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Anti-Terror Fantasy Camps Are Popping Up Throughout Israel and the West Bank — and Tourists Are Eating it Up

PHOTO: Haaretz

A 2-hour simulation includes a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem marketplace, a stabbing attack, a live demonstration with attack dogs and a sniper tournament. ‘I wonder whether a Jew in Auschwitz could have dreamed that this would ever exist in Israel’

By Judy Maltz | 11 July 2017

HAARETZ — In real life they are accountants, bankers and business executives. Some have already reached retirement age. Today, these tourists from Hong Kong are pretending to be Israeli army commandos, specialists in counterterrorism.

As their Rambo-like trainer barks out orders, they move their assault rifles into position and, using the Hebrew word for fire, repeat after him: “Esh. Esh.”

“Louder,” he demands. “I can’t hear you guys. Don’t be so politically correct.”

“Esh. Esh,” they shout back, this time upping the volume.

By the time they’ve shot a few rounds of real bullets at their targets, they appear to be much less inhibited. In fact, they seem to be enjoying themselves.

“This place is a good attraction,” says Edmund Wong, a retired accountant, as he takes a short break to cool off. “A very good attraction.” […]

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