Interfaith Pep Rally for Israel Rocks the Forum

May 29, 2008

Author: Brad A. Greenberg

Source: Jewish Journal

Karen Lyons kept smacking my leg and acting as if she was going to jump out of her seat. She's a church-going Christian from Pacific Palisades, married to a temple-attending Jew, and she's prone to such reactions when asked why she loves Israel and what she thinks of those who criticize its actions.

"It makes me physically ill, because that is not the Word of God. God have mercy on their souls because they are ignorant," she said. "He says pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! That is where he is coming back!"

Such faith -- the kind that Lyons said prevents her from voting for a presidential candidate who would promote a peace process that included dividing the Holy City -- was what drew her last week to the last major local celebration of Israel's 60th birthday.

On May 21, about 5,000 people streamed into the Forum in Inglewood, once the house of worship for the Lakers and now that of Faithful Central Bible Church, for a three-hour ceremony honoring three "Heroes of Israel" retired from the military: Col. Shimon Cahaner, who was senior commander during the 1967 capture of East Jerusalem; Brig. Gen. Dov Tamari, the first chief intelligence officer; and Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, who was chief of staff during the second intifada.