Remembering Yoni

Yonatan Netanyahu the IDF officer who led the Entebbe rescue operation made the supreme sacrifice

Yonatan Netanyahu (photo credit: Reproduction/Ariel Jerozolimski)
Yonatan Netanyahu
(photo credit: Reproduction/Ariel Jerozolimski)
FOLLOW ME, the inspiring, award-winning documentary about Yonatan Netanyahu – the IDF officer who led the Entebbe rescue operation in July 1976 and was the only Israeli soldier on that mission to make the supreme sacrifice – has received rave reviews in almost every city in which it has been screened. Not only have professional critics heaped praise on it, but non-professional cinema goers have commended it on their Facebook pages.
On Sunday, February 17, it will be shown in two screenings at Ramat Rahel. The screenings, at 5:30 and 8 p.m., are part of a joint fund-raising effort by the Amit and Emuna organizations in support of the educational work they both do to ensure that children from all sectors of society – but particularly those from low socioeconomic backgrounds or from dysfunctional families – receive the opportunity and encouragement to study and reach their potential.
The film, produced by Ari Daniel Pinchot and Jonathan Gruber, is based not only on Yonatan’s heroism, but also on his writings over an extended period. The film includes interviews with his brother Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres, who was defense minister in 1976. There will be a videotaped greeting from the prime minister prior to the screening. Pinchot’s parents, Roy and Ginger Pinchot, will be in the audience, as will Mindy Stein, the president of Emunah in the United States. If the name Ari Daniel Pinchot seems familiar, it’s because he also produced Paper Clips, which received the most positive of reviews.
It may be pure coincidence, but the screening, which occurs after sunset, will be on the day before the Hebrew calendar date of Yonatan’s birthday. He was born on March 13, 1946, which corresponds with 10 Adar, 5706.
WHEN HITCHCOCK, the feature film about filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, came to Israel last month, someone at Channel 1 remembered that Hitchcock himself had come on a one-day visit in April 1967 at the behest of Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek, to help promote tourism to the capital. He received a lightning tour courtesy of the energetic and dynamic Kollek himself. When interviewed about his impressions, Hitchcock said that he dealt in fantasy, but Israel was a fact.
One of the people who had been commissioned to capture Hitchcock’s visit for posterity was a young Jerusalem filmmaker and producer by the name of Micha Shagrir, who has since made an international reputation for himself and has been the recipient of prestigious awards. Channel 1 dug Shagrir’s film out of its archives and rescreened it last week for latter-day viewers. There were also some shots of Shagrir watching the film on a flat-screen TV set. One thing he learned from Hitchcock, he said, was always to put himself, however fleetingly, into the picture. Hitchcock was usually seen walking in the distance, but fully recognizable to those who were looking for him.
THE PUBLIC celebration of former MK and Israel Prize laureate Rabbi Haim Druckman’s 80th birthday is actually four months late, but considering that he has a large family who celebrated on time in November, any time is a good time to honor a beloved teacher.
Druckman is the head of the Or Etzion Yeshiva, which he founded in 1977, after founding the Or Etzion Bnei Akiva High School in 1964. In 1990, he was appointed director of the newly created State Conversion Authority. In 2008, a rabbinical court negated his conversions, but after a lot of legal wrangling in both the civil and rabbinical courts, they were ultimately reinstated. Druckman resigned at the time, but no suitable successor was found, so he remained at his post for another four years, finally stepping down in February of last year. The educational institutions with which he has long been associated are joining forces to give him a mega-tribute on Sunday, March 10 at the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyenei Ha’uma).