Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story
Starring Marton Csokas, Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu...
Directed by Ari Daniel Pinchot
DVD Release Date: December 4, 2012
Run Time: 87 minutes
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - January 28, 2013
This is a significant and memorable film about one of the most heroic and extraordinary military missions of the twentieth century, on July 4, 1976, a mission thought to be impossible, a mission that was later discussed and analyzed at the American War College for Generals. It is the story of a dedicated Israeli military officer, the older brother of Israel's present day Prime Minister, the son of one of the most respected scholars of Jewish history, Yoni Netanyahu.
Yoni was a handsome, charismatic man, who was first in all he did in the army, a born leader who led soldiers in war from the front, a practice that would cost him his life. He was an Israeli who was educated at Harvard University, and was in the top ten percent of his class. He abandoned his scholarly studies to stay in the Israeli army to fight in several battles when his country was attacked. He was wounded in Israel's Seven Day War.
On June 27, 1976, terrorists hijacked an Air France plane that contained many Israelis. The hijackers released the non-Jews but held 101 Israelis and insisted that they would kill them unless Israel released captured terrorists. The plane was flown to Entebbe Airport in Uganda, which was 2,300 miles from Israel. Neither France, whose plane was hijacked, nor the US, nor any other country saw any way to save the Israelis. Yoni, who was stationed at the time in Sinai, was called to headquarters to help find a way to rescue the Israelis and to find a way to accomplish the seemingly impossible mission 2,300 miles from home. The thirty soldiers that he led were seasoned fighters, but some had never been outside of Israel.
This film shows how this remarkable deed was done, but we also hear about his life, his family, personal words he wrote, as well as detailed notes he wrote planning the midnight raid, and how Yoni was the only Israeli combat casualty because he led from the front.