Israeli Convicted of 2014 Nightclub Murder of IDF Soldier Given 15-year Sentence in Plea Bargain

Ben Ganish's crime downgraded to manslaughter, showed remorse for stabbing in Ra'anana nightclub brawl. The victim's father decries the sentencing as 'a joke'

Sharon Pulwer
Sharon Pulwer
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Ezer Grady, father of Yiftach Grady, who was killed during a nightclub brawl in 2014, after sentencing at the Lod District Court, May 15, 2017.
Ezer Grady, father of Yiftach Grady, who was killed during a nightclub brawl in 2014, after sentencing at the Lod District Court.
Sharon Pulwer
Sharon Pulwer

An Israeli man convicted of murdering an Israel Defense Forces soldier at a nightclub in 2014 was sentenced Monday to 15 years’ prison, as part of a plea bargain that downgraded his crime to manslaughter.

Ben Ganish, who was convicted in November 2016 of killing Yiftach Grady, 19, and of obstructing justice, will also pay Grady’s parents 258,000 shekels (about $70,000) in compensation. He has expressed remorse for his deeds.

Prosecutors had sought a jail term of 19 to 23 years, while Grady’s defense had argued for 7 to 10 years. He asked for special consideration due to his young age at the time of the crime (23), and the absence of a criminal record. Grady’s father, Ezer, retorted that Ganish committed murder simply because he was miffed.

In April 2014, according to the indictment, Grady and his friends were at Club Six in Ra’anana, as were Ganish and his friends, including one Shai Kalderon. During the evening, Kalderon repeatedly hit on a female friend of Grady’s, despite her protests, and a fight broke out between the two groups. They were separated by security guards, but Ganish, according to the prosecution, apparently decided that somebody from the other group should die.

He and a friend, Manny Dabush, wound up attacking and stabbing Grady with a two-pronged grilling fork and a butcher’s knife. As Grady bled to death, they fled the scene. They hid the knife and Ganish’s blood-stained shirt, and also called the club to ask what had happened to Grady and whether the premises were equipped with security cameras.

Ganish’s lawyer argued there had been no intent to kill.

After the sentencing Monday at the Lod District Court, Ezer Grady said that evidently, in the State of Israel, crime does pay: “The courts have proved that big money buys justice. When you have money you can do anything – steal, murder – and you can get top-tier lawyers and they’ll get you off. This is a disproportionate punishment, a total joke This was not the defendant’s first stabbing, and he had been in prison before.”

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