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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Entebbe’

Sharansky Says Yoni Netanyahu Was an Inspiration while in Jail

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Yoni Netanyahu, the brother of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who was killed in the Entebbe rescue, was an inspiration to Natan Sharansky while imprisoned in a Soviet jail, the former Refusenik said Sunday.

Speaking to 5,000 Masa Israel Journey participants at a Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers ceremony, Sharansky said, “While in the Soviet prison, … I thought about the three Israeli sportsmen who had visited Russia and had bravely met with us. They told us that Israel was a place of great joy.

“I later heard that one of the three was killed in the Yom Kippur war. But, mostly I thought about Yoni Netanyahu. The fact that the State of Israel was prepared to send its soldiers to rescue Jews all over the world gave me great strength. Yoni was 29 when he was killed and was 29 when I was arrested. Every time that I felt that I didn’t have the strength to keep resisting the authorities, I thought about Yoni Netanyahu and it gave me the strength to keep going.”

On the Anniversary of Entebbe, Malkah is Home on the Range

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

So I’m staring down the barrel of Israel’s lethal new state-of-the-art Tavor assault rifle.  Feet planted firmly, I can hear my breath and the wind blowing small rocks around the hem of my skirt.  It’s  me and the ruthless terrorist just meters away, and as I carefully squeeze the trigger, I’ve got him!  Right in the stomach!   Malkah, ruthless Jewish warrioress, has protected her clan, saved the country, and is now headed back to the benches where she will distribute juice and snacks she brought from the car.

Because it’s shooting range day with the staff of The Jewish Press online.

Part team building exercise, part reward for all the hard work we put into sharing news and views with you fine readers, we made the journey to the Caliber 3 training facility and firing range in the hills of Judea.

And though we expected to learn how to handle weapons and hone self-defense skills with some awesome Chuck Norris lookalikes, we did not anticipate receiving the touch which would place the mantle of the heroism of Israel on our own shoulders.  And I did not expect to have one of the most moving days of my life.

The day began simply enough – a little bit of ‘petel’ (think bug juice from camp), some sun screen, and a range all to ourselves with Shai Ish-Shalom, one of the expert trainers at Caliber 3.

Sounding more than a little bit like Topol but looking like he could bench press our hatchback, Ish-Shalom introduced us to the theory and the art of using guns for self-defense.  With calm coolness, patience, and humor, he discussed the use of guns to protect your home or community, and the necessity of exercising gun safety.  He introduced us to weapons some of us knew from our days in the army, others from our days in the yishuvim of Samaria, and others just from the movies.

Ish-Shalom is not just an expert. He’s the expert who trains the experts.  And as we laughed and listened, and got ready to take our turn against the targets, he inadvertently blew my mind.

Discussing his own illustrious military and security history (and leaving out all details, as one would expect), which has seen him operating in the defense of Jews on the highest levels and for the highest levels, he mentioned his participation in Operation Thunderbolt, the 1976 operation to free Israeli hostages from a hijacked Air France plane in Entebbe, Uganda.

In that moment, I froze, my jaw agape (those of you who know me know that my jaw hanging open is not THAT newsworthy, but personal digs aside).

I am a pretty regular Jewish lady, for all I can tell.  I have a husband, two kids, and am constantly trying to figure out how to be done with the laundry.  Yes, I made aliyah, yes, I live in eastern Jerusalem, yes, I once stole the mezuzah off the doorpost of a Jews for Jesus office in Tel Aviv (that’s a whole other story), yes, Shai says I look like Bar Refaeli (truer words have never been spoken), but other than that, I’m pretty normal.

But as a true-to-the-core Zionist and lover of all things noble and proud (I did grow up in Texas), I was shocked and humbled to be in the presence of someone who participated in what I perceived to be one of the greatest feats of Jewish heroism in the modern era, and a hallmark of Jewish familihood and survival.  The rescue operation, planned in 48 hours, comprising 100 commandoes led by Sayeret Matkal special forces commander Yonatan Netanyahu, the 90 minute operation not only saved the lives of all but 4 hostages (unfortunately costing Yoni’s own life, too), but in its success filled the wellsprings of Israeli pride and brotherly love.  The risk those young men took, the daring and ingenuity they displayed in order to bring home the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, daughters and sons, was not only heralded throughout the country at the time, but stands now as an iconic representation of fundamental Israeliness.

Which meant not only was I being treated – even if only for a couple hours – as a real student of as righteous, as decorated, and as skilled an Israeli soldier as I may ever have the hope of meeting, I was also coming eye to eye, trigger to trigger, with the Real Israeli.

Jewish Press Radio with Yishai Fleisher: We Won’t Let It Happen Again

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

A riveting discussion about Jewish heroes is the theme of the show and Managing Editor of Jewish Press Online, Yishai Fleisher, presents a recent interview that he conducted with Lt. Col (ret.) Shai Ish-Shalom (in photo below), a member of the Israeli commando force that freed Jewish hostages in Entebbe, Uganda. Ish-Shalom talks to Yishai about his experience as a member of Sayeret Matkal, the most prestigious unit in the Israel Defense Forces along with his personal ideology about Jewish defense in both Israel and the Diaspora. Do not miss this!


