Israel

Raid on Entebbe: Part three

The floors of the four Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft were simply awash with vomit, as the roughly 100 Israeli soldiers struggled against the constant noise and shuddering amid the open bellies of these flying beasts.

Operation Thunderbolt was underway.

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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.

Raid on Entebbe: Part two

It was Sunday the 27th of June 1976 when Air France Flight 139 arrived in Athens on a scheduled stopover, before departing again at 12.30pm en route to its eventual final destination of Paris.

During its brief stay at Ellinikon International Airport, it took on board a number of additional passengers, among them two members of the German Left Wing Revolutionare Zellen (RZ) and two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-External Operations (PFLP-EO).

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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.

Raid on Entebbe: Part one

The monocled British statesman stared out of the train’s window at the seemingly endless tracts of African expanse.

It was early 1903 and Joseph Chamberlain was deep in thought.

The one-meter gauge of the railway line he was now travelling upon had been years in the making and had only been accomplished through bitter political struggle at home and blood spilt here in Kenya.

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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.

Six days in June: Jerusalem

 

“Uvetardemat ilan va’even
Shvuyah bachalomah,
Ha’ir asher badad yoshevet /nitzevet
Uvelibah chomah.”

“And in the slumber of tree and stone
Captive in her dream
The city that sits solitary
And in its midst is a wall.”

 Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold) – Traditional Hebrew Folk Song

 

Jerusalem: a city divided within itself.

Jerusalem is a name which has been spoken of many times in the Jewish story, both in old and new times.

Oftentimes it has risen and fallen throughout the millennia, and borne witness to events of great sufferings and trials.

In June of 1967, the Old City of Jerusalem lay just outside of the cease fire line, which had been drawn up at the end of the War of Independence.

The reunification of Jerusalem: as an open, undamaged and undivided city; were the orders given to the Israeli ground forces; as the truth of the first days, strike was heard across the airwaves, amongst the people who anxiously looked towards their families’ protection.

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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.
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Six days in June: Sinai and Golan

 

“Syria’s forces are ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united… I as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.”

– Syrian Defence Minister Hafez Assad, May 20, 1967

 

As the jets of the Israeli Air Force began strafing Egyptian Air bases, three armoured brigades of the Israeli Army under the command of Major General Israel Tal, began their assault on enemy positions in the Gaza Strip, with the overall goal of achieving an armoured breakthrough towards the Rafah Gap and access to the Philidelphi Corridor.

Like the opposing air forces, the Israeli ground units were also heavily outnumbered by their enemies, and therefore had to rely upon a combination of superior planning and specialised modifications to equipment and ordinance.

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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.
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Six days in June: First strike

 

“The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold”

Lord Byron ‘The Destruction of Sennacherib’

 

The jets from the Israeli Air Force were low, almost skimming across the surface of the flat calm Mediterranean Sea and travelling in excess of 500 mph.

It was the pre-dawn hours of Monday the 5th of June, 1967, and Israel was going to war.

It was just before 7:00 am when the first air raid sirens began to be heard throughout the towns and cities of Israel, followed by the sound of rushing feet.

Major General Mordechai Hod, commander of the Israeli Air Force, had given the final order for Operation Focus to begin.

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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.
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Six days in June: Two reluctant leaders

“Israel wants to make it clear to the government of Egypt that it has no aggressive intentions whatsoever against any Arab state at all” – Levi Eshkol, May 15th 1967.

There were at least two leaders in the Middle East with little or no desire for war in mid-1967, and they just happened to be the men who were in charge of the main competing protagonists: Egypt and Israel.

Nasser had been largely manipulated into the position he found himself in, by a combination of rumour mongering from the Soviet Union and his own people’s desire for revenge against Israel.

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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.
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Six days in June: Prelude to war

 

“Our path to Palestine will not be covered with a red carpet or with yellow sand. Our path to Palestine will be covered with blood… In order that we may liberate Palestine, the Arab nation must unite, the Arab armies must unite, and a unified plan of action must be established” – Gamal Abdel Nasser, 1965.

It had been nineteen years since the 1948 War of Independence, and during this time the tiny nation of Israel; settled predominantly by the survivors of the worst anti-Semite pogrom in recent history had fought for, and ultimately won for themselves and their children, some breathing space.

The land which had been so bitterly fought over represented more than just a place to call home.

It represented a return to a way of life in a homeland where the Jewish people could be born, live, love, worship, die and ultimately be buried. And while the United Nations had passed a resolution recognising Israel’s right to exist, this would have amounted to nothing if this desperate struggle for survival had been lost.

But the tensions caused by this return had not gone away.

To the north, east, south and west, Israel found itself surrounded by Arab states, all armed with a burning desire for revenge and an ultimate final reckoning.

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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.
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Six days in June: Betrayal, endurance and victory

 

“Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. As soon as I have the power to do so, I will have gallows built in rows—at the Marienplatz in Munich, for example—as many as traffic allows. Then the Jews will be hanged indiscriminately, and they will remain hanging until they stink; they will hang there as long as the principles of hygiene permit. As soon as they have been untied, the next batch will be strung up, and so on down the line, until the last Jew in Munich has been exterminated. Other cities will follow suit, precisely in this fashion, until all Germany has been completely cleansed of Jews.”

Statement by Adolf Hitler to Josef Heil, 1922. Quoted from Gerald Fleming’s “Hitler and the Final Solution“, page 17.

On the 25th of August 1939, the Zionist General Council ordered the early and immediate dissolution of the 21st Zionist Congress, being held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Amid the drum beats of impending war in Europe, the 576 delegates filed out of the building with the words of Dr. Chaim Weizmann still ringing in their ears:  “we will not resort to the law of the jungle”.

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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.
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Photo of the Day

The crowd lifting the squadron leader of the rescue planes on their return to Israel from Entebbe in July 1976. David Rubinger/Corbis via Getty Images

Operation Thunderbolt

The most audacious Special Forces Operation in History

It was the most daring rescue mission of a generation, with a cast that included three future prime ministers, Idi Amin and more than 100 hostages. July 4th marked the 41st anniversary of the famed rescue at Entebbe, in which Israeli commandos flew 2,000 miles into the heart of Africa to bring home over 100 Jewish hostages whose Air France flight had been hijacked to Uganda by Palestinian and German terrorists, abetted by Ugandan strongman Idi Amin.

“Mission Impossible,” was the Daily Mail’s headline the day after the Entebbe Operation. “No country in the world would dare try such an operation, as it truly was a mission impossible,” the British paper wrote. “But Israel dared—and won.”

The rescue operation—subsequently renamed Operation Yonatan for its commander Yonatan Netanyahu who was killed during the rescue—captured the imagination of military theorists, filmmakers, and ordinary people, and continues to spark spates of retelling and analysis at every significant anniversary. Just last year, a new exhibit of previously unseen relics of the raid opened at the Rabin Center in Israel. But despite all the movies, books, and exhibits, there are many lesser-known details and subplots of the rescue that still retain the capacity to surprise.

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