Deputy defense minister banned from army HQ

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan has been barred from entering the ministry’s offices due to a rarely enforced rule that automatically removes a deputy minister from his position once his superior leaves office, officials say.

Those close to Ben-Dahan, a member of the Jewish Home party, blame the entrance ban to the offices in the army’s Kirya central headquarters in Tel Aviv on a long-running personal conflict with outgoing Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan at the scene of a stabbing attack outside the IDF Headquarters in central Tel Aviv, on October 8, 2015. A Palestinian man stabbed four soldiers, wounding them lightly, and was shot and killed by a soldier at the scene. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan at the scene of a stabbing attack outside the IDF Headquarters in central Tel Aviv, on October 8, 2015. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Ben-Dahan’s office won’t officially respond to the incident, but a now-former Defense Ministry employee says the decision to remove Ben-Dahan’s access to the Kirya base was made “only out of unkindness and because of [Ya’alon’s] persecution of Ben-Dahan.”

The official provides a litany of examples of how Ya’alon kept Ben-Dahan marginalized during his tenure, including barring him from discussions and refusing to meet with him.

“All manner of dirty things were done to him. And this happened despite the fact that Ben-Dahan never said anything against him, even though he had cause to,” the source adds.

— Judah Ari Gross

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