London won't hold minute of silence for 1972 victims

International Olympic Committee tells 'Post' that minute of silence will not be observed for 11 Israeli athletes slain at Munich games.

London Olympics 2012 logo (photo credit: Reuters)
London Olympics 2012 logo
(photo credit: Reuters)
The International Olympic Committee will not hold a minute of silence at the upcoming London games for the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics, an IOC official told The Jerusalem Post this week.
In a video recently posted on YouTube, Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Andrei Spitzer, an Israeli fencing coach killed in Munich, issued a heartfelt appeal to the IOC.
Together with the Jewish Community Center of Rockland, she also launched an online petition that has garnered over 20,000 signatures.
“I am asking for one minute of silence for the memory of the 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and referees murdered at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich,” Spitzer writes in the petition, adding, “Just one minute at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and at every Olympic Game, to promote peace.”
The IOC told the Post they would not honor Spitzer’s request.
“The IOC has paid tribute to the memory of the athletes who tragically died in Munich in 1972 on several occasions and will continue to do so,” Emmanuelle Moreau, IOC head of media relations, told the Post. “However, we do not foresee any commemoration during the opening ceremony of the London Games.”
Moreau insisted that “The memory of the victims is not fading away. One thing is certain, we will never forget.”
She added that, “During the period of the games, the Israeli National Olympic Committee traditionally hosts a reception in memory of the victims and the IOC is always strongly represented. London will be no exception.”
On September 5, 1972, Palestinian terrorists disguised as athletes attacked the dormitory housing the Israeli delegation to the Munich games and took hostages, resulting in the deaths of 11 Israelis and 1 German policeman.
The incident came to be known as the “Munich massacre.”
For the past four decades, Spitzer and others have repeatedly sought to persuade the IOC to incorporate a minute of silence during the opening ceremonies of the games.
“I have no political or religious agenda. Just the hope that my husband and the other men who went to the Olympics in peace, friendship and sportsmanship are given what they deserve,” Spitzer wrote in the petition to the IOC.
“Forty years is long enough to wait.”