June 27, 1976 – An Air France plane was flying with 248 passengers from Tel Aviv, Israel to Paris, France via Athens, Greece. That plane was hijacked by 2 members of the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine and 2 sympathizers from Germany. The flight was diverted to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Ugandan dictator at that time Idi Amin welcomed the hijackers. The hijackers had various demands including releasing of many prisoners in Israel.
After two days, they released all non-Jewish passengers. 94 Jewish passengers and 12 crew members remained as hostages. They were threatened with death.
Israel never negotiates with any hijacker. They decided to send their commandos of the Israeli Defense Forces to rescue the hostages. 100 commandos took part. On July 4, 1976, they made a daring, thrilling, and successful rescue operation. They rescued 102 of the 106 hostages. All hijackers and many Ugandan soldiers (who supported the hijackers) were killed.
There was only one killed on the Israeli side. It was their commander Lt. Col. Yonatan Nethanyahu. He is the older brother of the current Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Nethanyahu.
This rescue operation was made into 3 movies so far. Victory at Entebbe (1976), Raid on Entebbe (1977), and Operation Thunderbolt (1977).
Now another movie about this rescue operation is released this week. It is titled “7 Days in Entebbe”.
I saw this movie last night. I am not reviewing this movie. I will tell my impression. It is a tale of real life cruelty and heroism. But I like the previous 3 movies much better.
In this movie, a sequence of dance performance is distracting and breaks the continuity. I have no idea why the Director placed this dance performance.
I thought I would see Israeli Commandos in action throughout the movie. But saw their action only in the last 10 minutes.
I was more interested to see their assault preparation than the Israeli Cabinet’s endless discussion.
One touching incident was when the Air France Pilot (a French citizen and a non-Jew) was released by the hijackers, he refused to go. He told the hijackers that these are his passengers and he will stay with them until they are released.
One more observation. In the movie, when 2 Germans speak they speak in German language. When 2 Palestinians speak they speak in Arabic. Why then the Director let the Israeli Cabinet discuss everything in English? The Israeli Cabinet always discuss subjects in their own mother tongue Hebrew and not in English. I have a possible reason. Stay tuned for the my next blog post.
I think the 1977 movie Raid on Entebbe was more interesting. It is available in YouTube for free. Please watch it if you want to.