U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attended the shiva for Max Steinberg today. Steinberg, 24, was a native of Los Angeles, Encino, and Woodland Hills, CA, who, after a 2012 Birthright Israel trip, left Pierce College, moved to Israel, studied Hebrew, and joined the IDF’s Golani Brigade. Steinberg was killed with his fellow soldiers in Shujaya, in east Gaza City.
Kerry tweeted: “Deaths of IDF/US citizens Max Steinberg & Sean Carmeli in Gaza heartbreaking reminder of close bonds w/ Israel.”
Steinberg’s parents and two siblings arrived in Israel for the Mr. Herzl funeral, and were incredibly overwhelmed by the perhaps 30,000 mourners who came to pay their final respects. The Israeli media estimated the attendees to be between 20,000 and 35,000.
The funeral included speeches by former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Professor Michael Oren, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barka, current U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Dov Lipman, MP, and more. John Kerry – a former officer who served in Vietnam, stopped by the Crowne Plaza hotel in Jerusalem to pay his respects to the Steinberg family.
When asked, Kerry told Mrs. Evie Steinberg, “My day’s going better than yours.” He continued, “I am so honored to be here. I am in awe of your son, truly, and I think you know, I served in the military, and I have great respect for anybody who… especially puts themselves willingly in harm’s way. And as an American, we’re so proud of the affection that he felt, just the love he felt, and the roots he found in this country.”