Word has it that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning a visit to Uganda and Kenya to mark 40 years since the Entebbe raid during which his brother Yoni was killed in the legendary hostage rescue operation, the Jerusalem Post reports.But the trip signifies more for Israel than merely mending diplomatic relations with African governments; it symbolizes how far we've come from being the courageous, fearless country the world once knew.In the days of Operation Thunderbolt in Entebbe, Israel had iron clad principles on how to deal-- or NOT to deal-- with terrorists of any kind; principles that gained them reverence and honor; principles that showed the world we were a force to be reckoned with; principles that saved lives.
102 rescued Israelis arrive home safe to Ben Gurion Airport, after being held hostage at the Entebbe International Airport for a week, July 4, 1976.
Rescued Israeli hostages reunite with their families at Ben Gurion Airport following Israel's Operation Thunderbolt, July 4, 1976.Then Oslo happened. Rabin and Arafat reluctantly shook hands, smiling for the cameras as Clinton proudly looked on. In truth, there was nothing to smile about. For the first time, Israel had recognized the sovereign rights of another group over the Jewish homeland. Ever since, Israel has been in a state of utter confusion and terrifying identity crisis, to say the least.The agreement deprived Israel of more than just portions of the Holy Land- it blurred our sense of clarity about our claim to the Homeland of the Jewish people; it questioned our conviction for the cause, and tarnished the courage and honor we’d so valiantly gained in the critical eyes of the world.Like former MK Moshe Feiglin so eloquently puts it, “When you have decided to forget who you are, even your Chief of Staff cannot identify the enemy. And when you cannot identify the enemy, you cannot win. And when there is no victory, the war doesn’t end. And when the war doesn’t end, peace does not begin.”Peace cannot be achieved with a people who seek to destroy us; there are no ‘negotiations’ to be made with a nation that wants nothing more than to wipe off ours from the face of the map-- at least not the kind of ‘peace’ we’d want to see.Until 1993, Israel had a principled idea of who they were and what they were to become; when Israeli lives were in danger, Israel didn’t think twice before responding- braver and stronger than ever. But with Oslo, we’ve lost more than part our Promised Land- we’ve lost reason for our cause.Where is our honor to defend our claim to our homeland? Why are we overcome with guilt and shame for occupying a territory that is rightfully ours? Why do we, a country that has prevailed the unthinkable time and again, succumb to the pressure of those who so blatantly pray for our destruction- as do their diplomatic allies? We’re a country no bigger than the size of New Jersey, yet one that gives back to the world in disproportionate ways; let’s be proud of who we are, where we come from, and all that we stand for. Let us do what we could and should to protect our people and our homeland- as any other sane country would.40 years ago, Israeli troops raided the airport in Entebbe, deployed by a political leadership with a clear sense of mission, unwavering courage, and unapologetic conviction for the righteousness of its cause- even in the face of adversity. Israel was ready and prepared to rescue her own people that had been taken hostage 6000 miles away. But when Israeli cities are bombarded with thousands of missiles for weeks on, when Israeli children are stabbed in the streets and parents murdered before their very own children by lone wolf killers with kitchen knives, Israel becomes paralyzed by its lack of vision and faith in the justice of its cause, preventing her from a decisive victory for her land and her people. In essence, Israel allows its very own state of mind to be taken hostage- confusion that will take a lot more than even the most daring military rescue operation to undo.