Monday, July 04, 2016

July 4, 1976

Some of you think this will be a post about our country's Bicentennial.  Which was a grand time in Boston.

But it's not.

It's about a far away place - Entebbe, Uganda.

I've admitted dozens of times in this blog, that I was a bit of nerd.  That from high school on I read both of Boston's big dailies, the "Globe" and the "Herald American" as it was known at the time.  In the general frenzy leading up to Boston's celebrations and the Nation's celebrations, there was another news story.

Terrorists had hijacked an Air France plane to supposedly exchange passengers for some other imprisoned terrorists.  To be honest, at the time I took them at their word.  But now, older and more cynical, I think the point was just to kill Jews.  This is not to say I ever in my life sympathized with Palestinians.  However, I did at the time think they were reasonable enough to be negotiated with.  People younger than me or with shorter memories may not realize that other planes got hijacked.  Other hostages were taken.  And police or governments worked it out.  People took planes to get to Cuba or for ransom.  At the time, to me, there seemed no reason to think this would be handled that way.

This was a mere four years after Munich and in my mind, the Germans had messed that up out of arrogance.  There was strife and fighting all over the world.  Northern Ireland was in a perpetual state of unrest.  Just a few months before Palestinians had hijacked this plane, some crazy group had bombed a courthouse in Boston

So back to Entebbe and the hijacked plane which by the 3rd of July had had all of it's non-Jewish passengers separated and released.  The crew however, wouldn't leave and I have the greatest admiration for them.

Being more wise in these matters than a 15 year old reading along in Boston newspapers, the Israelis knew there was no reasoning with the hostage takers.  People can say till they're blue in the face that Palestinian terrorists are "nationalists".  Whatever.  First and foremost they are followers of Islam.  The Jewish State of Israel had been dealing with them for ages.  They knew that when a follower of Islam takes up arms and tells the world their grievances, it's just a cover.  Whether it's "Black September" or the "PLO" or "ISIS" or "Al Qaeda", you can't "understand" them, you can't "reason" with them. A wise man once told us that "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it eats him last".

The Israelis sent their own people into Uganda just before midnight July 3rd.  But with the time difference of 7 hours, it all happened in time to be front page news for America's birthday!

Truth be told, that was the highlight of my day.  The rightness of it.  The justice of it.  And now I know the wisdom of it.