyalty that characterized his service in the IDF, together with his excellence in every role he assumed in the military, on the other hand, should lead us to the conclusion that his appointment as chief of staff would be neither unreasonable nor inappropriate.

The signatories wrote that they became even more convinced of their position as both the defense minister and the prime minister have stated, repeatedly and unequivocally, that Galant was the best candidate for chief of staff.

“Weinstein should confine himself to saying whether or not there were legal obstacles to the appointment, in terms of criminal law,” Shetreet told Haaretz. “There was no criminal offense and he should have sent the matter back to the Turkel committee, which is supposed to monitor norms of public service. The attorney general has no authority over ethical matters.

It used to be that attorney generals didn’t deal with ethics and neither did the courts − we’ve lost all common sense.”