July 03, 2006

30 Years Ago Today

Thirty-year-old Sayeret Matkal Commander Lt Col Yoni Netanyahu was the the leader of and the only fatality among the Israeli troops at Entebbe.

30 years ago today, the legendary rescue of the hostages at Entebbe airport took place. It was a daring raid, even by Israeli standards.

The timeline is well known:

Sun 27 June: Air France flight 139 hijacked in a joint venture of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Baader-Meinhof Gang; refuels in Libya
Mon 28 June: Hijacked aircraft lands in Entebbe, Uganda
Tues 29 June: Hostage-takers issue demands, threaten to kill passengers from 14:00h on June 31
Wed 30 June: 47 non-Jewish passengers released, questioned by Mossad in Paris
Thurs 1 July: Israel offers to negotiate; hostage-takers extend deadline, release 101 non-Jewish passengers
Fri 2 July: Israeli special forces rehearse rescue
Sat 3 July: Israeli cabinet approves rescue, assault force dispatched to Entebbe, storms airport
Sun 4 July: Freed hostages arrive back in Israel.

It ought to be a memorable day for any German, too. Only 31 years after the end of the Holocaust, Germans had returned to their cherished pasttime of "selecting" Jews including the intention of murdering them afterwards.

The fawning note by the KPD (the German Communist Party) addressed to "His Excellency" Idi Amin ensured the "deeply felt compassion" and "unlimited solidarity" of the KPD because of the violation of Uganda's sovereignity, an issue, which is usually not very close to the Left's heart. This should be remembered as well, specifically by those who are telling us that the Left can't be antisemitic.

And say a prayer for Mrs Dora Bloch, the old lady who was taken to hospital because of a heart attack and had to be left behind. She was murdered the next day, some say at Idi Amin's order, some say by him personally.

Thanks to the blog named Spirit of Entebbe. For more information go to the Jerusalem Post and the IDF website.

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