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Jul 6, 2008

Yahrtzeit: remembering the hero, Yoni Netanyahu

200 years after the independence of the United States of America had been made official, July 4, 1976, Israel conducted a daring operation in Africa to save Israeli hostages that had been taken during the hijacking of an Air France flight to Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

The successful rescue operation, carried out despite the difficult conditions of being so far away from Israel, occurred on July 3 and 4.

The leader of the elite unit that carried out the operation was Yoni Netanyahu. He was the only soldier to die in the operation, as despite being the commander of the unit, he put himself on the front line which was and is atypical of commanders, but was totally typical by the command of Yoni Netanyahu.

I recently finished reading the book "The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu". I read it once as teenager and did not appreciate it then. I thought it boring, as it is a compilation of his personal letters, and not a biography or a war book.

Re-reading it now though, I appreciated it more. It was fascinating to read his take on the times, the buildup to war, his personal relationships - how they developed and how they failed because of his dedication to the army and to Israel's security.

While the 'secular' date of his death passed on Friday July 4th, the Hebrew date, 6 Tammuz, falls out this week on Wednesday.

Yehi Zichro Baruch.

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