On Aug. 6, 2010 the so-called Galant Document was leaked with great fanfare. A police investigation, concluded in breakneck speed, revealed that the document had been forged. The goal of the document was to carry out a character assassination of Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, who was ranked high on the list of would-be chiefs of general staff.
This piece of art was in fact just an amateur patchwork of items. The reporter who broke the story listed nine of them, but took no pains to set the record straight when the media reported that all its content had been leaked. Authoring this document was a way to manipulate events so that Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's term as Chief of General Staff would be extended while disqualifying Galant from holding that position.
The truth eventually surfaced several months later, in full force. One has to be either naïve, a fool or have a hidden agenda to twist this truth with linguistic maneuvers and convoluted explanations. Those who claim to be in the know of the case should have known better. But the battle that veteran reporter Amnon Abramovitch has been waging just boggles the mind, especially because he professes to have intimate knowledge of the details of the police investigation. The question that must be asked is: Is he out to defend Ashkenazi or the story he broke? Perhaps one paves the way to the other?
Ashkenazi is not pure as the driven snow. State Prosecutor Moshe Lador said as much when interviewed on the Channel 1 Friday night news magazine. "Ashkenazi's conduct is unacceptable for the public as it is for me." Could it be that Ashkenazi, who gave the axe to Brig. Gen. Moshe Chico Tamir after he was found lying to protect his son's misdemeanors, did not tell the whole truth to the General Staff and to investigators in the Israel Police? Ashkenazi also had no problem pitting the major generals of the General Staff against each other, by means of this document.
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Contrary to Ashkenazi's statements to his General Staff and the police, the police investigation revealed that Boaz Harpaz was a close associate [Harpaz was ultimately named by the police as the one who forged the document]. I was not the one to make this claim. Ashkenazi initiated a phone call with Harpaz– on a landline – after the police had launched its investigation. He failed to disclose this fact to the police when he appeared before investigators. In fact, Harpaz told police about the call. The police have even managed to employ technological means to confirm that it took place. Isn't this a significant new piece of information? Why did the veteran journalist choose not to disclose this? What is he hiding from viewers? State Prosecutor Lador could not be more clear in confirming that the call took place when he appeared live on Channel 1. He also vouched for the validity of the new revelations that Channel 1 broke. The call held was not just some call – Harpaz was questioned about it for possible obstruction of justice. Was Ashkenazi ever confronted with this? No.
The investigative report that I presented showed some 1500 text messages exchanged between Ashkenazi's wife, Ronit, and Harpaz. This correspondence was confirmed in writing by the Justice Ministry. The claim that some of the correspondence between the two was in fact missed calls is outright wrong, like the fictitious claim that some interested party wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the police investigation by suggesting they had an affair. Making such claims is motivated by a desire to create a charade; to lead the police into believing that the contacts should be considered private matters and should not be looked into. This applies even today, after Harpaz has already confessed to police that he was the sole author of the document. But this admission of guilt cannot be reconciled with the lie detector test he underwent and a phone conversation that was intercepted by police, where he was heard saying he "is willing to take the fall for Gabi."
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But a big question mark looms: who really forged the document? And who knew that it had been fabricated? So long as Harpaz was willing to "take the fall for Gabi," Ashkenazi's inner circle remained mum on any wrongdoing by Harpaz, even after the police investigation had concluded. Rather awkward. A chief of General Staff is expected to condemn anyone who tries to deceive him and slander his subordinate. But after Harpaz chose to cooperate with investigators, Ashkenazi's tone changed. Now Harpaz is portrayed as a con man. Ashkenazi's people keep offering different iterations to that. Soon enough we are all going to hear how Harpaz was actually working for Defense Minister Ehud Barak [who had sour relations with Ashkenazi]. No harm done. People will just have to take the fall for Ashkenazi.
On Sept. 9, the head of the Police Investigations and Intelligence Office Maj. Gen. Yoav Segalovich appeared on Channel 2's Friday night news magazine. He was asked about the "1500 text messages that surfaced recently" (the wording used by the reporters to describe the story I broke on Channel 1). Segalovich answered on the spot that "they did not just surface. They are included in the police's evidence." Segalovich claimed, rightly so as far as he is concerned, that the police carried out its role diligently. He said that the Military Advocate General, the State Comptroller and the media will have to investigate the other aspects of this story, without being asked what these are. Veteran reporter Abramovitch also claimed during the broadcast that the police has 1400 text messages. If he knew all along that there was such a great number of messages, why did he not report on them, why did he wait until Channel 1 broke it? This week he wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth that the number of messages is only 700. Really?
In his interview on Channel 2 Segalovich seemed to criticize the people who first broke the story, saying, "You called this paper the Galant Document. We, the police, investigated and discovered that this is the Harpaz Document, not the Galant Document."
Just recently the media revisited the Bus 300 affair [where Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) investigators beat terrorists to death in the mid 1980s]. We can see how the truth sometimes comes out little by little. Although sometimes it may take up to 27 years, when the truth wants to be set free it eventually prevails and the Trojan Horses and the cover-ups and the slanderers are publicly rebuked. Even if its up against powerful groups and interested parties who keep repeating the lies, this does not prove them right. As you may recall, during the Bus 300 affair security officials hoped they could hide their ugly misdeeds by citing "national security." National security was once again invoked in this most recent desperate mission but this time the scapegoat is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian nuclear program. I can't help but wonder if the divergent views that some of the protagonists have on the Iranian issue are the reason to make their vices Kosher? What's with this obsession? For my part, I did not bother to fight all those who tried to throw mud at me and discredit my work. My investigative reports are based on facts and a trove of information. I did not resort to impressive language like other reporters, but I compiled a real report. If I may dispense a piece of advice to my colleague on Channel 2 – sometimes you just have to listen to your better angels and fight your ego. Just follow values and conscience, as we have discussed so many times.
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