During The Gaza War, Operation Cast Lead in 2014, Sean Carmeli, a lone soldier from America serving in the Israeli army was tragically killed when his APC was struck by an anti-tank missile, killing him along with 13 other soldiers from his unit.

There were concerns that the soldier, who had split his time between Ranaana and his home in Texas, would be laid to rest with few family members and friends attending as there was not enough time for his family to fly to Israel. But when word got out that Sean was a fan of Maccabi Haifa soccer team, fans of the club posted a photo of Carmeli on the team’s Facebook page, asking people to attend the service at the military cemetery in Haifa, in the north of Israel. Over 20,000 people arrived to pay their respects.