Rambling ...

I'm an Irish Girl, A Dubliner, with the 'Gift of the Gab' ... I like to talk & to tell you things. In Celtic times news, views and comment were carried from place to place by wandering Seanachaí ~ Storytellers ~ who relied on their host's hospitality and appreciation. I will need that from you too, as I venture to share Politics, Poetry, Laughter, Love, Life & everything in-between ... from Bog to Blog!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Thunderbolt Time!!

Back to Blogging today & it's Friday.  Film Friday .... and today's Film is 1977's  "Raid on Entebee."   It is a true tale.  And,  it is a holiday weekend here & as I contemplate what I am doing with my holiday weekend, I am also thinking of Sgt. Gilad Shalit, who today is 1,700 days in captivity, held by Hamas. 

Gilad Shalit was a 19 year old male serving in the Israeli Defence Forces when he was kidnapped by 'palestinian' terrorists, Hamas, on Sunday morning, 25th June 2006.  He was at the time engaged in his 'job' of protecting Israel's borders.  They dragged the wounded Gilad out through a 900 foot tunnel to Gaza & he has been held there in Captivity ever since.  Those manning his checkpoint with him on that fateful Sunday morning were killed by these terrorists.  

"Raid on Entebee"  is a docu-drama relating how the 'palestinian  Liberation Organisation'  ~ PLO ~  hi-jacked a plane full of Israelis in 1976 and took them to Uganda.  It is really the story the Israeli response which was both swift and precise. Then, we did not negotiate with our enemies who kidnapped our fellow Jews, nor did we petition an international body, we did what was neccesary. A famous soldier was sadly killed during this operation ~ Yonatan Netanyahu, the only Israeli commando who died during the operation.  He is the brother of the present Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu.

It took Israeli commandos minutes to conduct one of the greatest and most daring rescue missions in modern history, in  Entebbe, Uganda, on July 4, 1976.  During those brief fateful moments, good triumphed over evil ~ the innocent were saved and the terrorists who threatened them were routed.

It was 11:30 pm Saturday night.  The seventh night that over 100 Israelis, non-Israeli Jews, and the twelve-member Air France crew were held in the Entebbe airport since the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of palestine) terrorists and two West German supporters, members of the Baader Meinhof gang, hijacked a jet while on the ground in Athens. Supporting the terrorists and giving them cover was the Ugandan regime under Idi Amin or simply 'Dada'. In the prior decade, Uganda had received military and non-military aid from Israel prior to severing ties in 1967.

The plane was bound from Tel Aviv to Paris. It was diverted to Benghazi airport in Libya for refuelling and then headed for Entebbe.

The final deadline to meet the hijackers' demands and release forty terrorists held in Israel and thirteen in West Germany, Switzerland, France and Kenya, was steadily approaching. Negotiations managed to postpone the approaching July 1 deadline for three days. On July 1, the non-Jewish passengers were released by the terrorists. The Air France crew chose to stay with the remaining hostages. On July 3, French diplomats involved in the negotiations stated that there was no hope for an agreement. Releasing the terrorists would embolden them to continue such operations. Not meeting the terrorists' demands could result in a massacre.

As international attention was focused upon the events, Israeli planes made their way to Uganda flying under radar over the Red Sea, in order to avoid detection by the Egyptians and Saudis. They soon landed and the operation commenced. That night, the weary hostages were sound asleep except for a group of five playing bridge. The hijackers were also within the complex. There were also about eighty Ugandan troops guarding the building. At that moment, three Hercules personnel transports with Israel's elite 'Sayeret Matkal' commandos, along with medical teams, had just landed at the well-lit Entebbe airport without suspicion.

The commandos drove toward the terminal in a Black Mercedes with Land Rover escorts, tricking Ugandan guards to believe that Idi Amin was visiting. Guards soon approached the vehicles and were shot, the ruse was now over. Time was of the essence. A few seconds delay could foil the entire operation. Taking a chance that the airport complex was not booby trapped, they headed toward the hostage compound. Nearby, seven parked Soviet-made MIGS were hastily destroyed, preventing pursuit of the Israeli aircraft after the operation. The commandos were just a few hundred yards away. They burst in, alerting the stunned hostages that they were Israelis and to keep low. Some shouted out the word nes, Hebrew for "miracle".

Over the next 45 seconds, there were bursts of gunfire, and then the firing ended. The hostages were quickly escorted on board the Hercules transports, which headed home to Israel via a brief stop in Nairobi, Kenya, for refueling and medical treatment for some of the wounded. The entire raid lasted fifty-three minutes. It took fifty-three minutes to thwart the plans of the PFLP.

The operation was so daring, the Israeli cabinet repeatedly deliberated, and only decided to proceed at the last minute, within hours of the deadline. The mission's overall commander, Brigadier-General Dan Shomron, later described the daring and extreme difficulties of the rescue mission: ...... "You had more than one hundred people sitting in a small room, surrounded by terrorists with their fingers on the trigger. They could fire in a fraction of a second. We had to fly seven hours land safely, drive to the terminal area where the hostages were being held, get inside, and eliminate the terrorists before any of them could fire."   The seven hijackers and approximately twenty Ugandan troops died.  Three hostages were killed during the gunfire exchange.

Israeli Commando Surin Hershko was paralyzed when he was shot while on a diversionary tactic. One passenger, Dora Bloch, a Jewish British citizen, who was hospitalized earlier for stomach pains, was murdered the next day by Ugandan soldiers.

