The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has denied calls for a minute’s silence to be held at this summer’s London Olympic Games in memory of the Israeli victims of a terror attack at the Munich Olympics.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has denied calls for a minute’s silence to be held at this summer’s London Olympic Games in memory of the Israeli victims of a terror attack at the Munich Olympics.
Both the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon had written to the IOC in support of a petition by two of the widows of the 11 victims of the 1972 attacks requesting the 40th anniversary be officially commemorated as part of the programme for the London Games.
In the decades since the attack, the families of the murdered Olympians have repeatedly issued unsuccessful appeals for a moment of silence to be instigated in memory of the tragedy.
The Munich Massacre came to international prominence during the 1972 Summer Olympics in West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by Palestinian terror group Black September.
“Forty years has been too long to wait for an official tribute to those killed at Munich”, wrote ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman in his letter to the IOC.
“Those killed included sons, fathers, brothers and friends who came to the Olympics in the peaceful spirit of competitive athleticism, but returned home in coffins, victims of ruthless killers violently opposed to Israel’s existence.”
However, IOC president Jacques Rogge has reiterated that he will attend a planned memorial service at London’s Guildhall and any Israeli-organised events, but would not be instituting a minute’s silence in London.
In his reply to Ayalon, he explained: “The IOC has officially paid tribute to the memory of the athletes on several occasions. Within the Olympic family, the memory of the victims of the terrible massacre in Munich in 1972 will never fade away.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry described the decision as a “shame” and added: “Perhaps the IOC thinks anything to do with Israel is controversial. It is not a display of great courage and integrity.”
The Israeli National Olympic Committee has announced it will hold its own ceremony in London during the Olympic Games.