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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘International Olympic Committee’

Munich Widows Condemn IOC Chief to his Face at London Memorial Service

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of two of the 11 Israelis killed at the Munich Olympics in 1972, blasted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its president at a London commemoration on Monday.

The two said they had tried for four decades to convince the IOC to organize an official commemoration for their slain loved ones, but to no avail. They vowed to continue their efforts at future Games.

Israel’s Olympic Committee hosted Monday’s commemoration at Guildhall in London, with International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge in attendance, along with top British politicians, Israel’s sports minister and Germany’s foreign minister.

Spitzer condemned Rogge to his face for his refusal to hold the one minute silence, saying the “call was heard all over the world, but only the International Olympic Committee remains deaf and blind.”

Spitzer received a standing ovation when she accused the IOC of having the wrong priorities and values.

“Is the IOC only interested in power, money and politics that they have forgotten what they are supposed to promote: peace brotherhood and fair play?” she said.

“Shame on you International Olympic Committee because you have forsaken the 11 members of your Olympic family, you are discriminating against them only because they are Israelis and Jews,” Spitzer added, and then promised: “We will be back because until we hear the words you need to say because you owe it to them.”

Romano, in her turn, said of her husband and his teammates: “They were killed on Olympic soil and the appropriate place to remember them is at the opening ceremony.”

The hundreds of invited guests, who stood for a minute of silence.

Rogge told the audience how everybody remembered the “horrific events of 1972″ even if they had not yet been born, saying the mass murder was “the worst days of the Olympic movement.”

“We are all here today because we share a duty those innocent victims and to history to make sure the lessons of 1972 are never forgotten … we are here to speak with one voice against terrorism,” he said.

President Obama sent his greeting, which was read by U.S. Ambassador to Britain, Louis Susman: “While the United States supported a moment of silence in their honor, we welcome any effort to recall the terrible loss that was suffered in Munich and the lives of those who were lost.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the Munich massacre was “a sickening act of terrorism that betrayed everything the Olympic movement stands for and everything that we in Britain believe in.”

And From the Italians at the Olympics…

Monday, July 30th, 2012

http://israelisoldiersmother.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/and-from-italians-at-olympics.html

According to a report on Voice of Israel radio, the Italian Olympic team has paid their respects to the Munich 11 – again, more than the International Olympic Committee has managed to do. The team came and stood in silence outside the quarters of the Israeli team, in memory of the 11 athletes slain in the Munich Olympics 40 years ago.

About 30 Italians were present at the ceremony, including Italy’s Minister of Sport, the heads of the Italian Olympic Committee and athletes. Israeli Olympic Committee head Tzvi Varshaviak and Olympic delegation leader Efraim Zinger also took part.

It is actions like these that represent the Olympic spirit so missing in the International Olympic Committee decision. With deep gratitude and tears in my eyes, I thank the Italian team for their incredible gesture. I wish them many medals, but have to be honest and say that nothing they could possibly win will show more about the kinds of athletes and people they are, than this simple gesture.

Moment of Silence

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

http://israelisoldiersmother.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/moment-of-silence.html

It happened at the Olympics on London, despite all claims that it would not. Oh wait, it wasn’t for the Munich 11. It was for the British victims of 7/7 and a tribute to British soldiers. Nothing for the Munich 11 – nothing.

Despite requests from tens of thousands of people around the world, the families of those murdered athletes, leaders of Israel, Canada, Australia, the United States and Germany – it didn’t happen. Just one minute…that didn’t happen, to the everlasting shame of the International Olympic Committee. A British commentator made reference to the Munich 11 – more than the IOC did. An American commentator made reference to the Munich 11 – and in all of this, the IOC did nothing.

It makes me furious; it makes me bitter. It reminds me that there remains anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews and Israel and yes, when the IOC can spend 40 years denying this for all sorts of reasons and then allow a moment of silence for something else, for someone else’s victims of terror – yes, there can be no other source or reason than the hatred they must have in their hearts.

