The latest tourist attraction created by Israelis has taken guests by storm. Those visiting Israel are now able to enter an illegal settlement in the West Bank, where they’re offered the ultimate Israeli experience pretending to be a soldier shooting “terrorist” Palestinians in a new simulator.
In the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion, located between southern Jerusalem and Bethlehem, lies Caliber 3, a “counter-terrorism” academy that created a new concept in an attempt to allow the average tourist to experience how it feels to be an Israeli soldier.
Visitors partake in various activities, such as shooting “targets” with real bullets, and a simulation of a suicide bombing, as well as a stabbing. The programme is available for adults and children, and even carries a three-month-long summer camp for teenage boys to give them the ultimate IDF experience.
They are also taught krav maga, a form of fighting created by Israeli security forces.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, few tourists were concerned that this could potentially incite further tensions, or dehumanise Palestinians. But unfortunately for the tourists, they are completely wrong.
Attractions like Caliber 3 are designed to dehumanise Palestinians and attempt to eradicate the legitimacy of their cause, and the fact that the system is built on an Israeli settlement normalises an occupation that has been consistently declared illegal by the international community.
While it also whitewashes the occupation and attempts to invalidate the context in which Palestinians are provoked to act violently, the its location within a settlement means Palestinians evicted would have had their lives shattered by the very building of this illegal tourist attraction – turning war, displacement, systematic oppression and apartheid into nothing but a mere game.