חשיפה: הקצין הבכיר שהחזיק מחסן נשק וציוד צבאי לשימושו הפרטי הוא תא”ל מרדכי כהנא
שעות ספורות אחרי שחשפתי את שם החשוד בגניבת ציוד צבאי (תא”ל כהנא), פרסם צה”ל רשמית את שמו והודיע על השעייתו
UPDATE: As a result of this report and my inquiries, the IDF spokesperson released the following statement (translated):
…Today, 23 October 2017, the commander of IDF land forces, Gen. Kobi Barak, suspended…Brig. Gen. Mordechai Kahane from his post for 14 days. The decision was approved by chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot.
The suspension was related to a military police investigation of the officer in regards to charges that he acquired and maintained, illegally and over a long period, military and civilian equipment. The investigation is ongoing in accordance with developments in the case regarding the officer.
This is an example of the power of democratic media to hold Israeli institutions accountable for their actions.
Israeli media reports that an IDF general has for years maintained a personal illicit armory of military weapons, an SUV, TVs, bicycles, computer printers, and washing machines for his personal use. An Israeli TV news report called it a “weapons supermarket.” Other reports indicate he plundered AK-47 rifles captured from Hamas fighters during battle as military souvenirs. He even stole military boots for use by members of his own family. The army is trying to sweep this investigation under the rug by minimizing the extent of his theft and his motives in amassing this contraband. They’re also emphasizing his spotless previous record. None of which obviates the crimes he committed.
Further, the army has placed a gag order on identifying the officer. Thanks to an Israeli who contacted me and a journalist who confirmed the information, I can say that the suspect is Brig. Gen. Mordechai Kahane. He is the nephew of the infamous Meir Kahane. His father, Nachman, was Kahane’s brother. He was raised in the incendiary environment of the settler yeshivas of East Jerusalem and now serves as the army’s chief of the Combat Intelligence Corps and commander of the Border Protection Division.
There’s an even stranger wrinkle to this case: last month an IDF unit in the Golan suffered a fatal accident during a training exercise. A self-propelled gun mounted on a vehicle overturned and two soldiers were killed inside it. Another two were seriously injured. Though such accidents are not uncommon in an army that is continually preparing for war, they do shock Israeli society. So it’s important that these incidents be investigated and lessons learned (at least in theory) from them.
In this case, the army has turned to a trusted officer who has investigated such accidents before and can be trusted to protect the reputation of the army no matter what. That officer is none other than…Mordechai Kahane. It is inexplicable that the IDF, knowing Kahane is being investigated for serious crimes, chose him to conduct such any investigation, let alone one as sensitive as this one. Though the news reports say he was first questioned about the theft last Sunday, it seems highly likely someone in the IDF knew about the earlier suspicions against him when he was appointed to investigate the crash.
That’s another reason why his identity is under gag. Revealing his name will further embarrass the army and raise questions about the judgment of those who make these decisions (as well it should). If you are an Israeli reading this, please share this information which should be free and open to the Israeli public, so it can know what the IDF does in its name; and so that it can be held accountable for its decisions.