On June 27, 1976, an Air France flight left Tel Aviv for Paris with 248 passengers and 12 crew members on board. During a planned stop in Athens, the plane was hijacked setting in motion a week-long hostage situation in Entebbe, Uganda.
Rami Sherman was the operations officer for Israel’s Operation Entebbe rescue mission. On Thursday, June 20, 7 pm, he will be at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre (SJCC) to share his personal experiences as part of the rescue mission and his thoughts on why it is important for Jews today to remember and discuss this historical event.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Rami to Ottawa,” said Ella Dagan, Vered Israel Cultural and Educational Program manager. “Operation Entebbe was one of most astonishing military missions ever seen and one of the proudest events in Israel’s history. This is a unique, and likely never-to-be-repeated, opportunity to hear the amazing story of this rescue, first hand.”
In 1972, Sherman was accepted into an elite unit of the Israeli Army known today as Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Special Forces). Four years after enlisting, when the Air France airliner was taken over and rerouted to Entebbe, he was made operations officer of the unit that performed the rescue mission under the command of Yoni Netanyahu, whose brother, Benjamin Netanyahu, is now prime minister of Israel. Yoni Netanyahu was the only Israeli killed in the rescue.
In his capacity as operations officer, Sherman prepared his unit for the mission by coordinating with the commander, and the Israeli Air Force. During the operation, he was aboard the first Hercules military transport aircraft to land and was part of the contingent of soldiers who made up the first assault group who freed the hostages at the old airport terminal in Entebbe.
After Netanyahu was shot, Sherman drove the wounded officer to the waiting Hercules aircraft where a team of medical professionals attempted to save his life.
It was not until 2016, 40 years after the hostage rescue, that Sherman was able to reflect on that life altering week and began, for the first time, writing personal stories of his memories from the operation. Since then he has been invited by Jewish communities around the world to share his story.
During his talk, Sherman will discuss the concept of harvut hadadit (mutual responsibility) and his belief that we must educate our children and the generations to come. His talk will also include his thoughts on why what happened at Entebbe remains relevant today in addition to first-hand stories of Operation Entebbe.
Tickets are $10 at the door. For more information, contact Ella Dagan at firstname.lastname@example.org or
613-798-9818, ext. 243.