IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz on Thursday announced that he was rescinding the promotion of Col. Erez Weiner to the post of chief educational officer.
Weiner was set to replace Brig.-Gen. Eli Shermeister over a year ago, but the appointment was held up due to Weiner’s suspected involvement in the scandal known as the “Harpaz affair.”
Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz was found to have forged a damning document purportedly issued by Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant (now retired), Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s choice at the time to succeed then-IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi. Early reports pointed to the involvement of former Ashkenazi aide-de-camp Weiner in the drafting of the document.
Galant was eventually disqualified from the running following a land appropriation scandal, leaving Barak to appoint Gantz last year as Ashkenazi’s successor.
The State Comptroller’s Office began investigating the affair in October 2010, but has yet to release its findings.
Gantz had delayed Weiner’s promotion to chief educational officer as well as his elevation to the rank of brigadier general, pending the state comptroller’s investigation. However, on Thursday, the chief of staff decided to stop waiting and instead canceled Weiner’s promotion. He has reportedly begun examine possible alternative candidates for the position.
“The decision to not promote Wiener to chief education officer was not taken lightly,” the IDF spokesman’s office said, noting that going such a long time without filling the position was “harmful to the IDF.”