A gripping eye-witness account of the hijacking of four planes by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1970 written by one of the passengers
On Sunday, September 6, 1970, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked four airliners bound from Europe for New York. One, a brand new Pan Am 747, was taken to Cairo and blown up only seconds after its passengers escaped. The attempt to hijack a second plane, an El Al flight, was foiled and the plane landed safely in the UK. Two other planes, one TWA and one Swissair, were directed to the desert floor thirty-five miles northeast of Amman, Jordan, where a twenty-five day hostage drama began. With the additional hijacking of a British airliner, over four hundred and fifty hostages had landed in the Jordanian desert. David Raab was on the TWA flight with his mother and siblings but was separated from them and taken to a refugee camp and then to an apartment in Amman where he was held hostage through a civil war. This is his story.
DAVID RAAB is Chief of Staff to the President of Touro, a system of Jewish-sponsored non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. He holds an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. from the Weizmann Institute (Israel), and a B.A. from Bar Ilan University (Israel). He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Yeshiva University. Mr. Raab is actively engaged in Israel and Middle East affairs and has published several articles. He is married and divides his time between Teaneck, New Jersey, and Raanana, Israel.
“Retrospectively instructive on the Middle East….”-Kirkus
“Painstakingly researched…”-Publisher’s Weekly
“A harrowing personal account told with verve and style, and overlaid by a pivotal episode in modern Middle East history.”–The Jewish Standard
“Raab’s Terror in Black September is a fast-paced, highly readable book which is a must reading for all students of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”–The Chicago Jewish Star
“A meticulously researched, footnoted and cogently presented description.”–The Bergen Record
“Fascinating…sheds new light on how this terrorist episode was part of a larger nefarious plot to reshape the Middle East map.” – The Jewish Press
“Nothing trumps an eyewitness view of history. That’s what David Raab offers in his gripping new book.” – Steve Goddard’s History Wire
“Riveting…a blow by blow account of the facts of this horrifying ordeal, including details of the conflict that precipitated the hijacking…a stunning account of an early encounter with terrorism.” — Jewish Book World
“Raab does a riveting job of recounting his harrowing weeks as a hostage when his plane and three others were simultaneously hijacked in 1970.”–Dr. Henry A. Kissinger
“A unique book. Raab offers both a first-person account and a historical analysis of what might have been the single most politically significant terrorist event prior to September 11. The 1970 hijackings changed the course of Middle East history. There has never before been such a gripping and thoughtful recounting by the victim of a terrorist attack.”–Barry Rubin, co-author of Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography, co-editor of Anti-American Terrorism and the Middle East, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs
“A riveting account–part personal memoir, part first-class diplomatic history–of one of the seminal events of the modern Middle East. For scholars and students of the region, as well as for journalists and policy-makers, this is an essential work.”–Michael Oren, bestselling author of Six Days of War and Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present. “Black September is an extensively researched history of the events of September 1970. The author was an eyewitness to one of the four aircraft hijackings which were among the world’s more serious early terrorist acts. Hundreds of passengers, including the author, were held hostage on the occasion. This book is replete with testimonisals, interviews, and recently available archived materials researched in Washington, D.C., London, Jerusalem, and Jordan. It reveals for the first time a number of little known facts surrounding the hijackings, as well as the Soviet role in the subsequent Syrian invasion of Jordan, and Jordanian and Israeli cooperation that contributed to Jordan’s success in the outcome of the war. I personally participated in many events along with the leadership of Jordan and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, at the time Ambassador to the U.S. I was also in touch with the author’s father during his son’s captivity. This work is enthusiastically recommended to all who share an interest in the Middle East and some of the origins of today’s current encounter with global terrorism.”–General Alexander M. Haig, Jr., former Secretary of State “A compelling and carefully researched history.”–Washington Watch “Raab’s story fuses the intimacy of a memoir with an impeccable historical account….a crucial contribution to the current discourse on terrorism, international diplomacy, and how they affect the innocent civilians who become embroiled in these dangerous situations.”–International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
Aboard A Plane In The Jordanian Desert * “We Are All Fedayeen”–Summer 1970 * “This Is Your New Captain Speaking”–Sunday, September 6 * “Am I Leaving One Orphan Or Two?”–Monday, September 7 * “We May Have To Face A Tragedy”–Tuesday, September 8 * Misery Loves Company–Wednesday, September 9 * “They Forced Me Into The Grave”–Thursday, September 10 * Chaos, Confusion, And “Fantastic Tension”–Friday, September 11 * Explosions In The Desert–Saturday, September 12 * My Family Is Freed–Sunday, September 13 * Negotiations At A Standstill–Monday, September 14 * “I Just Want To Be Near My Daughter”–Tuesday, September 15 * The Eve Of War–Wednesday, September 16 * “A Little Excitement”–Thursday, September 17 * An Extremely Close Call–Friday, September 18 * Hussein’s Momentary Edge–Saturday, September 19 * Our Fate In The Balance–Sunday, September 20 * A Desperate Situation–Monday, September 21 * The US And Israel Poised To Intervene–Tuesday, September 22 * Switzerland And Germany Cave–Wednesday, September 23 * What About The Hostages?–Thursday, September 24 * European Hostages Rescued–Friday, September 25 * Our Perilous Walk To Freedom–Saturday, September 26 * Six Missing Hostages–Sunday, September 27 * Nixon And Home–Monday, September 28 * Last Six Freed At Last–Tuesday, September 29 * European Capitulation And Culmination–Wednesday, September 30