A man who stabbed an off-duty soldier to death after a nightclub brawl was sentenced to 15 years in prison after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.
Ben Ganish was sentenced in Lod District Court Tuesday for stabbing Iftach Grady, a 19-year-old from Givatayim, to death in a Raanana nightclub in 2014.
Ganish, 23, was also ordered to pay compensation of NIS 258,000 ($71,500) after a plea deal in which he admitted to manslaughter and obstructing the course of justice.
“I am very sorry for what happened,” said Ganish in court. “I never dreamed that such a thing could ever happen. Every night, every minute, every moment, it’s something that will accompany me all my life. I caused the destruction of whole families, and especially of the Grady family, and my family.”
Grady’s father, Ezer, told the court that he did not accept the sentence and rejected the deal struck with Ganish.
“Standing here is a man who I consider to be sophisticated, a very cruel person whose had no problem taking the life of another person over an insult,” he said.
“I hope that this man will pay… the high price he needs to pay,” Erez Grady said. “Not for my sake, because what was important to me has gone and will not come back. But for the sake of society.”
Afterwards Erez Grady strongly criticized the court system for what he saw as a travesty of justice.
“The courts proved today that big money buys justice,” he said. “This punishment is not proportional, it is a mockery. These are the judges of Israel in this disgusting criminal state. They murdered my son for nothing. I didn’t want this deal and continually opposed it. Did anyone ask me? Am I not a party to this?”
The indictment against Ganish was filed one month after the attack, in May 2014. Three others, Manny Dabush, Shai Calderon and Sapir Guter were also charged for their involvement in the death, along with Ganish.
According to the indictment, the four were inside a nightclub in the central Israeli city. Calderon was hitting on Grady’s girlfriend, leading to a fight between the four and Grady and his friends. Bouncers had to break up the fight and separate them.
The indictment stated that Ganish decided to kill one of the people who had fought with him. He and Dabush entered the kitchen of the nightclub and Ganish gave Dabush a two-pronged grill fork and took a butchers’ knife himself. They then waited outside the nightclub. They unsuccessfully tried to stab one of Grady’s friends as he left the club but he managed to flee. Then they found Grady, pushed him against a wall and started punching him. Dabush stabbed him with the fork and Ganish stabbed him with the knife. Grady bled to death and the perpetrators fled the scene.
Dabush was found guilty of failing to prevent a crime and obstructing legal proceedings. He was sentenced to 15 months in jail, which he served between April 2014 and August 2015.