Monday, July 03, 2006

While operation Summer Rain continues and we are all still waiting for the first sign of life from Gilad Shalit, this week marks the anniversary of three important historical events. On Saturday moving ceremonies were held at the Thiepval memorial and elsewhere in remembrance of the soldiers who were killed during the Battle of the Somme, that started on July 1st 1916. On that day alone almost 20.000 British soldiers died, and in the 4 1/2 months that the battle lasted more than 300.000 soldiers on both sides of the front would die or go missing. Thirty years ago, in the night between July 3rd and 4th 1976, at the Entebbe, Uganda, airport Israeli commandos liberated almost all the ( remaining ) passengers and crew members of the Air France flight 139 who were taken hostage by a group of German and Palestinian terrorists, and brought to Idi Amin's Uganda. Many analyses and interviews with active and passive participants in the operation have been published these days in all Israeli media. On Ynet I read a number of articles ( here, here, here ). Finally, one year ago, on July 7th 2005, 52 people were murdered in a series of suicide attacks by British Islamists in London. The final of the FIFA World Cup 2006, which will be played next Sunday, also has a certain historical character, because of its venue, the beautiful Berlin Olympic Stadium, where in August 1936 the 'Nazi Olympics' were held.

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