LONDON – After having all its appeals to hold a minute’s silence at the opening
ceremony rejected, the Olympic Committee of Israel, the Jewish Committee for the
London Games and the Embassy of Israel held the official memorial ceremony to
commemorate the 40th anniversary of the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich
Olympics and the tragic murder of 11 Israelis on Monday night.
families of the slain as well as IOC chief Jacques Rogge, chairman of the London
Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games Lord Sebastian Coe and Prime Minister
David Cameron all attended the impressive ceremony at the Guildhall.
ceremony featured the lighting of candles in memory of the 11 Israeli coaches
and athletes murdered at the Games in Germany 40 years ago.
we mark the 40th anniversary of one of the darkest days in the history of the
Olympic Games,” Cameron said. “A sickening act of terrorism that betrayed
everything the Olympic movement stands for and everything that we in Britain
“So as the world comes together in London to celebrate the
Games and the values it represents, it is right that we should stop and remember
the 11 Israeli athletes who so tragically lost their lives when those values
came under attack in Munich.
“It was a truly shocking act of
evil. A crime against the Jewish people. A crime against humanity. A
crime the world must never forget.”
Sport and Culture Minister Limor
Livnat linked in her speech between dark moments in our past, the Munich massacre and the
recent terrorist attack in Bulgaria.
“There is a line to be drawn from dark moments in our past to Munich, and from Munich to Burgas, where Israeli tourists were
murdered by terrorists just three weeks ago,” Livnat said.
“It is the
murder of Jews simply because they are Jews. Jewish athletes, Jewish tourists,
and just plain Jews. There is a difference though. The intention of the
murderers is the same, but the status of the victims has changed.
1942, there was no Jewish state, and European Jewry was annihilated. It was a
time to speak out, but the world was silent. In 1972, there was a Jewish state,
a state which held the murderers accountable and insisted on
“And 40 years later, in 2012, the perpetrators of the Burgas
terrorist attack will not escape justice, because in the face of terror, it is
never time to be silent.”