UPDATE: The Bar Noar case continues to spew evil and violence in its wake–four years after the tragic events occurred. The accused shooter is Hagai Felician. The alleged rape victim who was assaulted by Shaul Ganon is his brother, Binyamin (Benny) Felician, who was 15 year old at the time. The Felicians have a third brother, Yaakov. Despite the fact that he wasn’t involved in the Bar Noar case, he’s figured out a way to mire himself in it as well.
A female lawyer met with him several times attempting to join the legal defense team for his brothers. During one of those meetings, the lawyer claims he raped her (Hebrew). The police are investigating and Yaakov Felician’s name is under gag. I don’t believe that rapists (even alleged ones) should be protected by gag orders.
A key figure in the Bar Noar gay murders was an individual who provided the killer, Hagai Felician, with a detailed plan of the youth center and mapped his entrance and exit. This person himself is gay and had frequented the facility and so knew its layout. Over the years since the murders, this individual became alarmed at how the conspirators were treating him. He went to the police and agreed to turn State’s witness in return for leniency. The police were holding him under protective custody in a safe house to protect him until the trial.
For some reason, he decided to abandon his safe house and agreed to an interview with an Israeli TV news show (video above). As a result (and though the news show did not reveal his name) I no longer feel any compunction in revealing his identity. He is Zohar Khankisheyev, age 25, and the brother of another conspirator, Tarlen Khankisheyev (Tarlen likely was involved in covering up the crime after the fact). Until now, though I consider him a key participant in the crime and guilty of enabling the savagery that occurred, I refused to unmask him because I believed doing so might put him in some degree of danger from the others who might wish to harm him. But not that Zohar has gone well over half way to identifying himself, I’m going to go the remainder of the way.
Can you imagine that Khankisheyev’s being held in a safe house under the supervision of a number of police officers. Somehow, he escapes, giving them the slip and does an interview with an Israeli TV station. Does this instill confidence in you at the competence of the Israeli police? They have a star witness in one of the most lethal massacres in Israeli history and they can’t even ensure he’s protected properly.
Shaul Ganon, the former director of the Bar Noar, who indirectly originated the conspiracy by allegedly having sex with Hagai Felician’s then 15-year-old brother, Binyamin, recently agreed to a plea bargain with the prosecutor. In return for admitting he had sex with the boy (while claiming he did not know he was a minor), he will testify against the others. As an Israeli gay friend reminded me, this does not mean he raped the boy or even that he had sex with him. It means he was seeking to avoid the police charging him with rape, a far more serious crime. Here is a Hebrew report from a gay publication about Ganon’s perspective on the incident.
There is a tendency, due to the unsavory character of the conspirators, who were mobbed up, to treat this crime as the product of a person vendetta. As a tragedy having little or nothing to do with the average Israeli. But this is a fallacious assumption. These men killed innocent civilians who were gay and had done nothing to deserve their sentence of death or lifetime paralysis. The least Israel should do for these victims is prosecute the massacre as a hate crime. The perpetrators are violent homophobes who killed for the pleasure of eliminating gay people.
The Israeli police and prosecutor deliberately downplaying the severity of this crime in order to allow Israel to continue to boast of its good treatment of gay people (i.e. pinkwashing). A gay hate crime would tarnish this reputation right-quick and cause the cancellation of all those international gay tours to Tel Aviv, the supposed mecca of the free gay lifestyle.
If Israel warranted such a reputation I would have no problem with such boasts. But sweeping the Bar Noar murders under the rug is yet another part of the pinkwashing conspiracy.
Hate crime it is. But the involvement of a gay accomplice, a victim of possible rape, makes it more complex than we want to admit. A pure hate crime it can not be. If a Jew joins his non Jewish brother to murder synagogue goers it alters the purity of hate crime definition. Killing your own is not the same as killing the other.
If the suspect hates gays and wants to kill them, how come he has not killed his own gay brother?
Richard Silverstein says
You’re not understanding the situation. The gay accomplice is not a victim of rape. He is a co conspirator who helped the shooter gain access to the Bar Noar. The shooter was allegedly avenging the rape of his brother. The crime was committed by Hagai who is not gay. It is his intent that determines it was a hate crime. Not the fact that 2 co conspirators who did not pull the trigger may’ve been gay.
