The daring rescue operation which stunned the world. July 4, 1976.
Posts Tagged ‘Entebbe’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara visited on Saturday night the grave of Yoni Netanyahu, the leader and lone IDF casualty in the rescue mission at Entebbe in 1976.
They visited the grave at the Mt. Herzl Cemetery at night instead of on Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars this week so that bereaved families would not have to face a long wait because of security measures.
Mike Harari, a legendary officer Mossad agent, passed away on Sunday in his Tel Aviv home, at age 87.
While the activities of Mossad agents are secret, Harari is known for his involvement in Operation Thunderbolt, the 1976 operation that rescued Israeli hostages from the Entebbe International Airport.
Harari visited the airport in secret to reconnoiter it before the IDF forces got there. He also arranged for the refueling at Kenyan air bases for the trip back to Israel.
But Harari is most famous for leading Golda Meir’s Mossad task force to kill all the Munich terrorists.
Harari’s secret career began before the state was born, helping facilitate Jewish immigration into the Land of Israel.
Last week, on September 15, Yitzchak Hofi, a former head of the Mossad who also worked with Harari, died at age 87.
The end of an era.
It doesn’t matter how rich, famous, intelligent, educated, good-looking, successful or ordinary one is. Death will strike us eventually. And part of the “Israeli experience” is that there are wars, terrorism (against soldiers and civilians,) deadly enemies and even accidents of all sorts that happen to those serving in the IDF Israeli Defense Forces. Each of these victims leaves somebody or many to mourn them.
When Yom Zikaron, Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims comes around, our Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu becomes a mourner like too many others. His elder brother, Yoni, was killed in the heroic and legendary hostage rescue in Entebbe, 1976.
Now Bibi Netanyahu is a third-term Prime Minister of Israel, and that’s how we relate to him, whether we support his policies or disagree with the way he is running the State of Israel.
We shouldn’t forget that, and we can’t forget that Bibi, like too many others, lives in the shadow of a brother whose life was cut short.
One of the themes this year in the television memorial shows was how the weight of bereavement affects siblings, especially the younger siblings. And one of the channels promoted their special interview with the the two surviving Netanyahu brothers. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it.
We’re all the sum of our experience and decisions. And we should all include the genes we inherited. We are a combination of all these ingredients. Judaism stresses that we have free will. We aren’t fated to any end. We can take what we were given and make something great or set up tragedy and depression. Free will also gives us the ability to change. The only thing we can’t do is bring someone back to life.
The State of Israel was established in the shadow of the Holocaust, but not because of the Holocaust. All of the foundations had been laid by brave, idealistic Zionists, secular, traditional and all varieties of religious, yes, including chareidim. They began building neighborhoods, kibbutzim, moshavim, communities and cities decades before Hitler began his cruel and immoral career/ideology.
I don’t know how being a bereaved brother has influenced Binyamin Netanyahu’s policies. And I don’t know if being a bereaved brother has influenced Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to enter Israeli politics…
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For example, after some reprieve, the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip has resumed. Last week southern Israel experienced a barrage of more than 90 rockets within 24 hours. In response, the IDF attacked a number of terror targets.
“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers, and will continue to act decisively and strongly against anyone who carries out terror activities against the State of Israel,” according to an IDF statement.
“The IDF is prepared to defend the citizens of Israel,” the statement continued. “The IDF will continue to take determined action against any party that uses terrorism against the State of Israel.”
Clearly, the IDF is threatening major offensives, both as a response to the current rocket fire and to discourage future attacks.
In yet another exciting recent news story, we see unexpected, definitive preemptive action in what was dubbed Operation Full Exposure on March 5. As readers may recall, IDF naval commandos intercepted an Iranian ship loaded with lethal weapons intended for use against Israeli civilians.
The loot included: 40 M-302 rockets, with a range of 90 to 160 km, 181 mortar shells, 400,000 bullets, and much more.
A Preemptive Strike is Often Necessary for Survival
So what does the Torah have to say about a preemptive strike?
A Jew should always prefer peace over war; nevertheless, we are required to fight for justice and to defend ourselves against any threats.
For example, when Abraham’s nephew Lot was captured and taken hostage, Abraham waged a war to win his release (Genesis 14).
So, too, in an example relating to the recent Purim celebrations, the Torah commands us to destroy the nation of Amalek, which is intrinsically committed to the destruction of the Jewish People; they were the first to attack the vulnerable Hebrew nation after they left Egypt. (Exodus 17).
There are many more examples. Indeed, as seen throughout Scripture, the Jewish People regularly faced wars, some of which necessitated a preemptive strike.
The Talmud teaches: “If someone comes to kill you – kill him first!” (Sanhedrin 72a). preemptive strike
This ruling is summarized in the Code of Jewish law, which says: “If one sees that someone is pursuing him with the intention to kill him, he is permitted to defend himself and kill the one who is pursuing him.” (Choshen Mishpat 125:1).
Considering that Hamas, Iran, and Hezbollah continue to attack Israel ruthlessly, making every effort to kidnap our soldiers and terrorize innocent civilians, it is clear from the Torah, Talmud, and Jewish law that it is not only permissible, but also obligatory, to launch a preemptive strike.
