1000s urge Olympics c'tee to remember Munich attack

Over 5,000 people sign online petition for a minute's silence at games, in memory of Israeli athletes murdered at 1972 Olympics.

April 24, 2012 14:40
2 minute read.
Ayalon signing petition

Ayalon signing petition 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Spokesperson of DFM)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


More than 5,000 people have signed an online petition urging the International Olympics Committee to observe one minute of silence at the upcoming games in London this summer in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

“Tell the International Olympic Committee: 40 Years is Enough!” urges the petition, presented by Ankie Spitzer, widow of fencing coach Andrei Spitzer murdered at the games, together with the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Rockland, New York. The petition appears on social action platform Change.org.

Spitzer is calling for a moment of silence to take place at every Olympic Games to remember the athletes, coaches and referees murdered, and “to promote peace,” she writes.

“These men were sons; fathers; uncles; brothers; friends; teammates; athletes. They came to Munich in 1972 to play as athletes in the Olympics; they came in peace and went home in coffins, killed in the Olympic Village and during hostage negotiations,” Spitzer writes in the petition.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met with Spitzer and Ilana Romano, also a widow of an athlete murdered in Munich, to sign the petition and give the women a copy of a letter he wrote to the International Olympics Committee asking that the 2012 London Olympics open with a moment of silence in honor of 40 years since the terror attack.

“The International Olympics Committee must act clearly and officially against actions of hate and intolerance and appropriately honor the events of the past,” Ayalon wrote.

The deputy foreign minister explained that the Olympics are based on the values of equality and brotherhood, and must do justice by remembering the 11 Israeli athletes.

“In the world we live in today, it is most imperative to remember those athletes who were murdered 40 years ago, as the message of the terrorists is still the same. The Munich Tragedy must never be forgotten,” posted Helen Gottleib, one of the more than 5,000 people who have signed the petition.

Another person writes: “It doesn’t matter to me what nation the murdered team members were from. They were Olympians, and should be remembered at the Olympics.”

According to the information posted along with the petition, the families of the Munich 11 have worked for four decades to obtain recognition of the massacre from the International Olympic Committee.

“We have requested a minute of silence during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics starting with the ’76 Montreal Games,” explained Spitzer. “Repeatedly, these requests have been turned down. The 11 murdered athletes were members of the Olympic family; we feel they should be remembered within the framework of the Olympic Games.”

She added that silence is a fitting tribute since it “contains no statements, assumptions or beliefs and requires no understanding of language to interpret.”

Spitzer said that her goal is not political or religious, but rather to highlight the sportsmanship of the international event and to pay tribute to the victims.

The JCC in Rockland has also helped the bereaved families set up an online memorial at www.munich11.org and lobbied the Olympic committee, Spitzer said.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night


Cookie Settings