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General News    H3'ed 9/19/14

The Harpaz document affair: IDF "Coup attempt", or a Shin-Bet sting operation?

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It is unlikely that the people of the State of Israel will ever hear the truth in this matter, four years into the latest production from the people who brought to you "The Gatekeepers"...


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Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and former IDF Spokesman Avi Benayahu in 2010 - key figures in the Harpaz document affair.


OccupyTLV, September 10 - on September 2, the Israel Police completed its investigation into the Harpaz document affair and forwarded its recommendations, including the indictment of former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, to Attorney General Yehudah Weinstein for final determination regarding criminal prosecutions, if any. [i, ii] Upon taking office, Ashkenazi's successor, current Chief of Staff Staff Benny Gantz stated that the Harpaz document affair had left the "odor of a rotting corpse in the IDF General Command". [iii]

The affair was described by Israeli media as a "coup attempt", where top military brass tried to undermine the civilian authority over the military and subvert then Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. It originated in 2010 in the forgery of a document and its distribution by the entourage of then IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. The case was further compounded by later attempts of the suspects to obstruct the investigation.

The leading characters include former IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi, his Bureau Head Erez Winner, former IDF Spokesman Avi Benayahu, then IDF Chief Prosecutor (currently Cabinet Secretary) Avihai Mandelblit, and current Head of Internal Security in the Ministry of Defense (Malmab - particularly charged with security of information regarding nuclear matters) Amir Kain.

On September 4th, Hebrew print media reported that Kain had announced his resignation in the wake of the police report, which implicated him in leaking information about the investigation to the suspects - obstruction of criminal investigation and breach of loyalty. [iv] In contrast, calls for the suspension of Cabinet Secretary Mandelblit have so far been ignored by PM Netanyahu. [v]

One of the most interesting leaks from the final Israel Police investigation, reported by Hebrew print media was a line from a 2010 recording, where with escalating tensions between IDF top brass and the civilian authorities, then IDF Chief of Staff Bureau Head Erez Winner calmed Boaz Harpaz, author of the forged document, "Shin-Bet is with us". [vi] Indeed, one had to be naive to assume that any of this could have ever happened absent collusion or acquiescence by the Shin-Bet. The involvement of then former Mossad Deputy Chief Tamir Pardo (today Mossad Chief) in the affair had already been previously published. [vii]

Therefore, an alternative view of the Harpaz document affair is a sting operation, targeting IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi, whose popularity was a growing concern, and who was seen as a natural leader for the opposition to Netanyahu on the left-wing . [viii] Such conduct by the Shin-Bet should not be considered unthinkable. After all, in 1984 the Shin-Bet had attempted to frame a top IDF officer for murder in the Kav 300 affair (see below).

Perhaps typical of the entire spectacle, are the following two contrasting views:

  • The September 3, 2014 Opinion headline in the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom (Sheldon Adelson's propaganda organ for Netanyahu), referring to the police investigation, states: "Police Investigation with no fear and no bias". [ix]

  • The July 5, 2014 News headline in the Hebrew daily Haaretz states: "During his visit to New York Police Chief met Benyahu, suspect in Harpaz affair". [x] The meeting was discovered following Israeli media probe into the MIA status of Israel Police Chief Yohanan Danino in the days following the kidnapping-murder of three Israeli youths near Hebron (which led to the latest round of violence in Gaza). As it turned out, while Danino was initially reported to be attending a police chiefs conference in San Francisco, he in fact secretly met with key suspect Benayahu and his attorney in New York. The meeting and its location remain inexplicable. Any such meeting during a criminal investigation would be considered highly unusual, and requires special procedures, which were apparently not followed in this case. And any travel abroad of a State officer of such rank as Police Chief is under total surveillance by the Shin-Bet and Mossad. Demands for investigation of the Danino-Benayahu meeting have so far been ignored. [xi]

Overall, the alarmist calls by Israeli media over the Harpaz document affair, "Israel's democracy at stake", [xii] should be viewed as too much protestation. Israel has been far from a "democracy" for years. Its current form of government can be viewed as a " Shin-Bet judiciary gang ". [xiii]

Landmarks along the transformation of the Israeli regime over recent decades include:

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