Yoav Galant

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Yoav Galant
Yoav galant.jpg
Born 1958
Jaffa, Israel
Allegiance Israel Israel
Service/branch Navy, Southern Command
Years of service 1977–1982, 1984–
Rank Aluf
Battles/wars Second Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead

Aluf Yoav Galant (Hebrew: יואב גלנט‎; born November 1958) is a general in the Israel Defense Forces and a former commander of the Southern Command.

Galant was initially chosen in to succeed Gabi Ashkenazi as the next Chief of General Staff in 2011 by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and approved by the Israeli government[1][2] However, his appointment was later cancelled by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Barak following months of scandal surrounding his appointment due to allegations that he had seized public lands for his personal use near his home.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Galant was born in November 1958 in Jaffa, Israel. His mother, Fruma, was a Holocaust survivor and his father, Michael, served in the Givati Brigade in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, including the Samson's Foxes unit. Michael participated in Operation Yoav and named his son for the operation.[4] Galant received a B.A. in Business and Finance Management from the University of Haifa.[5]

Galant lives in Moshav Amikam. He is married to Claudine, a retired IDF lieutenant colonel, and they have a son and two daughters.[4]

Military career[edit]

Galant began his military career in 1977 as a naval commando in the 13th Flotilla.[5] In the 1980s, after six years in the flotilla, he moved to Alaska and worked as a lumberjack. He then returned to the navy and served on a missile boat (including a position as deputy-commander of INS Keshet)[6] and again in the 13th Flotilla. In 1992, Galant was earmarked by then-navy commander Ami Ayalon for the command of the 13th Flotilla, a position he was meant to take up in 1994. Galant preferred not to study during the two remaining years, and instead moved into the ground forces and in 1993 took up command of the Menashe (Jenin) Brigade of the West Bank Division.[4]

After serving for three years as commander of the 13th Flotilla, Galant moved up to command the Gaza Division.[4] He also commanded the reserve 340th Armored Division (Idan Formation),[7] and in 2001 became the Chief of Staff of the GOC Army Headquarters.[8] Galant attained the rank of a major general when he became the Military Secretary of the Prime Minister in 2002.[4] In 2005, Galant was appointed as commander of the Southern Command.[4] During his tenure (that lasted till October 21, 2010), the Israel Defense Forces embarked on Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Galant commanded the operation and his role in the field and in the success of the operation gained praise and helped him in the race to Chief of Staff.[5]

The Israeli NGO, Yesh Gvul, filed suit against Galant's appointment as IDF chief of staff, claiming that his command role in Cast Lead confirmed him as a suspect in "grave violations of international law."[9] Haaretz noted that Galant lobbied against an investigation of Col. Ilan Malka, the IDF commander who approved the airstrike that killed 21 members of the al-Samouni clan during Cast Lead. Galant's view was ignored as the military prosecutor general opened an investigation of the incident which was highlighted by the Goldstone Report (since disavowed by its author) as a possible serious breach of international law.[10]

Chief of Staff Candidacy[edit]

Galant House

On August 22, 2010, Minister of Defense Ehud Barak presented the candidacy of Galant for the post of the IDF's 20th Chief of Staff to the government.[5] It was expected that he would receive the promotion.[11] Galant's appointment followed a controversy, where a forged document was transferred to Israel's Channel 2 which accused Galant of attempting to smear rival candidate Benny Gantz.[12]

On September 5, 2010, the government approved the nomination of Yoav Galant as the next Chief of Staff, with only Likud minister Michael Eitan objecting. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the incoming IDF chief has "proven his worth during his 33 years of military service at the IDF's frontlines," and that "He's proven himself to be a courageous fighter, an excellent officer, and a responsible and serious battle commander." The PM added that Galant picked up on a legacy of "dedication and excellence" bequeathed by incumbent IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi. The cabinet also approved Barak's proposal, according to which Galant would serve for three years, giving the defense minister power to grant a fourth.[1]

On February 1, 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak canceled the appointment of Galant to the post of Israel Defense Forces chief. The announcement came after months of scandal surrounding his appointment due to allegations that he had seized public lands near his home in Moshav Amikam. After conducting an investigation into the allegations, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said that his findings "raise significant legal difficulties for the decision to appoint him." Weinstein said that it was up to the prime minister and defense minister to decide whether or not Galant could take up the post as new IDF chief of staff. Earlier in the day, Weinstein notified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he could not defend Galant's appointment as chief of staff due to legal impediments.[3]

On December 20, 2012, the local planning committee administrating land ownership issues and building licenses said, that Galant had built his home in the northern community of Amikam on 350 square meters of property accidentally listed as his, unaware that it was actually public land. The decision didn't address two other issues still being investigated by the state comptroller and attorney general: the building of an unauthorized access road to his house and the planting of an olive grove that spilled over the boundaries of his property.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lis, Jonathan (5 September 2010). "Cabinet votes Galant in as next IDF chief of staff". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Pfeffer, Anshel; Ravid, Barak (2010-08-22). "Yoav Galant Named as Next Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff". Haaretz. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  3. ^ a b Haaretz Service (1 February 2011). "Netanyahu, Barak announce Galant no longer new IDF chief". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Yoav Galant's Race to the Top". Ynetnews. August 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  5. ^ a b c d Greenberg, Hanan (August 22, 2010). "1st Chief of Staff from Naval Commando". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  6. ^ Schmidtberg, Ariel (April 28, 2009). "Odyssey in Algeria". Israel HaYom. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  7. ^ "Barak Announced: Galant Will Be the Next Chief of Staff". Channel 2. August 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-28.  (Hebrew)
  8. ^ Buhbut, Amir (August 22, 2010). "From the Flotilla to Chief of Staff: Yoav Galant's Persona". nrg Maariv. Retrieved 2010-08-28.  (Hebrew)
  9. ^ "Injunction Against Galant's Appointment: "Suspected of War Crimes"". Walla. October 25, 2010. 
  10. ^ "IDF probes top officers on Gaza war strike that killed 21 family members". Haaretz. October 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ Lis, Jonathan (August 23, 2010). "Grumbling Aside, Galant's Approval all but Assured". Haaretz. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  12. ^ Yehoshua, Yossi (August 20, 2010). "Suspect in Galant Affair Denies Involvement". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  13. ^ Kalman, Aaron (December 20, 2012). "Former IDF general partially cleared in land scandal that stopped his appointment as chief of staff". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 

External links[edit]