Ex-Mossad, distinguished former elite combat unit commander Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amiram Levin said in a radio interview Sunday that the Harpaz affair, which resulted in former Maj. Gen Yoav Galant, the defense minister's nominee, being passed over as chief of staff, was but one aspect of a criminal organization exposed by the State Comptroller. It was operated, Gen. Levin charged, by disgraced former officer Boaz Harpaz, with the knowledge of former chief of staff Gaby Ashkenazi and his bureau. Harpaz’s confederates were a group of self-serving unit commanders, whom he accused of acting for gain against the national interest in top-secret areas in breach of the most stringent military regulations. Those officers, said Gen. Levin, must shed their uniforms and face justice.
The Comptroller found Ashkenazi’s former top aide Col. Erez Wiener responsible for using Boaz Harpaz to gather data maligning the defense minister, his wife and his staff – with the partial knowledge of his boss, the chief of staff. By those actions, the highest military rank was found to have flouted the constitutional division of power which makes the military subordinate to elected authority, the government and therefore the defense minister. Barak, for his part, is criticized for holding up more than 150 senior army appointments for eight months to undermine the chief of staff.
The Comptroller also faulted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for not intervening in the feud before it went as far as it did.
Ashkenazi failed to gain government approval for a fifth year as chief of staff and Barak recently announced he was quitting public life when the government’s term expires on Jan. 22.