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Posts Tagged ‘IOC’

JCC Maccabi Games to Hold Worldwide Minute of Silence at Opening Ceremony

Friday, August 10th, 2012

WEST NYACK, NY – Ankie Spitzer will lead a live-streamed, worldwide minute of silence this Sunday in Rockland during the opening ceremonies of the JCC Maccabi Games to honor the 11 members of the Israeli team killed in the terrorist attacks at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The minute of silence will take place between 8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT, Aug. 12, during the live broadcast of the ceremonies. The global community is encouraged to participate in the live stream (http://www.jccrockland.org/maccabi) and show its united support. Spitzer, the widow of murdered fencing coach Andrei Spitzer, has relentlessly fought for a formal commemoration during the Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) continues to deny the victim’s families’ requests.

“The actions of the IOC are unconscionable,” says Spitzer. As she recently told an audience in London that included IOC President Jacques Rogge: “Shame on you, IOC…You have forsaken the 11 members of your Olympic family.” She went on to add that, “We will come back until we hear the words you need to say because you owe them…did they [IOC] forget they are supposed to promote peace, brotherhood and fair play?”

Most recently, the IOC refused to hold a minute of silence as part of the opening ceremonies of the London Games. The decision was made despite worldwide pressure that included an online petition from the JCC – with more than 110,000 signatories representing more than 150 countries – and support from governing bodies all around the world.

“Only the IOC can give the surviving family members what they want, and ultimately deserve,” says Steve Gold, past president of the JCC and chair of the Minute of Silence campaign. “But we want them to know that we are behind them, and let the IOC know that we aren’t going away.”

Since 1995, remembering the Munich 11 has been a component of every JCC Maccabi Games: a week-long Olympic-style athletic event that brings together more than 3,500 Jewish teen athletes from around the world to compete and help promote unity and understanding. JCC Rockland took this one step further when it forged a relationship with Spitzer and the families of the victims to help bring attention to and, ultimately help redress this 40-year-old issue. The JCC also chose to dedicate the 2012 Games to the murdered Israeli athletes by hosting a series of 11 events in their memory. The 11th event will be the opening ceremony of the 2012 JCC Maccabi Games that includes this very special minute of silence.

Other leading Jewish groups, including The Jewish Federations of North America, have rallied behind Spitzer, in calling for a minute of silence. “The Jewish Federations of North America stand with the families of the fallen and the JCC in honoring the victims of this terrible tragedy,” says Kathy Manning, chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America. “A formal honoring of the slain Israeli Olympians and their families is long overdue, and we fully support efforts like this one to urge the IOC to rectify this painful omission.”

The opening ceremonies of the JCC Maccabi Games will take place at the Eugene Levy Fieldhouse at Rockland Community.

For more information on the minute of silence or to learn more about the Games and JCC Rockland, visit http://www.jccrockland.org/.

Jacques Rogge: Impartial to a Fault

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

This picture of IOC president Jacques Rogge—who refused to permit the minute of silence in commemoration of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian thugs in Munich—was published by Forbes in November of 2011. The caption below reads:

President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge pauses during a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. Rogge on Tuesday expressed concern over “obstacles” facing Palestinian athletes, and in veiled criticism of Israel said athletes should be granted free movement regardless of politics.

They also shouldn’t be murdered in their dorms at the Olympic village, if at all possible.

Some See IOC’s Israeli Member Alex Gilady as Villain in Minute of Silence Defeat

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Was the only Israeli on the International Olympic Committee instrumental in stopping a tribute to the Munich 11 at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Games?

In the past few weeks, a war of words has erupted between the official, Alex Gilady, and the families of the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games. They allege that his opposition hurt their cause.

Gilady actually covered the Munich Games for Israel TV and today is senior vice president of NBC Sports, where he focuses on international business. In 2006 he was inducted into Israel’s International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and was given a lifetime achievement award from the Hall.

The families failed in their bid for a minute of silence during the London Olympics opening ceremonies to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the terror attack. Their campaign could not persuade the IOC despite garnering more than 111,000 signatures on a petition from more than 105 countries, as well as support from President Obama and numerous other national leaders and legislators around the world.

Even after meeting with two of the Munich 11 widows, IOC President Jacques Rogge refused to budge on his opposition to the moment of silence.

Some Jewish activists point the finger directly at Gilady for the outcome.

“I believe he was part of the decision” not to go ahead, said Steve Gold, chair of the Munich 11 Minute of Silence Petition and vice president of the JCC Rockland in suburban New York. “By having an Israeli who’s on the IOC not supporting the minute of silence, it gave the IOC a bit more credibility.”

For his part Gilady, who refused to specifically discuss the issue with JTA, told Insidethegames.biz in May that when it came to the moment of silence, “The unity of the Olympic movement is the most important one” and “Therefore, I am not supporting such a move.” He added that “Such an act may harm the unity of the Olympics.”

Days before the London Olympics opened, Gilady told the Chicago Tribune that he was acting “in [the] best interest of Israeli sport. For me, the most important thing at the moment is that Israel have (sic) stages to compete on.” He recalled for the Tribune how Israel was thrown out of the Asian Olympic Association in 1981 and did not regain a continental sports affiliation until Rogge, among others, helped Israel become a member of the European Olympic Committees in 1994.

There would not be an “appropriate commemoration in the Olympic stadium,” Gilady told the Tribune, until “there is peace.”

Others, to put it lightly, disagree.

In a recent Foxnews.com piece that went viral, Guri Weinberg, son of the murdered wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg, published his own account of a meeting with Gilady in Atlanta in 1996, two years after Gilady was appointed to the IOC and as that city was hosting the Olympics.

Weinberg, an actor who is in the cast of the next installment of the hit movie series “Twilight,” alleged that Gilady told him that any memorial for the Israelis would necessitate a similar one for the Palestinian terrorists who died in the attack.

As one of the Munich 11 widows recalled her husband’s torture and murder, Gilady listened “stone cold with no emotion,” then excused himself from the meeting “without a hint of empathy,” Weinberg wrote.

Asked about the article in a telephone interview with JTA, Gilady angrily quoted Rudyard Kipling’s 1895 classic poem “If.”

“If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken,

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools …,” he said.

In denying Weinberg’s story, Gilady said, “The Fox News story was misquoted already 16 years ago.”

Weinberg did not reply to an interview request for this article, but Ilana Romano, widow of murdered weightlifter Yossef Romano, was at the Atlanta meeting. She told JTA that Weinberg’s account was accurate, although it was her and another widow, Ankie Spitzer, who walked out and not Gilady.

“We got up and went because he was so insulting and hurtful,” she said.

As for Gilady’s opposition to the minute of silence, she said, “I think it’s terrible idiocy. It’s a lack of consideration, a lack of respect for those who were murdered. It’s giving in to terror.”

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.”

Some Wear and Tear Expected as Olympics Committee Chief Steps into a Jewish Lion’s Den Monday

Friday, August 3rd, 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.

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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nadler-renews-call-for-ioc-to-observe-moment-of-silence/2012/07/26/

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