Christian Friends of Leket Israel

Operation Entebbe and the Current Hostage Crisis: A Legacy of Courage

As a Bible believing Christian, I’ve always felt a deep connection to Israel. I see God’s Hand at work protecting the Jewish people, just like in the Bible. One event that really hits home for me is the incredible rescue mission at Entebbe Airport in 1976. It’s a tale that still rings true today as we face a new hostage crisis.

Operation Entebbe: A Defining Moment

Let me take you back to the summer of 1976. Imagine an Air France plane carrying 248 passengers being hijacked by terrorists and ending up in Entebbe, Uganda. Almost half the passengers were Jews from Israel and Europe. Separated from the rest of the hostages who were released, they faced a terrifying and uncertain future. Israel, always standing by its people, launched a breathtaking rescue mission known as Operation Entebbe.

Israeli commandos flew over 2,500 miles to Entebbe in a meticulously planned operation. They stormed the airport and rescued nearly all the hostages in just 90 minutes. This mission was not just about military precision and bravery but also about Israel’s firm stand against terrorism.

The operation came at a great cost. Yoni Netanyahu, the older brother of Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, led the elite Sayeret Matkal unit and tragically lost his life. Yoni’s sacrifice is a testament to the ultimate price paid for freedom and security. His heroism continues to inspire, mirroring the leadership and determination his brother Benjamin Netanyahu shows as he leads Israel today.

One of the survivors, Benny Davidson, who was just 13 at the time, shared his intense experience. He talked about how his dad shredded his army ID to avoid being identified by the terrorists and how the adults shielded the kids from the full horror of their situation. “They kept us busy and they kept the terror to themselves,” Benny said, showing the incredible courage and resilience of those involved​

Parallels to Today

Southern Israel checkpoint near the Rafa Crossing, Gaza

Fast forward to today, and we still see the threat of terrorism and hostage crises. The legacy of Entebbe lives on, reminding us of the importance of swift and decisive action. Modern hostage situations might be different in context, but the underlying threat remains.

Today, the conflict with Hamas continues to present significant challenges. Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, and the European Union, has been involved in numerous attacks and hostage situations.

One of the most recent and heart-wrenching examples is the hostage crisis involving Israeli civilians in Gaza. The situation is dire and echoes the terror faced during the Entebbe hijacking. Families torn apart, lives hanging in the balance, and a nation united in prayer and resolve.

Israeli forces have conducted several rescue operations to free hostages from Hamas captivity. These missions are as dangerous and critical as the Entebbe raid. A recent operation rescued Ori Megidish, who upon her rescue, said she is “Happy I got my life back.”

In another recent development, families of the hostages have been vocal about the horrors their loved ones have endured. A father of one of the hostages shared, “It was utter chaos,” describing the frantic scenes during the Hamas invasion. The emotional toll on both the hostages and their families is immense, and their bravery in the face of such adversity is truly inspiring​.

These modern-day operations reflect the same courage and commitment seen in 1976. Israeli forces continue to put their lives on the line to save civilians from the grips of terrorism. The parallels between the past and present underscore the ongoing need for vigilance, bravery, and a steadfast stand against terrorism.

Courage and Deliverance: Lessons from Psalm 18:2

What hits me the most about Operation Entebbe is how it mirrors the divine themes of courage and deliverance in the Bible. Psalm 18:2 says, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Just as the Israeli commandos delivered the hostages from danger, God is our ultimate deliverer, offering us refuge and strength in our times of need.

The bravery shown during the Entebbe raid is a clear sign of God’s protective hand. It reminds us that just as God delivered the Israelites in biblical times, He continues to protect and deliver His people today.

Finding Strength in God's Promise

When I face difficult situations, I often feel powerless and lost. However, the story of Entebbe encourages us that even in the most desperate circumstances, deliverance is possible. It’s a powerful reminder that God is always with us, guiding and protecting us. This is especially relevant today, as we navigate through various personal and global crises.

God’s promise of deliverance is a recurring theme in the Bible. In Psalm 34:17, it says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” This scripture assures us that God hears our prayers and is committed to delivering us from our struggles.

Moreover, the New Testament reinforces this promise. In 2 Corinthians 1:10, Paul writes, “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.” This verse highlights the continuous nature of God’s deliverance – it is not a one-time event but an ongoing promise.

During these trying times, we can draw strength from these scriptures. By placing our trust in God, we can find the courage to face our challenges head-on. Just as the Israeli commandos showed incredible bravery and faith during the Entebbe raid, we too can exhibit resilience and hope in our own lives.

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