Eleven athletes came to Munich to share in the Olympic spirit of sports and brotherhood. Promises of security were made and broken. The IOC’s actions cross all lines of cruelty and hypocrisy. The crime committed by those terrorists 40 years ago continues to be amplified by the actions of these people. What an incredible slap in the face to every Israeli athlete at the games, to every Israeli, to every Jew, and to all victims of terror.

The Olympic committee had one minute to choose – and they chose wrong. Meanwhile, they are the recipients of the thanks of the Palestinian delegation who has the nerve to say that honoring the 11 murdered athletes amounts to racism. That, my friends, is how you spin propaganda.

That’s right – if you dare to honor the people we murdered in a vile terrorist act that resonates with cowardice and hatred… you are racist. No, this is not about the brotherhood of man and sports and everything about politics. Every gold medal they hand out is tarnished by this insensitivity. It is not about how fast you run, how far you swim.

The Olympics is supposed to be about the spirit and the people. That moment of silence that didn’t happen rang louder than any cheer that will come out of the stadiums in the next 17 days. May the memories of the Munich 11 haunt the Olympic Committee members all the days of their lives and may they remember that in denying those families this little comfort, their actions are unforgivable. I accuse the International Olympic Committee of racism, for promoting and honoring terrorism, for cruelty. I damn them for their mean-spirited, selfish and warped ideals.

A ‘Spontaneous Minute’ Will Speak Louder Than IOC’s Roaring Hypocrisy

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

The 2012 Olympic Games get underway in London in two days and three hours [check it here]. An online petition calling for sixty seconds of silence at the opening ceremony in memory of the eleven Israeli Olympians murdered in the Munich Olympic village exactly forty years ago by Palestinian Arabs has gotten more than 107,000 signatures. But it has failed to move the Olympic games organizers.

The families of the Munich 11 have tried for four long and lonely decades to obtain appropriate and respectful recognition of the Munich massacre from the International Olympic Committee. [We wrote about this earlier: "20-Jul-12: The Olympics, terror, cowardice and wisdom"] Now that it is clear they have finally and absolutely failed, the widow of one of the Munich dead says people sitting in the stadium at Friday’s opening ceremony should stand up and observe what she calls “a spontaneous minute when the IOC president begins to speak”. She’s absolutely right. The rest of us who will not be there should be doing everything we can to spread the word.

How did the organizers articulate their objection? Insensitively.

“We feel that the Opening Ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident,” Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, said Saturday. [Source: CNN]

How did the widows object to the objection? Determinedly, and with admirable dignity.

“If you believe that the 11 murdered athletes must be mentioned, stand for a spontaneous minute when the IOC president begins to speak,” said Ilana Romano, wife of Yossef Romano, a weightlifter who was murdered in the 1972 attack. The media, she said, should follow the lead of NBC sportscaster Bob Costas [it's explained here], who has pledged to hold his own on-air minute of silence. “Silence your microphones for a minute in memory of our loved ones and to condemn terrorism,” she said… The IOC, led by president Jacques Rogge, has steadfastly refused [the request for a minute of respectful silence]… [The widows behind the petition] were in London to present the petition to Rogge in a last-ditch attempt to get him to agree. They were due to meet on Wednesday night, after Rogge postponed a Tuesday meeting. [Source: Times of Israel]

It’s not as if we lack a precedent. The victims of 9/11 were honored by the IOC at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah:

Sixty thousand people stood as one in respectful silence at the start of the program when the tattered American flag, recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center disaster, was carried into the stadium by eight U.S. athletes accompanied by three New York Port Authority police officers. The silence continued as the Utah Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed the national anthem with a kind of haunting dignity seldom heard in an age of embellishment. [Source: 2002 report in the San Francisco Chronicle]

So  why, really, is the IOC opposed to remembering the Israelis? Their deaths, unlike those of the tragic victims of 9/11, were integrally bound up with the Olympics, after all. There’s a deeply disturbing answer. According to Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee vice-president

