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American Thinker
American Thinker
25 Mar 2023
Norma Sadler


NextImg:The Netanyahus: Heroes and their stories

Once upon a time, I used “Let’s Bring Back Heroes,” an essay from Newsweek by William J. Bennett for a class in Literacy at Boise State University.  My idea was for students to talk about using magazine essays for their future classroom students and let those students riff on it.  One hero mentioned in the Newsweek essay was Yoni Netanyahu, who died in the hostage rescue mission at Entebbe. Could my students get past heroes like Superman and other fantasy figures and find real life heroes to write about that meant something to them?  They could.  Family, friends, those who made a difference in their lives took center stage.  For one, a grandfather who served in Vietnam became the hero in an essay.

Fast forward.  I am hooked on Bibi, My Story, by Benjamin Netanyahu.  Did I know 35 years go what I know now -- that Yoni was Benjamin’s brother?  Of course not. So another military hero who becomes prime minister of Israel crosses my path in an autobiography.  For me, Bibi, My Story is the clearest most comprehensive work on the history of Israel through the life of an extraordinary man who lived through much of it.  

Netanyahu takes us with him through the beginning of the state of Israel, the Six Day War and others,  the ordeals of freeing hostages, to the difficulty of dealing with propaganda on all fronts that diminishes Jews and attempts to destroy the country of Israel. It was hard for me to handle sometimes the anguish of the terrorist attacks, the loss of lives, and the struggle of Israel to survive surrounded by countries ten times its size, but I wanted to know more. I kept reading.

In 1979, Netanyahu arranged an international conference on terrorism in Jerusalem under the auspices of the Jonathan Institute, named for his brother.  Much of what came from that and later conferences helped the United States understand and take action against terrorists in countries that supported terrorist activity.   

I am halfway through Netanyahu’s book heading to the Abraham Accords, which have become a testament to the humanity of those around Israel who seek peace and recognize its legitimacy.  Much to read ahead.  I shall know more about Israel and a hero and a story than most citizens in this country. Others might consider this journey with Netanyahu and discover a hero and a story that is illuminating and worth reading.

Image: Threshold Editions