Inside the General Staff
The Police announced that the Major- Generals of the I.D.F. are not suspected of forging the ‘Galant document’, bringing a sigh of relief to many officials in the Defense department. In practice, however, it was revealed that the situation within the General Staff is bleak. The Defense Minister is in deep dispute with the Chief of Staff. Relations between the Chief of Staff and the Maj.-Gen. of the Southern Command are dreadful. Generals bad-mouth each other, and in private discussions express a lack of trust in their fellow colleagues. Media commentators find it hard to believe that given such a murky web of relationships the General Staff is able to function properly, and raise doubts about the ability of Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi to implement an orderly change-over with his replacement.
Outwardly, indeed, there are the usual formal and polished statements. After it became clear that the document was forged, the Chief of Staff rushed to express his happiness, even adding: “Not for one second did I believe that a member of the Chief of Staff’s forum or senior officers of the I.D.F. were involved in this.” Seemingly, however, for a number of months he did believe that the document was real. Therefore, he kept it in a safety-box, showing it to his close associates, not asking the police to investigate who forged it.
The Spirit of Officer Barak
Evidently, the mean spirit of Defense Minister Ehud Barak evokes a negative atmosphere of egoism and betrayal of values and friends, promotes rivalry and conflict, and encourages General Staff members to bring out the worst within themselves on one and other. Members of his party claim: “Barak is using the same methods which he used to crush the Labor Party, in order to harm the army also.” Ma’ayan Amoda’i, the former head of the ‘Young Guard’ of the Labor Party said: “The time has come to remove the mask from Barak’s face. All of the recent events in the I.D.F. were created within an atmosphere in which Barak stood behind them,” including “his decision to place the responsibility for the mishaps of the Flotilla incident on the I.D.F.”
The Committee of Investigation and Ehud Barak
In a properly administrated country with a tradition of true democracy, after an incident which was seen as a disgraceful failure, provoking condemnation from the entire world, leading to the establishment of an international committee of investigation, and caused the State of Israel to withdraw from its strategic policy (the removal of the embargo on Gaza), the Minister accountable would accept upon himself the responsibility and quit, thereby solving the problem for the Government and the State.
This idea, which expresses personal responsibility, never even crossed Barak’s mind. Some say that our Defense Minister is a talented man; however, it seems that for many years now, his main talent is his ability to evade responsibility, while passing it on to those surrounding him – no matter what the price.
The Government and the Defense Minister could have claimed that there was no failure in the events of the Flotilla. The ‘peace’ activists attacked, the results were in accordance, and in future flotillas, if the ‘peace’ activists assault, the reaction will be similar. The Land of Israel is ours, we have the right to live here securely, and we will do anything necessary to this end. Incidentally, it’s not clear that such a position would provoke more condemnations. And if we are going to be condemned in any case, better to be condemned over something worthwhile.
However, it is not ethically tolerable for someone who decided to crumble under international pressure and concede our full right to our land to suddenly be assertive when his personal status is concerned. It’s a good assumption that in the not so distant future Ehud Barak will be thrown out of office. It’s a pity he didn’t quit immediately after the Flotilla incident, thereby benefitting the State of Israel to a certain extent, and releasing us from his punishment.
The thought that this man chose the next Chief of Staff arouses dismal feelings, and also great resentment for the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who deceived the confidence of his supporters by entrusting Ehud Barak with so much authority, instead of appointing Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Moshe Ya’alon Defense Minister – as he promised him before the elections.