Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I did not watch “Seven Days in Entebbe” and I don’t intend to.

When the trailer came out my first reaction was excitement. This story is one of the best, breathtaking, exciting, moving, against-all-odds, adventure stories I have ever heard and, best of all – it’s real. And it’s OURS.

My second reaction to the trailer was concern. Would the producers tell the story correctly or would it be distorted into something else? Would they tell of the heroism of the Israelis who flew to the edge of the world to rescue their own, knowing that the lives of Jews can never be left to the mercy of others? Or would this extraordinary story be twisted into something different, some morally-relative political distortion of reality that could even turn into some type of anti-Israel propaganda?

And then the movie came out and I began to hear the reviews.

To my revulsion, I heard that my concerns had become reality. The producers, in their desire to “tell all sides of the story as realistically as possible” had, in essence, made the terrorist hijackers, the heroes and reduced Yoni Netanyahu to a shadow of who he was. I heard survivors of the hijacking express their dismay at how their story was perverted.

What really caught my attention was an interview with one of the Israeli actors featured in the movie. Lior Ashkenazi, plays Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin in the movie. Like most of Israel’s actors, Ashkenazi is known to belong to the political left. In the past he has played leading roles in controversial movies that depicted Israel and particularly the IDF in a negative light. While Ashkenazi adamantly defended his role in the movie “Foxtrot,” declaring that the depiction of the IDF was intended as an allegory and not truly negative, his response to “Seven Days in Entebbe” was hair-raising. When asked to respond to the accusations that the movie turned the terrorists into heroes and diminished the legacy of Yoni Netanyahu, Asheknazi’s response was: “You know, when you are an actor and get sent an international screenplay, what you do is flip through it and see how many lines your character has… You know, there’s the story in the script, the story in the filming and the story in the editing...”

I watched the television interview in amazement. I fully expected the actor to adamantly defend the film but instead this normally eloquent man was squirming, stuttering and stumbling over his words. The best he could do was explain was that the movie was created by people with a different perspective that is not an Israeli perspective.

Various Israeli reporters (who all tend to be left-leaning) have discussed the movie and everyone I heard described feelings ranging between discomfort and anger at what they saw.

The more I thought about it, the more upset I became. The stories of Israel are powerful. From the beginning of our Nation, our stories have affected, influenced and changed the world for the better. Now our stories are being appropriated, turned inside out and upside-down, creating a completely different and terribly distorted reality.

It is becoming common to see miraculous Israel presented as a mistake or even an evil. Heroic survivors are being turned into the new-Nazis and one of the most daring rescue operations in history is now being presented as the result of an understandable hijacking by “freedom fighters” - like the rape victim who “had it coming” because she wore a short skirt in a dark alley.

My history, the history of my people, is being rewritten in order to steal our future. 

Dehumanize, delegitimize, destroy.  

This is dangerous and very wrong. But what could I do? Seven Days in Entebbe was produced and released. A generation of movie-goers will believe that what they see is “the truth” about the Rescue at Entebbe.

My rebellion was to delve into history and watch Operation Thunderbolt, the original, Israeli film made about the rescue at Entebbe in 1977.

Old, obviously produced with a low budget and including some funny casting choices, this film has no Hollywood sleekness and ALL of the Israeli spirit. This is what Israel is like. These are what Israel’s elite soldiers are like – not muscular Rambos, they often don’t look like anything special. The best of them are notoriously rumpled looking and casual - they are too good to have to adhere to rules and regulations of how soldiers are supposed to present themselves. Most of all, they have a bond of friendship that stretches beyond comradery into the realm of brotherly love.    

I don’t think people who live elsewhere understand the Israeli ideal that comes from Psalms 66:12 of following a leader through fire and water. This is the ideal for IDF Officers, to be the type of leader soldiers will follow, through fire and water, not because they were commanded to do so but because their love of that leader and trust in him compelled them to do so.

Note that this means that the leader goes first. “Achari! After me!” is what the IDF Officer calls out to his soldiers. This is the ideal of Israeli leadership.

Like Yoni Netanyahu.

When Yoni Netanyahu told his soldiers, they were flying in the middle of the night, to Africa, on a secret and extremely dangerous mission to rescue Israeli hostages and that they would succeed – they believed him.
The movie “Operation Thunderbolt” makes it very clear why they were going – to save Jews, because they are Jews. Because if they don’t, no one else will save them.

That is what NEVER AGAIN means. Jews, some of them with the memories of concentration camps still very vivid in their memory and tattooed on their arms were hijacked by German terrorists collaborating with the Arab enemy. This time, unlike the last time, the sons of Israel would swoop in and rescue them.
The raid at Entebbe, first named “Operation Thunderbolt” was later renamed “Operation Yonatan” because Yoni Netanyahu was killed during the mission.

It is not his death that made him a hero, it was the way he lived his life, the countless known and unknown missions that he completed for the country, to protect his people. It was his leadership and vision that made the rescue at Entebbe possible. It was his spirit that gave the other soldiers the strength and courage to do their part to make the rescue a success. A combination of skill, courage, teamwork and a series of miracles made it possible for them to pull off one of the most daring rescues in history.

Yoni’s death knocked the wind out of his soldiers.

On the way back to Israel, the soldiers were exultant in their success. They knew that Yoni had been hurt but not that he had died:

“On the plane there had been endless chatter,” recalls Shlomo, everyone telling what happened to him. It seemed that everything was going great, that we’d succeeded. And then someone came in and said that Yoni had died, and all at once, it seemed as if someone had turned off the entire plane. Everybody was silent… We were hit heard, and each of us withdrew into himself.”

Matan Vilnai, the head of the paratrooper contingent in the raid went over to the hostages’ plane. “I saw Yoni’s body lying in the plane, wrapped in one of those awful aluminum blankets the doctors use,” says Matan. “I saw the hostages completely stunned, shadows of men. They were very depressed. And what hit me then was a kind of feeling that was, for an army man like myself, totally illogical: that if Yoni was dead, then the whole thing wasn’t worth it.”

~excerpts from “Self portrait of a hero” from the letters of Jonathan Netanyahu, notes and afterword by his brothers Iddo and Benjamin Netanyahu

Many Israelis who knew and loved Yoni named their children after him. As did others who had never met Yoni. It was his death that set his brother, Benjamin Netanyahu on the path of politics and ultimately becoming Israel’s Prime Minister.

After I watched Operation Thunderbolt I watched the actual footage of the planes landing with the rescued hostages. I watched the hostages come off the plane. I saw Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin let out an enormous sigh as he waited for them to bring Yoni’s body out. I listened as he and then Defense Minister Shimon Peres talked to Captain Michel Bacos, the French pilot who bravely insisted that he and his crew were staying with the Israeli hostages after they were separated from the other passengers.

When asked if he was surprised to see the IDF rescue team arrive in Entebbe his answer was a calm: “No sir.”

To me, that says it all.

At that time the difference between right and wrong was very obvious. Rescuers were heroes, hijackers were terrorists and NEVER AGAIN meant something.

It is this legacy of heroism, leadership and love that is being turned upside-down. It is the concept of NEVER AGAIN that is being diminished and destroyed.

There is one thing we can do to make sure truth does not die with us. Watch the movie, the ISRAELI movie. Read the book of Yoni’s letters. Learn about the kind of person he was from his words, not those of other people. Teach your children.

It is up to us protect our past, to insure our future.

This is the film, with subtitles in English: 

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months


A new, better definition of antisemitism

Blog Archive