While Israeli media is reporting that former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi was questioned today for four hours by the Israeli Controller, that is, the chief investigative officer of the government, there is an important factor that is under gag and can’t be published inside Israel. An Israeli source tells me that he was questioned by the Shabak, not the normal police interrogators.
This indicates that the Israeli media are misreporting the subject of the interrogation. They’re saying it concerns Ashkenazi’s role in the leaked Galant memo, which was forged by an Ashkenazi confidant in an attempt to damage the candidacy of one of his rivals for the chief of staff job. If that was the real subject there would be no need for the presence of the Shabak, which would allow the police to handle the matter.
But if, however, the investigation concerned the shady arms deals (they too are under gag order) which I’ve reported here that were arranged by Ashkenazi and Harpaz (with them pocketing a hefty commission), then this would certainly rise to the level of gravity needed to bring in the Shabak, since these transactions involved serious violations of national security.
My question is why the story is being framed this way? It could be that the military censor has told the media if they report the story at all they should report it this way. Or it could be that the media has chosen itself to report it this way. What is clear though is that Ashkenazi is being protected either by the IDF or the media. Either because of his status as a former chief of staff or because they don’t wish to bring Israel into any more disrepute than it’s already suffered from Ashkenazi’s depredations, they’re allowing the story to be deflected from its real subject.
But we won’t allow that to happen. At least not here.
Another consideration is that all Israeli former chiefs of staff enter politics. And when they do they are automatic power brokers in whichever party they decide to join. So the media may be considering that Ashkenazi is a potential future source with considerable sway and influence, and therefore going easy on him.
This article first appeared at Tikun Olam.