Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has drawn the ire of some fans after news broke that during his trip to Israel he visited a paramilitary training facility in a West Bank settlement.
Seinfeld spent about 10 days in the country with his family last week, which included two stand-up shows at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv on December 30.
One stop during his time here, it was revealed on Sunday, was at Caliber 3, a counter-terrorism and security training academy in Efrat, in Gush Etzion.
According to its website, Caliber 3 was founded in 2003 by IDF Col. (Res.) Sharon Gat and provides “top security solutions, high threat protection, intelligence operations and tactical training to military, law enforcement, government agencies and commercial clients around the globe.”
While courses tend to be geared toward professional military and security personnel, Caliber 3 is part of the growing “military tourism” trend in Israel and offers packages geared towards tourists and celebrities, with survival training, self-defense/ Krav Maga classes or clay target shooting. It also offers simulations of suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks.
“Finally we are allowed to tell you!” the training academy wrote on Facebook. “Jerry Seinfeld and his family were in Caliber 3. During their visit to Israel last week, they came to us for a special and exciting activity with displays of combat, Krav Maga, assault dogs and lots of Zionism. It was great.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Caliber 3 removed the Facebook post that included photos of Seinfeld. It did not offer an explanation for doing so.
But Caliber 3 was not the only military-related stop on Seinfeld’s trip to the Holy Land.
Last week, the Israel Air Force posted a photo of the comedian visiting the Ramon Air Force Base in the Negev.
According to the IDF, he toured the base with Squadron 119, where he heard about the personal story of a combat navigator serving in the squadron.
Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld, posted plenty of other snapshots of the family vacation on Instagram, but nothing from the training facility or the IAF base. Her photos showed a visit to the Ramon Crater in the Negev, hanging out with illusionist Lior Suchard and a stop at the Western Wall.
Many fans were far from pleased with Seinfeld’s trip to Caliber 3.
“I can never unsee Jerry Seinfeld gleefully posing with a machine gun at an IDF fantasy camp,” Eric Thurm, a writer for The Guardian and GQ, wrote on Twitter.
Remi Kanazi, a Palestinian- American artist and poet, wrote: “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.”
On Facebook, activist Donna Nassor wrote: “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!!”
Source: The Jerusalem Post