Those we have lost

Maj. Sagi Golan, 30: Killed 13 days before wedding to his boyfriend

Killed fighting Hamas terrorists at Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7

The late Sagi Golan who was killed in Be'eri on October 7, 2023. (Facebook screenshot)
The late Sagi Golan who was killed in Be'eri on October 7, 2023. (Facebook screenshot)

Maj. Sagi Golan, 30, was killed on October 7 while fighting Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Be’eri, as his unit managed to rescue some of those under attack.

Golan and his partner Omer Ohana were due to get married on October 20, with the song “I Was Fortunate to Love” by Israeli star Ivri Lider accompanying them along the aisle.

Instead, Lider, a gay artist, performed the song at Golan’s funeral, while white cotton flowers, produced for the tables at the wedding, adorned a funeral wreath instead.

For his compulsory military service, Golan had been accepted into the prestigious 8200 intelligence unit, whose graduates often go on to stellar high-tech and business careers. But he chose to enter a combat unit, completing the course for Lotar — an elite special unit dealing with counter-terrorism.

Maj. Sagi Golan (left) and his betrothed, Omer Ohana. (Screenshot)

On the morning of October 7, he and Ohana — both high-tech workers — woke up in their apartment in coastal Herzliya and turned the radio on to hear the morning news.

Golan “jumped out of bed, he didn’t get up,” Ohana told Channel 12 news through tears.

Even though nobody called on him to report for duty, “He had his uniform in hand, he brushed his teeth, and within a few minutes, we were at the front door,” Ohana said. “He gave me a kiss on the lips, and he said [he’d be back in] ‘Less than a week.'”

Golan, 30, originally from the central city of Ra’anana, was killed leading his unit on the evening October 7. Formal notice of his death only came early several days later.

According to Ohana, the soldier sent to deliver the bitter news wasn’t used to mixing with gay couples and made a point of saying it.

On the form Ohad was asked to sign, there was no place for a male partner. “I asked for something, and they said I had to request his parents,” Ohana recalled. “It made me so angry. I was the one who loved him. But I’m not taken into account. And he wasn’t taken into account.”

An IDF spokeswoman said parents were the address for a fallen soldier if the soldier had been neither married nor known in common law to have had a partner, and that this applied to heterosexual and homosexual couples in the same way.

If Ohana wanted to be recognized as Golan’s common law partner, he could apply to the Defense Ministry. The couple had planned to have children, via a surrogate. Golan’s sperm was frozen after he died.

Golan’s mother, Eti, told Channel 12, that there was “no reason in the world” for the state not to honor his son’s wish to have children, and that “under no circumstances” would Omer Ohana not be recognized as the father of her grandchild.

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid told the Ynet news site that Golan “fell in the battle for Be’eri. Sagi and his partner Omer were about to get married. The State of Israel must treat Omer exactly as they treat any spouse of a fallen warrior. If Sagi is good enough to die for his country, he deserves that his own country will respect the person that his heart chose, allow him to have a child, and embrace him with love. I promise you, Omer, I will be by your side.”

The couple met six years ago, and Golan proposed a year ago on a volcano in Tenerife, Ohana said.

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