Monday, March 19, 2018

7 Days in Entebbe

June 27, 1976 – An Air France plane was flying with 248 passengers from Tel Aviv, Israel to Paris, France via Athens, Greece. That plane was hijacked by 2 members of the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine and 2 sympathizers from Germany. The flight was diverted to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Ugandan dictator at that time Idi Amin welcomed the hijackers. The hijackers had various demands including releasing of many prisoners in Israel.
After two days, they released all non-Jewish passengers. 94 Jewish passengers and 12 crew members remained as hostages. They were threatened with death.
Israel never negotiates with any hijacker. They decided to send their commandos of the Israeli Defense Forces to rescue the hostages. 100 commandos took part. On July 4, 1976, they made a daring, thrilling, and successful rescue operation. They rescued 102 of the 106 hostages. All hijackers and many Ugandan soldiers (who supported the hijackers) were killed.
There was only one killed on the Israeli side. It was their commander Lt. Col. Yonatan Nethanyahu. He is the older brother of the current Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Nethanyahu.
This rescue operation was made into 3 movies so far. Victory at Entebbe (1976), Raid on Entebbe (1977), and Operation Thunderbolt (1977).
Now another movie about this rescue operation is released this week. It is titled “7 Days in Entebbe”.
I saw this movie last night. I am not reviewing this movie. I will tell my impression. It is a tale of real life cruelty and heroism. But I like the previous 3 movies much better.
In this movie, a sequence of dance performance is distracting and breaks the continuity. I have no idea why the Director placed this dance performance.
I thought I would see Israeli Commandos in action throughout the movie. But saw their action only in the last 10 minutes.
I was more interested to see their assault preparation than the Israeli Cabinet’s endless discussion.
One touching incident was when the Air France Pilot (a French citizen and a non-Jew) was released by the hijackers, he refused to go. He told the hijackers that these are his passengers and he will stay with them until they are released.
One more observation. In the movie, when 2 Germans speak they speak in German language. When 2 Palestinians speak they speak in Arabic. Why then the Director let the Israeli Cabinet discuss everything in English? The Israeli Cabinet always discuss subjects in their own mother tongue Hebrew and not in English. I have a possible reason. Stay tuned for the my next blog post.
I think the 1977 movie Raid on Entebbe was more interesting. It is available in YouTube for free. Please watch it if you want to.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Give an Inch - H-4 Dependent Visa

U.S. Government issues H-1B visa to skilled workers to come to the U.S. temporarily and work here. Most of these H-1B visa are issued to people from India and almost all of them are from the IT industry. They can bring their spouses to live with them, These spouses are issued H-4 dependent visa. But these H-4 dependent visa people are not allowed to work in the U.S.
Beginning May 2015, the U.S. Government started to issue Employment Authorization to those H-4 visa dependents if their H-1B spouses have an approved petition for Green Card. (Once their petition is approved for Green Card, it may take many years for them to get an actual Green Card.)
Already there are protests that these H-1B visa holders are taking the jobs away from American citizens. These protesters are further outraged that now the H-4 dependents also have started to work and they take more jobs away from the American citizens. There are some lawsuits pending in courts.
Now the current U.S. Government is considering to go back to the original situation whereby H-4 dependents can stay with their spouses in U.S. but cannot work.
The responsibility of U.S. Government is to provide employment for the people of Bangor, Maine, and not for the H-4 dependents from Bangalore, India.
These H-4 dependents are now complaining. Here are some of their reasons:
They will lose their financial independence. This can lead to psychological problems.
They resigned high paying jobs in India to be with hubby in U.S. and now in a dilemma.
They have masters degree from reputable universities but unable to work here.
They are in a sense of entrapment to helplessness to self-doubt to self-hatred.
Their hardest problem is loneliness
They don’t want to become a shadow of their husband.
There is an idiom. Give an inch and take a mile.
I can understand issuing H-1B Visa for highly skilled workers. I can also understand issuing H-4 visa for spouses so family stays together. But allowing H-4 dependents also to work and take away American jobs? No way.
All these highly educated and intelligent H-4 dependents knew what they are getting into when they applied for H-4 visa. They know the restrictions. Then why complain now?
I have a suggestion for these people. If you think you can make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy and society with your education and experience, why don’t you apply to change your visa status from H-4 to H-1B. I know a few people who have done that.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Another Airline Story

I have already written quite a few blog posts on airline industry. Here is one more.
Transavia Ailines was flying from Dubai to Amsterdam. A passenger continued to fart loud. Two fellow passengers asked him to stop but the flatulent passenger refused to stop. Fight broke out. The pilot made an emergency landing at the Vienna Airport.
Police came aboard and removed the “passengers on the rampage”. These are the words used by the pilot. They were released without being charged.
Since I always analyze everything, here are my thoughts.
Why didn’t the pilot let down the oxygen masks?
Was the plane flying on a tail wind?
Why don’t they have First Class, Economy Class, and Gas Class?
May be that passenger misunderstood the German expression Gute Fahrt. This means “have a nice trip”. (I am not joking. I am not making this up. Google these two words.)