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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘1972’

Nadler Renews Call for IOC to Observe Moment of Silence

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

On Thursday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) joined Members of Congress in observing a moment of silence for the 11 Israeli Olympians and coaches murdered by terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics, 40 years ago this summer. Nadler urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to open its ceremony tomorrow with a moment of silence to remember those 11 Israelis and the darkest hour in the history of the Olympics. To this end, Nadler has joined Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) in cosponsoring a bipartisan resolution urging the IOC to observe the minute of silence – an initiative that passed the Senate and has the support of President Obama. And Nadler joined other elected officials in New York to launch a petition to Remember Munich.

Nadler issued the following statement:

“This summer, we remember the attack 40 years ago that shocked the entire world, struck the very heart of the nation of Israel, and grotesquely undermined the spirit of solidarity that the Olympic Games represent. Unfortunately, despite a worldwide call for a moment of silence at the start of the Games in London tomorrow, including a resolution that my colleagues and I cosponsored in the House, the International Olympic Committee has, inexplicably, refused this simple and painless gesture.

“This is not only insulting to the memories of the Israeli athletes who were murdered in Munich, but it is also not in keeping with the tradition of good will that permeates the Olympics. While we can’t make whole the lives lost and families devastated in 1972, we can and must continue to honor the significance of their sacrifice. So, let us honor them now and remember the unspeakable tragedy of that day 40 years ago.”

The 11 Israelis killed on September 5 and 6, 1972, were: Moshe Weinberg, Yossef Romano, Ze’ev Friedman, David Berger, Yakov Springer, Eliezer Halfin, Yossef Gutfreund, Kehat Shorr, Mark Slavin, Andre Spitzer, and Amitzur Shapira.

From Georgia to Tel Aviv

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

A group of immigrants from Soviet Georgia in Lod airport, circa 1972.

In 1907, my own family, on my mother’s side, arrived from Gruzia (I never understood that whole “Georgia” thing – those Brits would have made the whole world sound like it was a suburb of London if we let them). They first settled in Jerusalem, but in the 1930s moved to Tel Aviv, after my mother was born.

On my mother’s side everyone is big and burly and with foreheads that go all the way back to the base of their skulls. My father came from gentle, small framed Polish Jews with heads full of hair.

You win some, you lose some.

Deputy FM: Intl Olympic Committee’s Rejection of Minute of Silence for Slain Athletes ‘Unacceptable’

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Thursday criticized the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to reject his request to hold a minute silence during the upcoming London Olympic Games, in memory of the 11 Israeli Olympic team members murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“Unfortunately, this response is unacceptable as it rejects the central principles of global fraternity on which the Olympic ideal is supposed to rest,” Ayalon said in a statement released. “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. 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.”

Ayalon had sent a letter to IOC President Jacque Rogge a few weeks ago, in support of the request by Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano (widows of two of the murdered athletes) for the minute silence. “Perhaps the darkest chapter in modern Olympic Games history,” Ayalon wrote in his letter to the IOC, “is the moment where eleven Israelis, who came to compete in the greatest global sporting event, were murdered simply because of their nationality. We must remain vigilant against acts of hate and intolerance that stand in contrast to the ideals of the international Olympics.” To this end, Ayalon wrote, he “fully supports” Mrs. Spitzer and Romano in their call for a moment of silence, and reiterated the call for the IOC to “grant this wish.”

Rogge, in his response, made no actual mention of the call for a minute of silence, sidestepping the issue by writing: “Traditionally, the Israeli NOC [National Olympic Committee] hosts a reception in memory of the victims during the Games period, and the IOC is always strongly represented. The upcoming Games in London will be no exception.”

Despite brushing off the request, Rogge said, “please be assured that, within the Olympic family, the memory of the victims of the terrible massacre in Munich in 1972 will never fade away.”

Ayalon lamented that “[t]his rejection told us as Israelis that this tragedy is yours alone and not a tragedy within the family of nations. 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.”

Ayalon transmitted Rogge’s rejection to the families and widows of the murdered athletes, informing them that the Foreign Ministry will initiate a campaign in the coming weeks to encourage the IOC to reverse its decision.

 

Olympic Committee Rejects Munich Victims’ Moment of Silence Petition

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

The International Olympic Committee apparently has rejected an online petition seeking a moment of silence for the Munich 11 at the 2012 London Olympics.

Emmanuelle Moreau, the IOC’s head of media relations, told The Jerusalem Post that the Games this summer would not have a moment of silence honoring the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

“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,” Moreau told the Post. “However, we do not foresee any commemoration during the opening ceremony of the London Games.”

Moreau told the newspaper that the IOC is represented at a reception that the Israeli National Olympic Committee usually hosts during the Olympic Games in memory of the athletes. The Israelis were killed by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.

The petition launched in mid-April has garnered nearly 25,000 signatures from around the world.

The Jewish Community Center of Rockland County, N.Y., a member of the JCC Association, initiated the petition with Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Israeli fencing Coach Andrei Spitzer.

“The 11 murdered athletes were members of the Olympic family; we feel they should be remembered within the framework of the Olympic Games,” Spitzer wrote in a letter accompanying the petition.

“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. One minute of silence will clearly say to the world that what happened in 1972 can never happen again. Please do not let history repeat itself.”

Petition for London Olympics Moment of Silence Honoring Munich Athletes Needs Your Signature

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

An online petition headlined “Tell the International Olympic Committee: 40 Years is Enough!” is urging the  International Olympic Committee (IOC) to honor, at the Olympic Games this summer, the memory of 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.

The Jewish Community Center of Rockland County, N.Y. initiated the petition. The Jewish Federations of North America is asking communities to support the petition, which is attempting to gather 1 million signatures. So far a little more than 6,500 have signed.

