Remembering the Entebbe raid 40 years ago

As the United States celebrates its 240th anniversary of independence from England, the deadly Islamic carnage in Orlando and all over Israel; in the Brussels and Istanbul airports; and in Baghdad and Dakha, Bangladesh, plus the ongoing slaughter in Syria and the tensions with Russia, are a reminder that freedom isn't free.  

As Israel combats its current wave of Muslim terror, it is also remembering the 40th anniversary of the rescue of Israeli hostages who were on an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris hijacked by Arabs and Germans (some things never change) belonging to the Baader Meinhof Gang terrorist group.  After separating the Jews from the non-Jews (some things never change), the terrorists flew the 102 Jewish hostages to Uganda's Entebbe airport.  But in a rescue operation still being analyzed for its daring and planning, Israel freed its citizens.

For a week, they were held by terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Revolutionary Cells, a spin off of the German Baader-Meinhof Gang, a radical left-wing group. And on July 4, 1976, they were rescued by Israeli commandos in a daring military operation.

In total secrecy, about 200 Israeli commandos flew in four Hercules cargo planes more than 2,000 miles to the East African state. In the middle of the night, they stormed the airport terminal where the hostages were being held, killed the terrorists and some Ugandan soldiers and flew all the remaining passengers, more than 100, back to Israel.

Sadly, three hostages were also killed by the terrorists and one Israeli soldier, the older brother of Israel's current Prime Minister Binyamin (Hebrew for Benjamin) Netanyahu, also lost his life.  

Israel National News's Arutz Sheva (Channel 7) has a transcript of some of the recently released recordings of the Israeli post-rescue analysis.

For the first time, the Ministry of Defense has authorized publication of audio recordings of the investigation by Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Benny Peled, immediately after the Entebbe operation which also cast new light on the preparations for the mission. (snip)

The second recording is of Peled:

01:10 "I want to stress the importance of not drawing general conclusions from things that apply only to this specific operation. It would be bad for someone to try and generalize where there is no room for such generalizations ... We almost did not carry out this operation because we tried to take the 'Torah out of the Ark' and apply things to this situation that did not apply."

I am speaking about the fact that there can be no [single] formula for an operation like this one, just as there can be no one formula for finding a wife. I also say that if our plan failed we had better plans were not carried.

3:20 "The goal of the operation was to rescue most of the prisoners and bring them home. Or at least to evacuate the captives to a non-hostile country... All the other plans were rejected because they were unable to accomplish this, even though those who suggested them thought that they could accomplish these goals. But after checking, they found that they could not accomplish [these goals]. For example, I suggested send five guys to kill five or ten terrorists and to join the hostages... [but] it was not reasonable that we would rescue the hostages and bring them back [in this way]..."

Remember, freedom not only is not free, but it must be constantly guarded.  Israel, America, and the rest of the free world need to be constantly alert to protect our freedom, which can be snatched in an instant.  

Happy Independence Day!