War-zone vacation: Valley man returns from sightseeing in Israel - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

War-zone vacation: Valley man returns from sightseeing in Israel

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's hard to imagine a worse trip than flying off somewhere and ending up in a war zone.

That's what happened to a valley man. After a trip to Tel Aviv for vacation last year Andy Hirschman decided to go again this year.

Despite the problems that seemed to be escalating as he was leaving for Israel he got on the plane and arrived just as the war there seemed to really erupt.

"Are you nuts? Are you going to be safe? Is there a better time to go?" that's what Andy Hirschman's friends said when they saw thru his Facebook posting that he was in Israel. They were even more shocked to know he went there knowing there could be trouble.

"The first indication is when you come through passport control, the woman interviewing me said, "Are you aware of the situation," he said.

"I said of course; I'm aware of the situation... if you look historically since its inception there will never be a better time to go, there will never be peace in the middle east," said Hirschman.

As dangerous as it appeared to be from news reports the situation only occasionally seemed very dangerous. Only on one occasion did Hirschman think there could be trouble.

"I was sitting on the terrace of the apartment I rented, a siren went off and a car driving by stopped in the street. All four doors opened; the passengers left the car running and ran for shelter, I thought maybe I should go inside," he said.

"On the last day I was there a siren went off, and people went off hoping to see the rocket intercepted, in that sense it's almost become sport," said Hirschman.

And he did get out, unscathed as American carriers stopped flying in and out of Israel. Andy got on the last flight outbound for home; he's very happy to arrive.

"I walked off the airplane three hours ago, I thought I would like to go back already... you can't hesitate, why would you? It's a fascinating place rich in history; it's an amazing culture, it's things everyone should see. Not once was I fearful," he said.

In hindsight Hirschman says, knowing what he knows now, he would still have taken the trip. Although he adds, even with the sirens going off and the threat of danger, he personally never felt afraid.
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