Original Article Post Date:
Jonathan Freedland, theguardian
The contrast was not a happy one. For much of the last week, I’ve been travelling across Israel speaking to those involved in what they see as their country’s finest hour, an event whose 40th anniversary falls this July: the 1976 operation that rescued 102 hostages from Entebbe airport in Uganda. At the time, the sheer audacity and ingenuity of the raid – flying an elite unit of commandos into a faraway airport in the dead of night, killing the hijackers and freeing their captives – captured the imagination of the world. It spawned not one but two Hollywood movies and remained a byword for thrilling derring-do. Those involved – the soldiers, the military planners, the rescued families – look back on that moment still with unalloyed pride.