We saw how true this was with during the Six Day War in 1967, when Israel launched the preemptive strike, as well as with the unexpected raid on Entebbe in 1976 to free Israeli hostages.
Indeed, Israel may not have become as secure and powerful as it is today if not for the many daring and heroic preemptive strikes in the course of its short history.
Originally published at United with Israel.
Daniel Blatt, who produced “Raid on Entebbe” as well as a cult horror film and an epic science fiction movie, has died of cancer in Los Angeles at the age of 76.
Blatt was born in Rockland County, New York and practiced law after he earned his law degree, but he later switched to Hollywood, where he eventually was nominated for an Emmy Award for co-producing the “Raid on Entebbe” film that was aired on NBC in 1976.
He also produced the cult horror film ”The Howling” and the sci-fi mini-series “V: The Final Battle.”
In an interview with Luke Ford several years ago, Blatt revealed that his favorite work was Entebbe because “it represented the Jews reacting to victimhood in a positive way.
“I grew up in a very Jewish house,” he said. “Then after I was Bar Mitvahed, I said ‘enough of this’ and I moved away from it. And then suddenly to be brought back into this thing was almost like a gift, a circle that I’d completed…. It was coming back to my roots.”
His parents had fled the Nazis in 1934 after his father, a doctor at a Jewish hospital, noticed regulations for Jewish doctors after the Nazis took over the medical facility.
He told the interviewer, “I grew up in a household where persecution of the Jews was drilled into my soul overtly and inovertly.”
Asked if he started observing the Sabbath, Blatt replied, “Let’s not go that far,” but he said he visited Israel “a couple of times.”
He also produced “Common Ground,” about desegregation in Boston in the 1970s, “Kissinger and Nixon,” I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977) and “The Boost.”
Blatt produced episodes of the CBS crime drama The New Mike Hammer and concluded his film career this year with the Lifetime telefilm “Twist of Faith.”
The Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center has a live theater component, known as Theater J. For years Theater J has been the object of criticism from the pro-Israel world because its director, Ari Roth, promotes plays – either by staging them or having readings – which are profoundly anti-Israel.
And now Roth has done it again.
The latest play to draw the ire of Israel supporters is “The Admission.” It is a play written by Motti Lerner, who was also the playwright of “Return to Haifa.” The latter play, the adaptation of a novella written by the spokesperson for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was staged by Theater J in 2011.
The PFLP is an Arab Palestinian terrorist group, designated as such by the U.S. government. The PFLP’s specialty was airplane hijackings – perhaps you’ve heard of the Entebbe hijacking? That was one of theirs. But they like to diversify: in October, 2001, the PFLP assassinated Rehavam Ze’evi, a member of Knesset. The PFLP also staged homicide bombings. The goal of the PFLP is to create a democratic socialist state in Palestine. En route to their goal, they seek the complete destruction of the state of Israel.
When “Return to Haifa” was shown at Theater J, a pro-Israel grassroots organization sent a letter to the D.C. Federation, complaining about such a play being promoted at a Federation-sponsored venue.
Roth responded to the critical letter by stating that it “is not a prerogative of the donor” to intervene in artistic content, and claimed that attempts to limit the theater’s activities amounted to censorship or blacklisting. David Makowsky grew up in Chicago, and told The Jewish Press he well remembers Ari Roth. “He was a bully then and it sounds like he’s still a bully today.”
“The Admission’s” Lerner explained in an interview earlier this year that it was Theater J’s Roth who initiated contact about “The Admission” back in 2010. It was Roth’s initiative that encouraged Lerner to work with an English speaker and translate the play, which was in Hebrew and Arabic, into English.
Appointing and then keeping someone who brought to the stage of a Jewish Community Center the handiwork of a leader of a group dedicated to eradicating the Jewish state is a shocking choice. The man makes his living from the donations of Jews who think they are giving money for Jewish causes.
Not surprisingly, there are a number of people in the Washington, D.C. community who find Roth’s taste in drama repugnant, who have been trying for several years to bring the dirty back tale of Theater J to the attention of the national and international pro-Israel community, as their efforts thus far have fallen on deaf ears at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and at the Washington, D.C. JCC leadership.
Louis Offen, a Rockvile, Maryland resident, told The Jewish Press that he used to contribute substantially more to the D.C. Federation before he “was put off by the Theater J business and the failure of Federation and the DC JCC director to put an end to Ari Roth’s use of Theater J in the service of his personal politics.”
The organization Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art – COPMA – was formed in 2009, after another of Roth’s choices, “Seven Jewish Children” was staged at Theater J. That play is a series of seven one minute plays, in which a group of parents or relatives are discussing what to tell their Jewish Israeli children about “the situation,” and what should be kept from the children. The actors quickly reinforce every horrible anti-Israel canard, by showing parents keeping the truths from their children. For example, one line is: “No but dont tell her Arabs used to sleep in her bedroom.” In one of the plays, water that is supposed to be for the fields of Arabs is instead used for Israelis’ swimming pool, “Tell her it’s our water, we have the right.”
COPMA, like New York City’s JCC Watch, is a grass roots effort to inform pro-Israel people about Jewish institutions that are using Jewish communal dollars to fund programs that are harmful to Israel.