The Palestinian Authority has thanked the International Olympic Committee for
refusing to hold a minute of silence at Friday’s opening ceremony in London to
mark the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli sportsmen at the 1972
Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Federation,
sent a letter to IOC chairman Jacques Rogge thanking him for his position, the
PA’s official news agency, Wafa, reported.
“Sports is a bridge for love,
connection and relaying peace between peoples.
It should not be a factor
for separation and spreading racism between peoples,” Rajoub, a former PA
security commander, wrote in his letter.
Wafa said that he sent the
letter to the IOC chairman on Tuesday.
A senior PA official in Ramallah
confirmed that Rajoub had sent the letter and said that the Palestinians were
opposed to “Israel’s attempts to exploit the Olympic Games for propaganda
A senior government official responded to the Palestinian
letter by saying that “if the leadership of the PA is not willing to
disassociate itself from its terrorist past, and is unwilling to see the Munich
massacre as a brutal act of terrorism, then in Israeli eyes there will be big
questions regarding their true commitment to peace and
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon condemned the PA
for terming as “racist” a moment of silence for the Israeli victims.
the murder of Israelis because they are Israelis is racist, not the request to
dignify and honor them,” Ayalon wrote on Facebook. “On the other hand,
Palestinian Authority media refer to Munich terrorists as ‘stars’ whose path
should be followed.”
“Now, more than ever, there needs to be a minute
silence, not just to honor the eleven slain Israeli athletes but also to
demonstrate opposition to those who laud murderers as heroes and call on others
to follow suit.”
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Herb Keinon and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this