orr - Tess Scheflan - November 1 2010
Brig. Gen. (Res.) Ya’akov Orr Photo by Tess Scheflan
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Over the past few weeks, Maj. Gen. ‏(res.‏) Ya’akov Orr has become one of the most talked-about figures in the defense establishment. The camp supporting Defense Minister Ehud Barak and that supporting Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi have been trying in vain to figure out which direction he will take in his investigation of the document allegedly forged by Boaz Harpaz.

For the past nine years in which Orr, 64, has served with the State Comptroller’s Office overseeing military investigations, he has eschewed identification with any power base in the army or the Defense Ministry. He served most of his career in Golani, but that has not made him a close associate of Ashkenazi, who served in the same brigade. He was a brigadier general under IDF Chief of Staff Ehud Barak and later worked with Defense Minister Barak as coordinator of government activities in the territories. But that has not made him treat Barak with favoritism.

Orr has signed a number of uncomplimentary reports about the top brass at the Defense Ministry and the army. One example is the harsh criticism of the way the army dealt with the home front during the Second Lebanon War. Orr also took Barak to task for his stays at luxury hotels abroad.