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(photo credit: Reuters)
The government on Thursday again slammed the Olympic Committee for rejecting its
proposal to hold a minute of silence in memory of the Israeli sportsmen murdered
at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon
responded to a letter from International Olympic Committee President Jacques
Rogge informing him of the decision by saying it negated the idea of fraternity
behind the Games.
“The terrorist murders of the Israeli athletes were not
just an attack on people because of their nationality and religion; it was an
attack on the Olympic Games and the international community,” Ayalon said. “Thus
it is necessary for the Olympic Games as a whole to commemorate this event in
the open rather than only in a side event.”
In 1972, Palestinian
terrorists from the Black September group took members of Israel’s delegation
hostage and demanded that 234 prisoners in Israeli prisons be freed; 11 Israelis
were slain in a bungled rescue operation carried out by German security
Ayalon sent a letter to Rogge a few weeks ago asking the
committee to hold a minute of silence for the Israeli victims at the Games in
London this summer.
The minister said he would inform the bereaved
families of the committee’s rejection of the proposal. He said Israel would open
a campaign aimed at reversing the decision.
“This rejection told us as
Israelis that this tragedy is yours alone and not a tragedy within the family of
nations,” he said. “This is a very disappointing approach and we hope that this
decision will be overturned so the international community as one can remember,
reflect and learn the appropriate lesson from this dark stain on Olympic