Attorney general approves appointment of IDF deputy chief of staff

Attorney general approves appointment of IDF deputy chief of staff

Yehuda Weinstein gives the go-ahead for Eizenkot despite pre-election timing

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. (photo credit: Moshe Sinai/Flash90)
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. (photo credit: Moshe Sinai/Flash90)

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Sunday approved the promotion of Northern Command Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot to IDF deputy chief of General Staff, saying he found no legal impediment to the appointment.

The decision reverses Weinstein’s earlier misgivings about the timing of the move ahead of January elections. In the past, Weinstein has instructed that appointments to senior positions not be made during campaign season.

Following the announcement of Eizenkot’s appointment last month, the Forum for the Land of Israel, a right-wing legal advocacy group, petitioned the High Court of Justice to freeze the promotion on the grounds that it was tainted by politics because of its timing and Eizenkot’s perceived closeness to outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The pick of Eizenkot, who served as Barak’s military aide during the latter’s term as prime minister and defense minister in 1999, ended months of speculation as to who would replace Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh in the position.

In October, the attorney general paved the way for the appointment when he said that Eizenkot’s marginal role in the so-called Harpaz affair, which involved a reportedly forged document meant to smear a candidate for the IDF chief position, was not serious enough to disqualify him.

The post is seen as a feeder into the army’s top post, currently occupied by Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.

Eizenkot finished his stint commanding the army’s northern forces last year, taking leave after a decades-long military career that saw him command the Golani Brigade and serve as military secretary to Barak when he was prime minister and defense minister in 1999.

The major general was considered to be Gantz’s pick for the deputy job, and may take over Gantz’s post when the chief of staff steps down in three years. Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi was also considered for the post.

Naveh is expected to resign in the coming months.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: