Israel’s problems have always been existential. In the late 1970’s Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, grew tired of the expense of constant warfare, and offered his hand to Israel to the outrage of Palestinian terror group, Fatah. The group’s leader, who used the nom de guerre Jihad, organized a raid on a prominent Tel Aviv hotel for the purpose of forcing Israel to release terrorist prisoners and striking terror in general. One of the leaders of the suicide assault force was his mistress. Due to the treachery of a hired skipper, the terrorists put ashore many miles north of their target. To salvage at least part of their mission they hijack two busloads of Jewish tourists. The force that the Israeli authorities cobbled together to rescue the hostages and prevent the terrorists from reaching Tel Aviv resembles nothing familiar to modern Israel.
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