Israel pushes for silent moment for Munich victims

Ayalon slams Olympic Committee for rejecting holding minute of silence in memory of murdered Israeli athletes of 1972.

2012 London Olympics logo. (photo credit: Reuters)
2012 London Olympics logo.
(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 forces.
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 history.”