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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘International Olympic Committee’

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Resigns Amid Corruption Scandal

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has resigned amid the growing scandal over massive arrests of top international soccer federation officials on charges of corruption and racketeering.

Blatter, 79, stepped down from his post just four days after being elected to a fifth term. He announced his decision at a news conference in Zurich after several more FIFA officials were arrested by the FBI at a hotel in the Swiss city six days ago.

Blatter has been at FIFA for 40 years, and served as president for 17 years; the third longest to head the sports group.

Last Wednesday, The New York Times reported U.S. authorities were preparing to charge FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke, Blatter’s second-in-command, in connection with a questionable transfer of $10 million.

The money was allegedly paid to “a high-ranking FIFA official” from the South African Football Association in 2008 as that country was bidding to host the 2010 World Cup. One of the top officials named in the U.S. Justice Department indictment a week ago voted in favor of South Africa at the time.

FIFA had denied that both Valcke and Blatter knew anything about the transaction – but as investigations by the U.S. government and Swiss officials move closer to the top, Blatter appears to be growing more uneasy.

New elections are to be called to choose a new leader.

Hana Levi Julian

AJC: New IOC Chief Must Quit BDS Group

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

The newly elected president of the International Olympic Committee heads a German-based organization that helps companies to guarantee that their products do not contain anything from Israel.

Thomas Bach, a German who was elected Tuesday at an IOC session in Buenos Aires, is chairman of Ghorfa, the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was set up in the 1970s by Arab countries to boycott trade with Israel.

“It betrays the principles of sportsmanship and fair play for the IOC to be headed by someone who actively participates in ongoing Israel boycott campaign measures,” said Deidre Berger, director of the American Jewish Committee Berlin Ramer Institute.

Ghorfa helps German companies ensure that products meet the import requirements of Arab governments, some of which ban products and services from Israel.

The group continues to issue certificates of German origin for trade with Arab countries. Its earlier practice of certificates verifying that no product parts were produced in Israel stopped in the early 1990s when Germany enacted trade regulations forbidding the use of certificates of origin to enable de facto trade boycotts, according to the AJC.

Bach, who most recently served as IOC vice president, won a fencing gold medal in the team foil in 1976 before entering sports marketing and politics. He supported the refusal of the IOC, led by Jacques Rogge, to hold a moment of silence during the 2012 Summer Olympics for the 40th anniversary of the murder of nine Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games.

Bach’s candidacy came under criticism in Germany in past weeks for its strong support by Arab leaders. But Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Jewish Community of Bavaria and former head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement that Bach “stands for central values such as tolerance, fairness — sportsmanship in the best sense of the word — and cosmopolitanism.”

Nine new IOC members also were elected Tuesday, including Bernard Rajzman, a Brazilian Jew. Rajzman, a native of Rio de Janeiro, where the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held, won one gold and one silver medal in volleyball.

He is the president of Brazil’s National Commission of Athletes and a state congressman.

JTA

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.”

Jewish Press Staff

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.

A Soldier's Mother

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.

Paula R. Stern

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. 

Frimet and Arnold Roth

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.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/international-olympic-committee-to-bbc-fix-jerusalem/2012/07/23/

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