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Seven Days in Entebbe: A Review By Marilyn Penn

This version of the famous Israeli rescue of hostages from the hijacked Air France plane should be known for its hard-left slant and its glaring omissions. Written by Gregory Burke and directed by Jose Padilha, its main purpose is to humanize the hijackers and to trace all of Israel’s current problems to ITS failure to negotiate with peace-loving, occupied Palestinians. Here are some of the facts this movie does not contain.

Palestinians began the practice of hijacking planes in 1968 and were the leading perpetrators of this particular form of torture, managing one a month in 1972. The Entebbe event of 1976 was organized by a founding member of the German Revolutionary Cells (RZ) and his female accomplice together with two Palestinian drop-outs from Habash’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Though they appear in the film, we are not given any background into the virulence of these movements. Rather, the German Bose (played by Daniel Bruhl) is seen as a humanitarian who stands up for women and children. His accomplice (Rosamund Pike) is a garden-variety nut bag compelled to save Palestinians who are described by one of the hijackers as the people who were treated just like the Jews in the holocaust once those Nazi-like Jewish survivors came to Palestine to steal land and occupy it Of course many Jews had already emigrated in the 19th century fleeing European pogroms and some had drifted back after much earlier expulsions of Jews from several European countries. Many “Palestinians” were actually Arabs from Syria and other parts of the middle-east who migrated after the Jews began draining the malaria-infested swamps and creating jobs and better living conditions for unskilled labor.

A New Entebbe Movie, Hijacked by Bad Ideas Neither psychologically astute nor fun, ‘7 Days in Entebbe’ fails to take off By Liel Leibovitz

Sternly, one character tells another that the fight must go on, for the sake of the hostages. Just as sternly, the other character replies that if the fight must go on, then we are all hostages. The latter is being metaphorical, maybe even metaphysical, musing about a future marred by perpetual hostilities. The former is being a bit more literal: There are 246 men, women, and children held at gunpoint in Uganda who need saving.

How to resolve this breakdown in communication? You can’t, which makes 7 Days in Entebbe, a new movie adaptation of what may be history’s most audacious rescue operation, particularly vexing to watch. One moment it’s Ziv, a hardened young commando about to report for duty, bickering with his girlfriend, a peaceable dancer. The next, it’s Shimon Peres, the operation’s chief cheerleader, bickering with his quivering frenemy, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. No matter who’s doing the talking, the question pondered is the same: How long must we fight?

The answer, to all but high-minded screenwriters intent on making serious movies about moral conundrums, is not too complicated: as long as there are bad guys with guns trying to kill us. In 7 Days, however, the bad guys aren’t that bad—they’re German intellectuals, which means that, periodically, they must put aside their AK-47s and debate the dialectical nature of history.