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Yoni's Last Battle: The Rescue at Entebbe, 1976 Paperback – June 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Originally published in Hebrew in 1991, this book has been reissued in English to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Entebbe raid. In June 1976, an Air France jetliner was hijacked and forced to fly to Entebbe, Uganda, by terrorists. On July 4, 30 soldiers of the Israeli army known as "the Unit" successfully rescued over 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers held captive by the terrorists. Only the 30-year-old commander of the unit, Lt. Col. Jonathan (Yoni) Netanyahu, was killed. He was the brother of the author, who also participated in the raid, along with a third brother, Benjamin Netanyahu (later to become prime minister of Israel). The book is both an accurate, detailed account of the raid and a personal tribute to a brother and a hero. The fast-paced text offers numerous flashbacks of the three brothers' childhood and army service. Although some details and identities remain classified, the author was able to interview most of the unit's soldiers and others involved in the raid. This new edition contains transcripts of those interviews. The book lacks an index, but photos, drawings, and personal recollections assist in explaining this historical event. Recommended for all public libraries. David M. Alperstein, Queens Borough P.L., Jamaica, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Originally published in Hebrew in 1991, this book has been reissued in English to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Entebbe raid. In June 1976, an Air France jetliner was hijacked and forced to fly to Entebbe, Uganda, by terrorists. On July 4, 30 soldiers of the Israeli army known as "the Unit" successfully rescued over 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers held captive by the terrorists. Only the 30-year-old commander of the unit, Lt. Col. Jonathan (Yoni) Netanyahu, was killed. He was the brother of the author, who also participated in the raid, along with a third brother, Benjamin Netanyahu (later to become prime minister of Israel). The book is both an accurate, detailed account of the raid and a personal tribute to a brother and a hero. The fast-paced text offers numerous flashbacks of the three brothers' childhood and army service. Although some details and identities remain classified, the author was able to interview most of the unit's soldiers and others involved in the raid. This new edition contains transcripts of those interviews. The book lacks an index, but photos, drawings, and personal recollections assist in explaining this historical event. Recommended for all public libraries. David M. Alperstein, Queens Borough P.L., Jamaica, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Gefen Publishing House (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9652296287
  • ISBN-13: 978-9652296283
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #805,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on July 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jonathan (Yoni) Netenyahu was a 30 year old distinguished and well respected soldier, the Commanding Officer of "the Unit" which stood for General Staff Reconnaissance Unit in Israel. They were a key force in defending Israel against its enemies. Iddo Netenyaho, the author of this book was in the reserves when the events in this book took place. The book is about the daring rescue of airline passengers held captive by Arab and German terrorists in Entebbe, Uganda which took place on July 4, 1976. As missions go, it was an overwhelming success ... with only one casualty. The book is based on meticulous research, such as over seventy taped interviews of participants in the raid, radio interviews, and statements made by reserve members at a ten year commemorative meeting of the mission. The book reads like a suspense-filled novel. Drew Middleton,a military analyst for the New York Times, calls this military action/rescue the first of its kind. Unfortunately, Yoni the Commander and leader, was shot right when his team was about to deploy in front of the building of the large hall. The team members did as instructed by their Commander during the drills, they continued with the assault and would treat the injured afterwards. By the time Yoni received help from a doctor, it was clear he had suffered massive blood loss from internal injuries. Despite life-saving interventions out in the field, the situation became hopeless and he died.

Iddo Netenyahu provides fascinating insights into his brother's personality and character by interspersing recollections of family events, describing what his brother told him, and quoting excerpts of letters written at different times in his life.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Anne Atkins on October 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an astonishing memoir written by Iddo Netanyahu about his brother Jonathan Netanyahu. Jonathan, also known as Yoni, lead the rescue operation at Entebbe in July, 1976. He was the commander of the operation and was killed during the successful rescue of the hostages at the Uganda airport. Sadly, he was only 30 years old and was a brilliant soldier and very accomplished scholar. His death was tragic and a significant loss for Israel's military. If you are unfamiliar with the story, Arab terrorists hijacked a plane heading from Tel Aviv to Paris and took most of the passengers on board as hostages flying them to Entebbe airport in Uganda. Iddi Amin, dictator of Uganda aligned himself with the terrorists doing nothing to free or protect the hostages. It was then up to Israel to decide to either give in to the terrorists demands to release many Arab prisoners from Israeli jails or to try to rescue the hostages. It was always the principle of Israel's government not to give in to the demands of terrorists but to lose this many innocent people woud be devastating. The author explains how this dilemma was resolved.

The book is well written and keeps the reader interested while it tells in detail how the rescue operation was designed and how it was put into action. We get to know Yoni as a person and as a military leader. I totally enjoyed this book and was so impressed by the poignant storytelling abilities of its author, the hero's brother. It reminds us that men like Yoni have to be respected and their memory honored and kept alive in the retelling of their story. Yoni was a man of integrity, intelligence and devotion to his country and to the Jewish people. Today, so many years later, his story is told over and over again to children and military personnel in Israel.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sandor J. Woren on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written by Lt. Colonel Yoni Netanyahu's younger brother, Iddo, this is the definitive history of the hastily planned and executed 1976 Israeli Raid on Entebbe. Much of this is repeated in the author's later book entitled Entebbe: A Defining Moment in the War on Terrorism (see my review).

As the raiding party's fallen commander, Jonathan (Yoni) Netanyahu has achieved legendary status both within Israel and the rest of the world. Iddo, the commander's younger brother, also a veteran of the elite Israeli commando unit, Sayeret Matkal (known simply as "the Unit") which was commanded by brother Yoni during the Entebbe operation, the author had unique access to military secrets of the operations by way of interviews with the operation's participants, planners, and politicians.

The author is also a radiologist and the youngest of the three Netanyahu brothers, including the former (and probably next) Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin ("Bini") Netanyahu. All three brothers share a partial education at elite American Universities, fame in Israel as soldiers and veterans of "the Unit," and, in the case of Benjamin, the Prime Ministry itself.

A fascinating story, and equally fascinating book. Highly recommended, although if you read only one, I would suggest the updated version entitled Entebbe, A Defining Moment in the War on Terrorism.Entebbe: A Defining Moment in the War on Terrorism--The Jonathan Netanyahu Story

For those interested in a video version, I would recommend the fairly accurate portrayal of the operation in the 1976 version Raid on EntebbeRaid on Entebbe
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