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  • Jerry Seinfeld poses for photos with trainers at a "counter-terror fantasy camp" in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

    Jerry Seinfeld poses for photos with trainers at a "counter-terror fantasy camp" in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. | Photo: Twitter / @EricThurm

Published 10 January 2018

Pro-palestinian activists slammed Jerry Seinfeld over visiting the camp, calling it an endorsement for “occupation, apartheid and land theft.”

U.S. Jewish Comedian Jerry Seinfeld received a massive backlash against his decision to take his family to an “anti-terror” Israeli training camp where visitors can play the role of Israeli soldiers engaging in operations against Palestinians in the West Bank, in what critics saw as an endorsement of the Israeli illegal occupation.

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The star of the 1990s popular U.S. sitcom “Seinfeld” was in Israel for 10 days doing stand-up shows before he decided to take his family to the Caliber 3 academy near the illegal settlement of Efrat, south of Bethlehem, where he and his family members posed for pictures with Israeli trainers. Such camps have been popping up quickly in Israel over the past few years and described as “military or war tourism”.

The controversy began after the academy celebrated the comedian’s visit and posted several pictures of him and his family with the trainers at the camp on Facebook. Seinfeld and his family came to Caliber 3 “for shooting training with displays of combat, Krav Maga, assault dogs and lots of Zionism. It was great,” the page said with the post. The photos were later deleted from the camp’s page without explanation.

"There is nothing funny about occupation, colonization and profiteering off of the theft of another peoples land," tweeted Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

Remi Kanazi, a U.S.-Palestinian artist and poet, wrote on Facebook: “Jerry Seinfeld and his family play fascists in the West Bank. Indoctrinating his young children to murder Palestinians and steal land. There is nothing funny about apartheid, occupation, settlement expansion, and executing occupied Palestinians.”

Pro-Palestinian U.S. activist Donna Nassor called for boycotting the artist. “Seinfeld and his family … practice shooting Palestinians. Such a lovely way to teach the next generation to hate. I am glad I never got into watching his television show back in the day. Be sure to add him to your Boycott list please!!”

The camp, which charges “tourists” US$175 per person, uses shooting targets with pictures of people resembling Arabs and Muslims as part of their “counter-terror” stimulations and trainings.

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Videos and photos posted by the company show men dressed in Israeli army uniform raiding mock structures of homes and apartments that have Palestinian flags hung from them and targets featuring men with Palestinian national scarf wrapped around their heads.

The booming Israeli industry of the so-called “anti-terror fantasy camps” promise its visitors the “ultimate tourist experience,” with programs that include shooting adventure and survival training.

Seinfeld’s visit comes amid major tensions in Palestine, Israel and the Middle East over the United States decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, despite the Palestinian claim to the occupied eastern side of the city, which they wish to be the capital of their future state.

In recent weeks the Israeli army, whose methods are featured in camps like the one Seinfeld visited, has killed dozens of Palestinians while arresting hundreds in a brutal crackdown on protests against Washington's unilateral decision in the West bank and Gaza.

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