After 40 years the IOC has finally agreed to hold a minute of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches that were so brutally murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics. After enough support was finally gained on the controversy IOC President Jacques Rogge bowed to pressure to allow the minute of silence in the opening ceremony of the London Games. The Munich victims were originally scheduled to be honored in a separate ceremony at Guildhall in London organized by the Israeli Olympic Committee without any mention at the opening ceremony. I think that it is absolutely abhorrent that politics should play a role in a moment that should remain pure and uniting. Why wouldn’t the committee previously allow for a moment of silence in the opening ceremony if not because the deceased were Israeli. Is it because they don’t want to create tension among the Arab Olympic contingencies in the audience? The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics didn’t think twice about honoring Nodar Kumaritashvili with a moment of silence in the opening ceremony after he died in a training accident. These Israeli athletes and coaches who slaved away for the Olympic dream should not have needed so much commotion in order to get the remembrance they deserve.
This massacre was not just an assault on the Israeli team, but on the integrity of the entire Olympic Games as a whole. Members from the terrorist organization Black September scaled the fences at the Olympic village and took Israeli hostages because security was so relaxed at the “Happy Olympics”. After bargaining for the release of 234 Palestinian prisoners they finally settled for a plane to Egypt. German officers and snipers were not prepared for the number of terrorists that arrived at the airport and had no way of communicating with one another. All of the remaining hostages were killed after getting caught in the raid between German authorities and terrorists. Needless to say this tragedy could have been avoided had security been more organized and the necessary precautions taken.
Ankie Spitzer (a widow of one of the Athletes Andre Spitzer) has been fighting with the IOC for 40 years for the minute of silence. She has not only attracted over 80,000 signatures for her petition worldwide but has gained the support of Canadian and Australian members of Parliament. The Zionist Federations together with the Department for Diaspora Activities of the World Zionist Organization are asking you to remember the 11 athletes and trainers and stand on Friday morning July 27th at 11 am to honor the lives lost. You can watch the ceremony streamed life on www.zionist.org.uk and on www.iZionist.org/en.