The Soldier Who Lost 'Survivor'

The Man Who Did Not 'Survive'

In any case, it is surprising to find that two years after the publication of the Harpaz document, Galant is the only one who has paid the price, even though all claims made against him at the beginning proved baseless.

Yoav Galant, the major general who lost the chance to be chief of staff a week before he was due to assume the post, recently received a surprising offer: The producers of "VIP Survivor" wanted him to appear on the reality program next season. It can be assumed that Galant, who was previously commander of the elite naval commando unit, would have dealt well with the physical tasks demanded on the island but he refused, saying he didn't have the patience for the prattle involved. On second thought, bearing in mind the way Galant survived the chief of staff affair in 2011, it's perhaps a good thing he decided against what could be called the televised equivalent.

The second anniversary of the Harpaz document affair - at first known as the "Galant affair" - went by, at the beginning of the month, almost without drawing any attention. All the claims made against Galant at the beginning proved to be baseless.

Galant did not have the slightest connection with the writing of the document. Moreover, the police investigation revealed that the document, which at first was described as evidence of a secret plot by the defense minister's court to anoint Galant and besmirch Gabi Ashkenazi (then incumbent chief of staff ) was a forgery carried out by Lt. Col. (res. ) Boaz Harpaz, a close associate of Ashkenazi.

The fact that a group of senior officers still believes in the conspiracy theory according to which Harpaz "pulled out" a real document from Ehud Barak's environment, does not bode well about the judgment of some of the officers holding the most important positions in the military.

Galant was maneuvered out of the post of chief of staff in February last year after the affair involving land on Moshav Amikam, where he lives, came to the fore once more. These were obsolete claims (first raised in Haaretz in 2005 and then again in Maariv in 2008 ) that were rehashed at a critical moment. Galant also suffered because of a rather rare confluence of interests shared by the attorney general and the state comptroller, which pushed him into the corner and left him with only 48 hours to respond to thousands of pages of documents.

The way in which the attorney general and the state comptroller attacked Galant led to criticism of them within their own offices. It is interesting to consider the attitude toward Galant in terms of the months Ashkenazi and his aide, Col, Erez Weiner, were given - with the intervention of the High Court of Justice - to study the documents connected with the Harpaz investigation.

Nevertheless, Galant still has mainly himself to blame. Had he taken care in time of the construction and landscape violations at his moshav home, instead of contemptuously treating the complaints as squabbles between neighbors, he would apparently have been chief of staff now.

In any case, it is surprising to find that two years after the publication of the Harpaz document, Galant is the only one who has paid the price. Harpaz, who admitted he forged the paper, is still waiting to hear whether he is going to be prosecuted. Weiner, who was severely criticized in the draft report from the comptroller - that claimed he had used Harpaz to collect incriminating evidence against Barak and his aides - is still in uniform and being assisted by a skilled team of military lawyers to prove his innocence. As for taking steps against more senior people involved, there is nothing to talk about.

The outgoing comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, is supposed to present his final report on the Harpaz affair by October 3. This solution was reached after Barak, in a crooked move, recruited the aid of the Knesset to pass special legislation enabling Lindenstrauss to complete his work.

But whoever thinks that this will be the end of the affair is apparently deluding himself. The former comptroller is especially sensitive to his good name and public standing, but many people who are well aware of this are now putting irrational pressure on him with the aim of influencing the wording of the final report. Since tremendous amounts of ego from both sides are being invested in this struggle, it is hard to see when, if at all, it will end.