Latest update: August 4th, 2012
Even though he insists that the IOC has already commemorated the atrocity committed by Black September Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Olympic Games, it was announced this week that IOC president Jacques Rogge would address a planned ceremony by the Olympic Committee of Israel, the Israeli Embassy in London and cross-communal British group the Jewish Committee for the London Games on August 6. Ankie Spitzer, widow of slain Israeli fencing coach Andre Spitzer, is planning to give him a piece of her mind.
JTA reported that other Jewish speakers are also expected to criticize the International Olympics Committee president when he attends a memorial ceremony for Israeli coaches and athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Monday’s service, which is a Jewish community event, has created a “dilemma” for organizers, according to the London Jewish Chronicle.
IOC president Jacques Rogge refused international appeals including from that of President Barack Obama to the Israeli widows of the Munich 11 to legislators around the world to hold a moment of silence during last week’s opening ceremonies of the London Olympics for Israelis slain by Palestinian terrorists during the Munich games.
British Jewish leaders said they did not feel that they could withdraw an invitation to Rogge because they did not formally offer one, according to the Chronicle. Rogge has said he will attend the event and he has met privately with two widows of the murdered Israelis.
“If the Israeli Embassy and London Jewish Community were not organizing it, he would not have any memorial to go to, raged Ankie Spitzer, who sponsored the original petition to the IOC that sparked international reaction.
“If they can’t do the right thing at home, in the Olympic ceremony, why come?”, she continued. “I have been asked to speak. What I am going to say to the IOC will not be nice. But that’s too bad. I do not want to see them there… I will tell them they are two-faced hypocrites and should have stayed at home. ”
According to the ADL, back in 1973, Spitzer wrote the IOC, requesting that the Munich 11 be remembered at the upcoming Montreal Olympics. She never received a reply. Since then, Spitzer and other victims’ families have continued to write, calling for an official recognition and moment of silence. But from Montreal, Moscow, Los Angeles and Seoul, to Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing, the only commemorations organized have been done so by the Israeli Olympic Committee and the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
“It’s good that he (Rogge) should be there to see how people feel and he should witness it. It will bring the message home to him,” Spitzer told the Chronicle.
According to EJP, dignitaries expected to attend Monday’s service will include British Prime Minister David Cameron, who will also address the gathering, as well as London mayor Boris Johnson, who previously declared his support for the appeals for a minute’s silence at the Games. A message of support will also be relayed from Prince Charles, and international delegates from participating Olympic nations will be present.
Israel’s official representative will be Sports Minister Limor Livnat, who also attended the Opening Ceremony of the London Games on Friday in place of President Shimon Peres. Livnat wore a black ribbon on her arm in tribute to the victims, and observed her own minute of silence during Rogge’s opening address.
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