Israelis Warm to Harlem Prayers

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Christians at the Bethel Gospel Assembly in Harlem took part in a special prayer meeting in support of the Gaza operation.

Bishop Carlton Brown organized the prayer service, which drew about 1,000 people.

Brown, who visited Israel three times in 2008, included trips to the rocket-battered city of Sderot during his stay.

The Gospel Assembly pastor asked New York's Israeli Consul-General Assi Shariv to speak at the meeting.

"This is a veteran church -- 90 years old," Shariv told participants.

"The head pastor loves Israel. He attended receptions at my home, and he has visited Israel," he said.

"When the operation in Gaza began, he asked to do something for Israel," Shariv said.

"The prayer would have taken place without us, but we decided to come," he said.

Shariv shared a children's story written by kidnapped Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit during the meeting, which was broadcast on many New York television stations.

The Israeli counsel-general also briefed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the Gaza operation before the mayor's solidarity visit to Israel last week.

At a press conference in Ashkelon during his visit, the mayor said if he was "the State of Israel," he would do whatever it took to defend his citizens and they, in turn, would have every right to expect that of him.

Source: YNet news

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