The rescue operation, originally named Operation Thunderbolt, was renamed Operation Yonatan in honor of the operation’s commander, Yonatan Netanyahu, who was cut down by a Ugandan sentry. Netanyahu had believed from the outset that the plan was doable and his confidence influenced government leaders and his fellow commandos.

And thus it was that on July 4, 1976 – which happened to be the bicentennial of American independence – forces that threatened freedom were routed by an act of courage and daring. In the UN General Assembly, some praised the mission while others condemned and criticized. No matter. All words aside, heroic actions spoke on that triumphant day.


Thirty-three years later, the rescue at Entebbe still stands as a model of how victory is achieved over the forces of terror and darkness.

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