Written by Ankie Spitzer, the wife of Andrei Spitzer, who was killed at the Munich Olympics, the petition reads:

“I am asking for one minute of silence for the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes, coaches and referees murdered at the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. Just one minute — at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and at every Olympic Game, to promote peace.”

“The Jewish Community Center movement is deeply involved in an effort to create a worldwide viral response to a wrong that has not been addressed since 1972,” JCC  Association President and CEO Allan Finkelstein told JTA. He added, “Let us finally get the Munich 11 acknowledgement and respect they deserve from the international sports community.”

The JCC Association has recognized the Munich 11 during every Maccabiah Games since 1995.

In an official letter to the IOC, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon also asked that the London 2012 Olympic Games begin with a minute of silence in memory of the murdered Israeli athletes.

Ayalon stressed that past events in the history of the Olympic Games, good as well as bad, should be commemorated in a fitting manner.

Ayalon said that the Olympic Games are based on the principles of equality and brotherhood and added, “We must remain vigilant against acts of hate and intolerance that stand in contrast to the ideals of the international Olympics.”

Ayalon gave a copy of the letter to Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of two of the murdered athletes, and expressed his support of a petition they initiated calling for the minute of silence.

The Vishnitzer Rebbe, ZT”L

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

The Jewish Press joins Klal Yisrael in mourning the death of Rav Moshe Yehoshua Hager, the Vishnitzer Rebbe in Bnei Brak since 1972 and a major Torah personality for more than sixty years.

A prodigious and highly respected Talmudist from his early youth, he became rosh yeshiva of the Vishnitz yeshiva upon his arrival in Israel in 1944 and later served as the community’s rabbinic court head. He was instrumental in building the Vishnitz community and its network of institutions in Bnei Brak, and under his guidance Vishnitz schools came to serve more than 10,000 children and Vishnitz chassidus grew in both numbers and influence. He urged his adherents to engage in serious Torah study and to uncompromisingly observe the Torah laws of modesty and ethical behavior. Until his health failed, his legendary gatherings drew thousands from both within and without the movement.

May his memory be a blessing.

Jews And The Democratic Treadmill

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
Two weeks ago, in a column on Jewish voting patterns, the Monitor pointed to the 1984 election as evidence “that a Republican presidential candidate, whether incumbent or challenger and no matter how strong his record on Israel, will always lose among Jewish voters when the alternative is a liberal Democrat without any pronounced or well-known hostility to Israel.”
Several readers argued that the 1972 election illustrates even more starkly the Jewish proclivity for voting Democrat – and they’re probably right. At least the Democratic candidate in 1984 was a known and comfortable commodity to pro-Israel Jewish voters, which was decidedly not the case in 1972.
The Democratic nominee in ’72 was the extremely liberal South Dakota senator George McGovern, a man who had not exactly carved a name for himself as a defender of Israel and who exemplified the type of guilt-driven liberalism that captured the Democratic party that year (and would lead it to disaster in every presidential election save one over the next 16 years).
McGovern challenged Richard Nixon, who’d never been a popular figure in the Jewish community and who garnered just 17 percent of the Jewish vote in 1968 when he defeated then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey. But Nixon during his first four years in the White House compiled a generally solid record on Israel. U.S. policymakers began to take seriously Israel’s value as an American asset in the region, and military aid to Israel rose to unprecedented levels.
Israeli leaders left no doubt as to their preference. Prime Minister Golda Meir considered Nixon the most supportive U.S. president since Israel’s creation in 1948, and Israel’s ambassador to Washington, the former IDF chief of staff and future prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, openly hoped for a Nixon victory.
But though it was clear throughout the campaign that McGovern would not attain the stratospheric Jewish support Democrats had come to consider their birthright, it was equally clear that the bulk of the Jewish community would remain loyal to the Democratic standard bearer.
As in prior elections, Jewish organizational leaders such as the Washington fixture Hyman Bookbinder made no secret of their Democratic sympathies. The McGovern campaign’s Jewish liaison, Richard Cohen, returned after the election to his job as public relations director at the American Jewish Congress; McGovern campaign director Frank Mankiewicz was a former employee of the Anti-Defamation League.
Barbra Streisand, Carole King, Simon and Garfunkel, Peter Falk, Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, Leonard Nimoy and scores of other Jewish celebrities enthusiastically gave their time and money to the Democratic candidate.
As Stephen Isaacs described it in his 1974 book Jews and American Politics, “despite problems with affirmative action plans-cum-quotas, the ‘urban fever zone,’ scatter site housing, community control of schools, an inept Democratic presidential campaign – despite all these things and more – the Jewish bloc vote did hold up” for McGovern, who won the votes of 65 percent of American Jews – this while Nixon was crushing McGovern among the general electorate in a landslide of historic proportions.
While Nixon doubled his share of the Jewish vote from the paltry 17 percent he received four years earlier, the startling fact remains that McGovern actually did better among Jews than had Adlai Stevenson – an old favorite of Jewish voters and an icon of mid-twentieth century liberalism – in 1952 and 1956.
Given Nixon’s record on Israel and the plaudits of Israeli leaders, his moderate domestic agenda, and an unimpressive Democratic nominee with no strong ties to the Jewish community, the 1972 election was as clear a signal as any that the majority of Jewish voters were (are) driven by a combination of old habits and a religious-like devotion to liberalism rather than a primary concern for Israel or narrowly defined Jewish interests.

A year later, as the Yom Kippur War raged, Nixon went against the State and Defense Department bureaucracies and directed the massive military airlift that saved Israel from impending catastrophe. Had two-thirds of American Jewish voters gotten their way, the man sitting in the Oval Office during Israel’s time of unprecedented peril would have been President George McGovern.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/jews-and-the-democratic-treadmill/2011/07/27/

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