The threats to boycott the opening ceremony made by Arab states in the event of an official minute of silence have led the IOC to mark the 40 year anniversary in other ways, including a minute of silence on Monday inside the Olympic Village, led by IOC President Jacques Rogge. The Arab boycott “had been a possibility, according to some of our advice”, Bach said according to Israel’s Channel 2 news. [Source: Algemeiner.com]

Craven is not a strong enough word for the IOC’s conduct in this affair. If, as appears to be the case, this is why the IOC has decided what it decided, then those of us who understand the reasoning behind an “Arab boycott” and the hatred it represents must do everything we can to take back and publicly honor the memories of the Munich dead: stand for a spontaneous minute when the IOC president begins to speak.

Like many things in life, this is far too important to be left to the officials. If we’re not on the side of the victims, then we are giving our support to the killers and those who stand with them. 

International Olympic Committee to BBC: Fix Jerusalem

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

The International Olympic Committee has contacted the management of the BBC on Monday, and requested that they correct their listing of Jerusalem to say, Jerusalem – Capital of Israel. This came at the request of Alex Giladi, the Israeli representative on the Olympic Committee.

 

In a response to an official complaint written by Mark Regev of the Prime Minister’s office, the BBC said they won’t write that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but would be willing to say that Jerusalem is the seat of the Israeli government.

I Surrender…

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

I try not to be defeatist; not to give up hope. I try to believe that it will all be okay. I really do. I do believe I have faith and I do trust God. And having said all of that, I hate to introduce a “but” in there…but…

I surrender. I just give up. I’ve been reading about the Munich massacre in 1972. Only weeks before, I had come to the conclusion, at 12 years old…the age my youngest daughter is now…that I wanted to live in Israel. I watched the Israelis march into the stadium with the Israeli flag and my heart soared – that was my flag! I was proud of the American flag; I really was, but my heart was already Israeli.

And then the report of an infiltration in the Olympic village. The Israelis. The hostage situation and the bungled rescue. A report that the Israelis were safe…and such relief…and then utter and complete shock that not one had survived…not one of the hostages. It would be only later we would learn of the incredible, criminal incompetence of the German police and “rescue” squad.

For weeks now, I’ve been posting and writing about the International Olympic Committee’s pathetic, disgusting and disturbing decision not to grant one moment, sixty seconds, of silence in memory of the Israeli athletes murdered in Munich – not once…in forty years. And today, I read an article about the heightened security concerns. Days after Israelis were attacked in Bulgaria, I surrender.

“In London, Israel’s Olympic team of 38 athletes is training under tight security at the Olympic village, and British forces have even placed surface-to-air missiles at six locations.”

–Reports Israel National News

“More than 17,000 troops and 7000 private security guards will protect the London Olympic Park and 26 other venues, with a further 12,500 police patrolling city streets in a series of ‘rings of steel’.”

– The Australian

Tight security; 24,000 guards and an additional 12,500 police. Is it worth it? If this is what we need to have these games, does it truly represent the great gathering of all nations? Where is the peace and brotherhood that should be symbolized? I surrender – it just isn’t worth the risk. I don’t want the Israelis to go to London. I don’t want to spend my time checking the news to make sure they haven’t been attacked.

I don’t want to trust those guards, those police and those missiles. I don’t ever want to feel what I did back when I was 12 years old watching as the world moved on and continued their games while I watched them loading coffins on planes that flew home to Israel. I couldn’t bring myself to watch them play while we cried.

Let them play – let them play among their missiles; praying they can finish before they are attacked. Let them watch the skies for missiles, the buildings for snipers, the roads for explosives. I know the Israeli team will go; I know they will play. I know others will hope they bring home some gold, some silver, some bronze.

I just want them to come home safe so that we never have to beg the International Olympic Committee’s cold-hearted members for sixty seconds to remember them. Go in peace, I’ll pray to each one…and most important, come home in peace.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/petition-for-london-olympics-moment-of-silence-honoring-munich-athletes-needs-your-signature/2012/04/25/

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