Lt. Col (ret.) Shai Ish-Shalom and Yishai Fleisher
(Photo Credit: JewishPress.com)

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher Yishai on Facebook

Prime Minister to Israelis: ‘You Touched My Heart’

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu penned a letter to the people of the State of Israel, thanking them for coming to console him after the death of his father.

The letter, written by the Prime Minister and posted on his Facebook page, expressed gratitude to the thousands of Israelis who paid respects at the shiva house of his father, Dr. Benzion Netanyahu, who passed away on April 30 at the age of 102.

“I’d like to thank from the depths of my heart the many thousands of you who came to my father’s house to give your condolences to my family and me, and to the tens of thousands who sent messages of comfort and support ,” the letter said.

“You touched my heart in my time of grief,” he wrote.  “From Jerusalem, I send my thanks to all of you.”

Benzion Netanyahu was laid to rest in Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuhot cemetery in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon. His sons Benjamin and Ido will conclude the shiva seven-day mourning period on Sunday morning.  His son Yoni was killed in 1976 during the famed raid on Entebbe, Uganda, to free a group of Israeli hostages.

Netanyahu was an expert in Medieval Jewish history, as well as an ardent Zionist.  In his youth, he worked for Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and raised his sons to believe in the importance of maintaining Jewish control of the land of Israel.

Benzion Netanyahu, Father of Prime Minister Benjamin, Dies at 102

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Benzion Netanyahu, the father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Entebbe rescue hero Yoni Netanyahu, died Monday at his Jerusalem home at the age of 102. The elder Netanyahu was visited by his son Benjamin for the last time on Sunday at the family home on 4 Haportzim Street.  He will be laid to rest on Monday at 5pm at Jerusalem’s Har Menuchot Cemetery.

Benzion Netanyahu served as secretary to Revisionist Zionist proponent and Beitar leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, served as editor for the Encyclopaedia Hebraica, and served as professor emeritus at Cornell University.

Born in Warsaw on March 25, 1910 as Benzion Milikovsky, he and his family immigrated to Israel in 1920.  In 1944, he married Tzila Segal, with whom he had three sons: Yonatan, born 1946, a former commander of the elite Sayeret Matkal who was killed in the 1976 Operation Entebbe rescue of 102 Israeli and other hostages, Benjamin, born 1949, and Ido, born 1952, a radiologist, author, and playwright.

Working as the secretary of Zionist icon Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Netanyahu maintained a belief in Jewish sovereignty over the Greater Land of Israel, including parts of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.  He was one of the signers of a petition against the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947.

Benzion’s strong Zionist values were a major part of Benjamin’s upbringing.  The prime minister’s father imparted on him the importance of protecting Jewish heritage sites such as Hebron.  He advocated a tough stance in the region, and predicted that threats to world peace would emerge from parts of the Muslim world harboring violence, terror, nuclear power, and oil.

According to a report in Haaretz, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that his father predicted a Muslim attack on the Twin Towers in New York, as well as the rise of tyrannical Islamic regimes which would make efforts to attain nuclear weapons.

In his last interview with Channel 2 news – at the age of 99, Benzion stated that his powerful son does not support a Palestinian state.  “He supports the kind of (diplomatic) conditions they (the Palestinians) would never in the world accept,” Benzion said.  “That’s what I heard from him.  Not from me – he put forth the conditions.  These conditions – they will never be accepted, not even one of them.”

“No, No, Herzl and Landau did not toil in order to build a Palestinian state,” Benzion told the reporter.  “This land is a land of the Jews, not a land of the Arabs.  There is no room here for Arabs, there will not be, and they will never negotiate to terms (which would create a Palestinian state).”

Moreover, Benzion believed that Arab citizens are a threat to the fabric of Israel, and that they would conflict with the Jews by nature.  “The tendency to conflict is in the essence of the Arab.  He is an enemy by essence… His existence is one of perpetual war,” Benzion is quoted by the Associated Press as telling Maariv in 2009. “The Arab citizens’ goal is to destroy us. They don’t deny that they want to destroy us.”

Benzion was a strong opponent of Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Jewish communities in Gaza known as Gush Katif.  The forced expulsion of Jewish residents who wanted to remain in the area was a “crime against humanity”, according to Benzion.

As an academic, Netanyahu specialized in Medieval Spanish Jewry.  In his controversial book on the subject, he rejected the theory that the Spanish Inquisition was a result of Jewish isolationism or separatism, saying Spanish Jews were interested in assimilating into Christian society and Spanish culture, and were forced into being Marranos when their efforts to shed their Jewishness did not afford them full acceptance.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/benzion-netanyahu-father-of-prime-minister-benjamin-dies-at-102/2012/04/30/

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