Bellisario College of Communications

Professor to discuss 'Lessons from History's Most Daring Hostage Rescue'

California-based Merage Institute schedules virtual session for May 24

Released hostages from Operation Thunderbolt 45 years ago make their way to freedom. The mission will be the focus of a May 24 talk by faculty member Boaz Dvir. Credit: Photo ProvidedAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Merage Institute, a nonprofit that hosts a speaker program for the University of California Irvine Paul Merage School of Business Alumni Network, will feature a Penn State professor’s “Lessons from History’s Most Daring Hostage Rescue” at 2:45 p.m. May 24.

This virtual Merage Talks event — which is free, open to the public, and requires registration — commemorates the 45th anniversary of Operation Thunderbolt, during which Israeli commandos rescued more than 100 hostages held by international terrorists in Entebbe, Uganda.

Penn State assistant professor Boaz Dvir will discuss timely aspects of the historic operation. The award-winning filmmaker, who teaches journalism in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, also will screen “How Special Ops Became Center to the War on Terror,” a documentary short he co-produced with Retro Report for The New York Times.

Co-sponsored by the Southern California Israel Chamber of Commerce, the one-hour event will include opening remarks by Consul General of Israel Hillel Newman and an introduction by Jacob Segal, principal of Investors Research Group.

“Israel sent their best sons more than 2000 miles away to show the world that never again will Jewish life be taken for granted,” Segal said.

Dvir has spent more than a decade researching and writing about the operation. His forthcoming feature documentary, “Cojot,” tells the little-known story of an Entebbe hostage who contributed to the rescue’s success.

“Operation Thunderbolt altered the way we deal with terrorism,” said Dvir, who also directs the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Initiative at Penn State. “The rescue’s lessons are as relevant today as they were 45 years ago.”

Boaz Dvir Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated May 07, 2021