Incoming IDF Chief's Best Friends May Also Be His Worst Enemies

What effect is an ad campaign by Yoav's Galant's so-called friends having on his chances to become Chief of Staff?

At a time when Chief of Staff-designate Yoav Galant is trying to convince Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to back his appointment before the Supreme Court, in spite of the highly critical state comptroller report, it would appear that it is his very supporters who are bringing him down.

Pro-Galant advertisements published yesterday in the Hebrew press, signed by "Citizens who do not know Galant personally but are concerned about the putsch at the Kirya [Defense Ministry]," looked like a political campaign. In their publication the results appeared to be the opposite of what they had originally planned, and the timing, on a critical day for Galant, unfortunate.

Yoav Galant - Archive

Military Advocate General Avichai Mendelblit asked the deputy attorney general, Shai Nitzan, to examine whether a criminal investigation could be opened "to determine the identities of those behind the advertisements."

According to the IDF spokesman, Mendelblit believes that the "anonymous ad includes statements that are inappropriate with regard to a number of senior ranking members of the General Staff."

In his view, the argument that outgoing Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and IDF spokesman, Avi Benayahu, conspired to prevent the appointment of Galant, appears to be libelous and possibly even an insult to a civil servant.

Persons close to Galant said last night that the major general had nothing to do with the advertisement and that it was prepared and disseminated without his knowledge.

If the authors of the advertisement wanted to influence Weinstein, right before his decision, why was it important for them to argue that the attorney general is under the influence of the media and the state comptroller, "who is trying to turn him into his puppet?" And what was the use of a direct assault on the state comptroller, "hungry for personal publicity"?

Signing up as "concerned citizens" is also a bit strange. Who are these citizens who put out hundreds of thousands of shekels, even though they do not know Galant, for a full page ad in the main circulation dailies, just because of their concern about the democratic process?

Probably not residents of Be'er Sheva and the southern communities, in spite their appreciation for the former GOC Southern Command and Operation Cast Lead.