Arab media react to ‘woodcutter’ army chief 23Aug10 August 26, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  23 August 2010

Media outlets in the Arab world reported extensively Monday on the appointment of Yoav Galant as the Israel army’s chief of staff.

Several websites referred to the new military chief as the “woodcutter,” referring to Galant’s stint in Alaska in 1982.

The London-based Arabic-language daily Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Defense Minister Ehud Barak had appointed “the hero of the Gaza war,” a view echoed on the website of Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV network, which labeled Galant a “war criminal.”

The Syrian press focused on Galant’s role as a commander of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s offensive on Gaza which saw 13 Israeli soldiers and more than 1,300 Palestinians killed in three weeks.

The Israeli media focused on Galant’s troubled relationship with Gabi Ashkenazi, who he will be replacing. The Israeli daily Haaretz quoted sources close to Galant who claimed Ashkenazi prevented him “from receiving proper credit” for his role in the war.

The Israeli news site Ynet ran an op-ed titled “The right man for the job,” which praised Galant’s “top-notch operational thoroughness.”

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