Remembering the Entebbe rescue

Emma Rosenkovitch whispered to The Jerusalem Post that she was "nervous." It may seem difficult to imagine Rosenkovitch nervous, as she, her husband and two young children survived the Entebbe rescue exactly 30 years ago. Rosenkovitch, her husband and three members of the IDF involved in the rescue spoke Tuesday evening at a video conference hosted by the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem. The conference commemorated the 30-year anniversary of the Entebbe rescue and was broadcast internationally to five cities - including Dnepropetrovsk and Kiev in Ukraine, Buenos Aires and Moscow. Col. Muki Betzer, second-in-command during the ground assault, helped plan the military rescue, along with Yoni Netanyahu, Maj-Gen. Dan Shomron and intelligence officer Col. Ehud Barak. Betzer spoke about his role in the rescue mission and the need for Jews in the Diaspora to remember the event. "I don't do television interviews," said Betzer prior to the video conference. "This is a forum for Jews in the Diaspora. It is a Zionist event that connects all Jews. We have a shared destiny and need to remember this particular operation." On a large screen in the Jewish Agency building in Kiryat Moriah, some 30 people watched in silent attention as Jews from around the world tuned in to the story of the Entebbe rescue told by those who were there and who had made it possible. Lieut-Col. Dr. Ido Embar, formerly of the operational air command and currently director of the IAF history section, addressed the conference participants. He explained the logistics of the rescue, using maps and diagrams projected onto a large screen in the front of the room and via video to the viewers abroad. Surin Hershko, severely wounded during the rescue operation, spoke briefly about his own experience as did the Rosenkovitches. Betzer spoke passionately about the need to remember the rescue. "The hijackers separated the Jews from the non-Jews, which reminded us of the Holocaust," said Betzer, his eyes hardening. "We have to remember we are one people with one destiny, and we share this anywhere in the world."