By COLlive reporter
Photos: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a historic visit to the location where his brave brother was killed in a daring rescue mission to save the lives of fellow Jews.
He said that he learned how to fight current security challenges from his older brother Yoni Netanyahu, who was shot while commanding Operation Entebbe to free hostages held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976.
“I learned from my brother that you need two things to defeat terrorists: clarity and courage,” the prime minister said. “When terrorism succeeds in one place it spreads to other places, and when terrorism is defeated anywhere it is weakened everywhere. This is why Entebbe… was a victory for all humanity.”
The elder Netanyahu was the only Israeli soldier killed during the raid against pro-Palestinian terrorists who hijacked an Air France flight and held its Jewish and Israeli passengers hostage.
“Exactly 40 years ago Israeli soldiers carried out the historic mission in Entebbe,” Benjamin Netanyahu said in his speech before laying a wreath at the site and touring the old terminal building with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni.
“Forty years ago they landed in the dead of night in a country led by a brutal dictator who gave refuge to terrorists. Today we landed in broad daylight to be welcomed by a president who fights terrorism,” he said.
Netanyahu said: “The hijacking of the Air France plane to Entebbe touched a raw nerve with the people of Israel. Thirty-one years after the Holocaust, Jews again had to undergo a separation of Jews and non-Jews by those who wanted to kill us. The terrorists freed the hostages of other nationalities, but they condemned the Jews to the terror of death.”
In attendance were past and present IDF officials and relatives of Jean-Jacques Mimouni, Ida Boruhovitch, Pasco Cohen and Dora Bloch, passengers who lost their lives at Entebbe.
This is the first tour by an Israeli prime minister to Sub-Saharan Africa since Yitzhak Shamir in 1987. Netanyahu will be continuing to Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia in his tour of the continent.
“Coming on a journey like this is also very important from diplomatic, economic and security perspectives and I am pleased that Israel is going back to Africa in a big way,” Netanyahu said.
A moving scene at the Entebbe International Airport was when members of Netanyahu’s entourage stood on the front lawn of the old terminal building to daven Mincha.
VIDEO: Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at Entebbe