All Things Soldier: The FIFA Facebook Funeral

8-1-2014 1-53-34 PMSean Carmeli was born in Texas, the son of a couple who had come to the US from Israel and settled in South Padre Island. As is the case with many Jewish people all over the world, he felt a fierce attachment to the land of Israel, and after graduating from high school, he joined the Israeli Defense Force. It is possible in Israel to serve in two armies, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the dual citizen IDF members who have helped us and our allies around the globe. By necessity their presence is rarely acknowledged, but nonetheless needs to be honored.

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Sean was killed by Hamas, which was suggested recently by Nancy Pelosi as actually being a “humanitarian organization.” He was on patrol in Gaza, and his transport was hit by an anti tank weapon. Two days later, his IDF military funeral was held on Monday, July 21 at 11 pm to accommodate his parents’ arrival from the US. This was also just a week after the last championship FIFA World Cup game, the Olympics of the soccer world, and “soccer spirit” was running high. Sean was a huge fan of the Haifa Maccabi, a soccer club considered one of the best in the land, and the Maccabi were determined to see that his funeral would be well attended.

Enter Facebook, that Internet-based technological wonder that can be used for great good or evil. Team members got a hold of everyone they could think of, the Facebook message went viral, and by 11 pm that night, more than 20,000 people showed up at his funeral. Strangers attended, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN went, traffic was jammed beyond belief, and there were so many people pressed next to each other, there were even those who needed some medical attention. This is something not uncommon at soccer events.

Various people were interviewed and asked why they came. One woman, who did not know Sean and did not specifically identify herself as a Maccabi fan, said the following:
“It’s shocking and your heart hurts for the family. This situation was forced on us. All we want is to live here in quiet and they [Hamas] don’t let us. When I see the image of all the people here, it makes me proud to be a part of this nation.”

Hamas recently invaded a kibbutz in Israel and killed five soldiers. Their intent had been to attack civilians in the kibbutz, and the way they got there was through an extensive tunnel system. Why am I bringing this up? Because currently on our own nation’s southern borders there are tunnels that go on for miles that are being used to run drugs and people into our country. Texas National Guard troops have been told by the President to back up several miles from the border, and the Mexican government is protesting that they are near the border at all. Radical Islamists look upon us as the Great Satan, and by their own admission don’t mind teaming up with the drug cartels in order to do their worst. You connect the dots, but in the mean time, let us celebrate that Facebook was used for good, and a fallen soldier was given the respect he deserved.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

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