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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Munich Olympics’

Jonathan Pollard: An Israeli Hero

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Our Sages say that in the month of Nissan, the people of Israel were redeemed from Egyptian bondage, and in the same month they will be redeemed in the future. This is a special month: the month of liberty. So who knows? Maybe this will be the month of our brother Jonathan Pollard’s redemption.

According to news reports, Secretary of State John Kerry is proposing that Israel expand the fourth scheduled release of Palestinian terrorists (a group that includes 14 Arab citizens of Israel) along with instituting a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. All of this in exchange for the privilege of continuing to bask in the glory of the presence of the murderer of our Israeli sportsmen at the Munich Olympics, Mahmoud Abbas.

For all of this, Israel may get Pollard. Or maybe not.

On numerous occasions, Pollard has told me that he is not willing to go free in exchange for murderers. In principle, he is certainly right. The terrorists should have been executed long ago, and Pollard should have been out of prison long ago. Israel, however, being utterly at odds with its identity, is incapable of justifying its existence as a Jewish state. It cannot deal with the claim of the “justice of the Palestinian cause.” The result: we pay in the hard currency of a construction freeze or the release of murderers in exchange for the farce of a “peace process” that is supposed to address the Arab demand for justice.

Since Oslo Israel has discarded all the fundamental values of a normal nation, values like sovereignty, justice, morality and the sanctity of life. In light of that, and since this process will lead to the terrorist release and construction freeze that Kerry proposes with or without Pollard’s release, then at least he should go free.

The amazing Jonathan Pollard, however, refuses to participate in a Parole Board hearing as a precursor to his possible release. “I am not willing for other Jews to be murdered in exchange for my release,” he has said to me. When his words have been put to the ultimate test, he stands by them – making Pollard a modern-day hero of Israel. For the U.S. to use Pollard as a political bargaining chip is unbelievably villainous. In a meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Israel a few weeks ago, I made this position clear to him.

As a side note regarding a construction freeze, the 2011 crisis over the high cost of housing broke out as a result of a previous construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. The additional pressure that was suddenly added to the housing market in Israel’s pre-1967 borders was like the extra vehicles that turn a traffic jam into a traffic gridlock. Thus I assume that an additional construction freeze will result in an additional housing shortage and an additional leap in housing prices.

But what won’t we do for the privilege of chatting with Mahmoud Abbas for another half year?

Nissan means “our miracles.” Apparently, we need a miracle. No, not the splitting of the physical Red Sea – as our physical and material situation has never been better. Instead, we need a miraculous “splitting” of our slave mentality. We need to leave the bondage of a slave’s mentality for the mentality of liberty.

The modern-day redemption from Egypt is totally an internal, Jewish affair. We are the Children of Israel and we are Pharaoh. It is we who are breathing life into the puppet, Mahmoud Abbas, and enslaving ourselves to his puppeteering. I pray that in this propitious month of Nissan, we will choose redemption.

When Empowered Undergrads Ignore a ‘Victims’ Malevolence

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The young woman who wrote the article, “The Problem with Band-Aids,” is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her article appeared in Penn’s highly regarded newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, on September 8.  The subtitle of O’Conor’s article is: “From Palestine to Penn/ When Talking About Dialogue, Empowerment and Reform Does the Rhetorical Work of Oppression and Injustice.”  At Penn, Clarissa O’Conor focuses on Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and Modern Middle East Studies.

But O’Conor, who presents herself as an advocate for those who are disempowered, is fed up with what she claims is the oppressive force behind the term “empowerment.” This fall O’Conor is studying at al Quds University, in a place she calls, without quotation marks, “Palestine.”

In this article, O’Conor explains why Penn, which apparently gives her college credit for studying at al Quds, and Bard College, which  created at al Quds “a small honors college at which Palestinian students can earn a dual-degree with American accreditation,” earn her contempt.

Why?

“Especially at Penn, we like to ‘empower’ people.  We have all sorts of organizations and initiatives to do this.  We really like to ‘empower’ communities and women,” she writes, but O’Conor is above all that.  She disdains the Western efforts to empower her comrades in “Palestine.”

Bard’s program is going about things in a contemptible way, O’Conor contends.  You see “the discourse of empowerment makes us feel good about putting a Band-Aid on something while avoiding actually questioning our role in systematic racism, oppression and injustice.”

You’ve probably guessed it by now: O’Conor thinks that Western efforts to “swoop in and empower” the Arab Palestinians, ignores that what oppresses them is the “worldwide systems of white supremacism and colonialism in which we are complicit.”  That’s you and me.  Also her.

O’Conor crams in all the invective she can into a college newspaper op-ed.  She describes the “26-foot-high Apartheid Wall” built by Israel which is a “settler-colonial apartheid state whose modus operandi is and always was policies of ethnic cleansing, displacement and systematic racism.”  And O’Conor thinks places like Penn and Bard and, indeed, all universities and the U.S. government itself should cut all ties to Israel.

So, rather than yawn about an undergraduate thinking and writing like an undergraduate, here’s the part that should…empower you readers.

It is not a surprise that an undergraduate from the middle of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania knows little to nothing about the history of the Middle East.  But why is a school like Penn giving credit to a student to be spoon fed hatred?

Here is a more interesting question: why is it that someone who holds herself out as a defender of the oppressed has no problem aligning herself with the brutal, murderous history and affiliations of the university she so proudly attends?  And again, why would Penn and schools like it countenance such an association?

Al Quds University is a place where terrorists are honored not only by the students, but officially, by the university administration, as heroes.

Let’s pick a few discrete moments through al Quds history, and see whether it is an institution worthy of Ms. O’Conor’s protection, and whether the many installments of her pleas on its behalf – her blog “From Palestine to Penn” appears every other Tuesday in the Daily Pennsylvanian – are trustworthy sources of information for the collegiate, as well as the wider, community. (No less an actively and acidly anti-Israel media source than Mondoweiss eagerly laps up her content.)

So we’ll start at the top.  The current president of the school, Sari Nusseibeh, is generally considered to be a moderate, but there is certainly evidence to the contrary.  This evidence includes his praise of homicide bombers; calling Israel a “racist, