Very unsurprisingly, Yedioth Ahronoth continued on Tuesday to carefully avoid anything having to do with the deep involvement of former IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi in the Harpaz document affair. The same Ashkenazi who took an active part in the affair surrounding the forged document is also the one who served Yedioth Ahronoth in falsely criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back in August. For the benefit of anyone who has forgotten: Yedioth Ahronoth contended in August that senior IDF and Mossad officials were uncompromisingly opposed to a military attack on Iran. As evidence, the paper cited the fact that the defense minister had convened the top brass of the IDF General Staff in his office, and when he failed to convince them, he invited them to a Mossad villa and tried to convince them there while they were seated on comfortable chairs. He failed there too.
But there were facts that the paper chose to conceal. That meeting at the Mossad villa did in fact take place, but it happened three years ago, and it was attended by the officials who manned the general staff back then, headed by then-IDF chief Ashkenazi. That same Ashkenazi, whom the paper tried to portray as the voice of reason in the face of the “hasty and reckless” Barak and Netanyahu, turned out to be a man whose conduct the State Comptroller found to be "unacceptable," in the Harpaz affair, to put it mildly.
It is no secret that in recent months, and more actively as the elections draw nearer, Yedioth Ahronoth has made sure to pull rabbit after rabbit from its hats in efforts to unseat Netanyahu. To that end, the paper has recruited along list of former security officials hoping that maybe one of them will either join an existing party or establish a new party to challenge Netanyahu.
It started with the irresponsible blabbering by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan on the Iranian issue; continued with the lamentation by former Israel Security Agency chief Yuval Diskin (after his bid to succeed Dagan was rebuffed), and peaked with the unacceptable behavior by Ashkenazi, who makes no effort to disguise his political aspirations. These aspirations could explain why Yedioth Ahronoth handled Ashkenazi with kid gloves — in stark contrast with the other newspapers — when it emerged that he had the forged Harpaz document in his possession and didn't report it.
Today, in retrospect, it is clearly fortuitous that the so-called Ashkenazi law — which would have significantly shortened the required cooling-off period between defense establishment and entering politics — was voted down.
Ashkenazi and his friends, who like to preach ethics and values to all of us, forgot that in a working mechanism there has to be hierarchy, and if the IDF chief doesn't like working under the defense minister then he should resign. And if the Mossad and ISA chiefs don't like working under the prime minister, they should give back the keys and go home.