The Steinberg family with Edelstein and Defense Minister Ya'alon
The Steinberg family with Edelstein and Defense Minister Ya'alonKnesset spokesperson

Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein on Tuesday evening hosted the parents of Max Steinberg, the lone American soldier who was killed last summer during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.

Max served in the Golani Brigade, and fell in combat in Gaza. In an emotional tribute, over 30,000 Israelis attended his funeral in Jerusalem.

Edelstein hosted the parents as part of annual “Songs in their Memory” event which is held every year at the Knesset plaza on the eve of Memorial Day.

Steinberg’s family came to Israel from the United States specifically to attend the event in the Knesset, during which a special film about their son was shown and the song "Twenty Thousand People" by singer Ariel Horowitz was sung. The song was written in the wake of the participation of thousands of people in the funerals of the lone soldiers who were killed during Protective Edge.

Another lone soldier who was killed during the Gaza operation was Nissim Sean Carmeli from South Padre Island, Texas, whose parents reside in Texas and who had no other family in Israel other than his two sisters.

As a result of his situation, officials of the Maccabi Haifa soccer team had called on its fans to attend Carmeli’s funeral “so that his funeral will not be empty.” The fans responded, with over 20,000 people attending the funeral.