I imagine Benny told his brother he wasn’t gay for fear that Hagai WOULD kill him.
Itsik Heyman says
Also, a way of denying his own homosexuality is to claim to have been raped and arrange for the alleged rapist to be murdered. Similar cases are not uncommon and have happened before. But here is where the hate crime problem appears:
* Even in such cases, the murderer does not massacre a group of victims just for being gay.
* Hate crime is more difficult to establish, the prosecution prefers to establish a personal motive. The victims will suffer because it will deny them possible support given to hate crime victims by the state.
yael bar says
The witness has a facebook page
Uri Breitman says
It all started from Shaul Ganon. He’s the one who started the entire mess: he had sex with a 15 year old boy, which led directly to the massacre – then he hid the information from the police after the killings, and now he wants protection.
A serial rapist cannot be a state witness – this can’t work.
Ganon is the primary target, and he cannot escape the trial.
The crown witness has been captured.
Sad as this hatecrime tragedy is, this ever thickening plot is turning farcical by the day.
Richard Silverstein says
@Yankel: It’s a tawdry mixture of high tragedy and farce. From murder to rape to Keystone Kops. A pathetic performance especially for Israel’s police force.
After much deliberation, I realized this crime was intended to be a quote quote regular crime – a personal vendetta etc. However, when the victims had nothing to do with the supposed motive it turned into a hate crime. It is when the alleged murderer “lost it” that the he went from personal to collective. The less the gay contributors did to actualize the murder, the stronger the argument for an absolute hsae crime stands. It is all about a pre-meditated murder going awfully wrong. It is not just about semantics. History shows that hate crimes can serve as catalyst and turning point in public awareness.. It feels like the gay community is more embraced than denounced and that is a shining light by itself.
Richard Silverstein says
@Ari: Thanks, I think I can agree with everything you say here except your first sentence. The crime was a hate crime from the beginning. Hagai Felician wanted to kill Ganon because he was gay. If Binyamin had had sex with a girl would Hagai have wanted to kill her? Of course not.
Tolerant homophobe says
I feel you defending another criminal (most likely) person, just because a victim was from a minor social group (homosexuals) and his rights is a priority against analysis of criminal, what serve as a background just. Such concept notes like “having sex”, “hate crime”, – can do lazy investigator. Of course it is useful for LGBT activist! I noticed that in many EU countries the “tolerance” objects are pushed forward ignoring any facts (even scientific) that must be studied before it.
If there rises new evidences, both sides victim and shooter should be layered by presumption of innocence. There is a killer hetero-like. There is a victim homo-like. Is it just a ground for gay haters (tolerance object)?
Of course, any crime is filled with hate. You said nothing new, Richard. The hate (in most cases) is stimulated by some facts or direct actions against your personal values, honor, surrounding area, family members. Knowing of something that hurts -> sorrow -> pain -> vendetta. Killing is one crime. Raping or “having sex” with (just) 15th year old boy is another crime with approach to pedophile.
Why you using philosophic “having sex” instead of “raping”? The boy just 15th years old. And he made a complain. Not just proudly boasted of his sex moments, as basically boys do. So there is no space to speculate with “having sex”. And your homo-like PR won’t work this time. To separate cases into “killing” and “raping” is a must.
I very well understand that divided two crimes is not useful for LGBT activist. LGBT marketing requires, to wash out any negatives, isn’t it?
Please continue with your “hate crime” notes, Richard and you will prove that there are homophobes under rainbow flag too.
p.s. sorry for my english
Richard Silverstein says
@homophobe: I would rather you write your comment in Hebrew (if that’s your native language) so I can understand it. I also find the nickname you chose to be offensive. If you comment here again choose another.
Yes and no. If B. Had sex with a 45yo woman and then claimed she raped him, H. with his history of violent nature could have equally gone after her.Nevertheless, I contend that in order to have such a violent and aversive reaction as murder one mayhave a personal history of being a survivor of sexual attack himself. And because more often than not men attack boys more than women do, H. May have been attavked ny a man and this could have lead to an extreme homophobic act. I further contend that the fact that H. lost it indeed can hint that he operated on some PTSD reflex. He went AWOL the next day. Something deep may have been stirred up. I will not be surprised to find out that these siblings survived some sort of inappropriate behavior.