Yoni Netanyahu
The rescue operation, originally named Operation Thunderbolt, was renamed  'Operation Yonatan' in honour of the operation's commander, Yonatan Netanyahu, 30, who was cut down by a Ugandan sentry as he was about to enter the compound. Netanyahu believed from the outset that the plan was do-able and his confidence influenced government leaders and his fellow commandos. On that day, one of Israel's greatest soldiers was slain.

On that day, which also happens to be American Independance Day, the forces that threaten freedom were routed by courage and daring as they were on that Original day over 200 years ago.  In the UN General Assembly, some praised the mission, others condemned and criticized. No matter.  All words aside, heroic actions spoke on that triumphant day.  And the hostages were Freed!

And today, from Yoni to Gilad ....

A Gaunt Gilad Shalit
Four years ago,  a Jewish son was taken from his parents.  The Hamas terror organization kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit during an incursion from Gaza into Israel. His captors have denied access to him by the Red Cross in complete violation of the Geneva Convention. For four years a merciless enemy has held captive a young man, a soldier. While Gilad Shalit has become a symbol, there has been no Rescue attempt and only a series of stalled negotiations.

So, Why doesn't Israel go into Gaza and get Gilad Shalit? It is much closer then Uganda. How did we lose the resolve to get Shalit that we had to go all the way to Uganda?

We Know that Gilad is Alive. And there is a media campaign. It is massive ..... massive, but mistaken. It keeps repeating that "the fate of Shalit is in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's hands." That's not true.  

Gilad Shalit isn't in "Netanyahu's hands."    Oh! that he were .....

General Idi Amin, terrorist!
He's in Hamas, Arab terrorists' hands, and they are the ones who have the physical and moral responsibility to free him. It's not up to Israel to bargain and beg for his life. Those Arabs are being strengthened by the International media, because the media blame Israel, and not the Arab terrorists who continue his incarceration and are the guilty ones. Gilad Shalit is not a negotiating tool to be bargained off in a numbers game with Hamas, which they have tried to turn on & off for the last four years ~ NOT ONE Hamas murderer should be released in a trade off for the freeing of Gilad Shalit

How can one compare the life of a soldier with the release of such evil to the world?  Will Hammed Ibrahim, military leader of Hamas in the 'West Bank',  who killed & organized attacks that killed 76 people, be freed? Or Abdullah Barghouti, "the engineer" who prepared all the explosives that caused bloodshed in Jerusalem between 2001 and 2003? His targets included the Sbarro restaurant, the University Cafeteria at Mount Scopus. He killed at least 46. What about Sayed Abbas, who masterminded the suicide bombing in a Natanya hotel in 2002, in which 30 Israelis were killed during the Passover seder, including many elderly Holocaust survivors and their families?

Having said that I am TOTALLY for Gilad being freed NOW. Not one day more in Captivity, four years is too long. 1,700 days is unacceptable.  One day more is too much.  But, I dont believe in a negotiated exchange.

Different tactics now need to be tried. Like turning off the electric supply to Gaza. Like turning off the water supply. It is supplied by Israel. Like enforcing a total embargo by land and by sea. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out. By shutting down the Temple Mount to Arabs. By putting the PA hierarchy in Ramallah under seige. By assassinating the Hamas leadership, one after the next after the next. Same with convicted Arab prisoners held in Israeli jails. By returning Israeli's to their surrendered homes in Gush Katif and other sites in Gaza. By using the combined forces of the IDF & IDA to go get Gilad.   Oh! Yes. There's lots of ways to get Gilad back without releasing 1,000 terrorists.

Why are 'palestinian' supplies allowed in to Gaza? Why are "ambulances" allowed out?

The Israeli Government too Must Do More To Free Gilad. The very first thing for them to do is to suspend all Red Cross visits to Arab terrorist prisoners in Israeli hands. If they can't see Gilad Shalit, they can't see anyone in Israel. No family visits for Arab prisoners .... no walks in the yard, no games, no cards, no books, nothing, no education, no degrees or doctorates to earn. Same conditions as Shalit has endured all of this time. Hamas are not playing games or being 'nice' or even 'humane'!!

Hit Hamas where it hurts ~ No monetary 'Aid' Allowed! Freeze All Banking Activity to Gaza ~ Close the Gravy train to Gaza!!!

At the same time all "humanitarian aid" to Gaza must be suspended and blocked. Turn off the Power & the water to start. Reinstate and tighten Israel's economic sanctions against Gaza, and take more effective action to block smuggling into Gaza through the tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border. No Gas to Gaza ..... Then every week lessen the 'aid'. Let's "Aid" this Israeli Soldier not Hamas Murderers. It's interesting to note that the 'humanitarain' flotillas all REFUSED to bring a parcel or letter to Gilad from his family. So, lets lessen the amount of 'Aid' & supplies in by a given percentage every extra day Gilad spends in his Dungeon.

"There are 1.5 million people living in Gaza and only one of them really needs humanitarian aid,” Defence Minister Ehud Barak said. “Only one of them is locked in a tiny room and never sees the light of day, only one of them is not allowed visits and is in uncertain health ~ his name is Gilad Shalit .....”

Let's remember the "Raid on Entebbe" today ..... Let's Remember Gilad Shalit ...... It's Thunderbolt Time!!!!!!

Hine ma tov uma nayim shevet achim gam yachad!  ~ Look how good and how lovely it is for Jews to dwell together in unity!

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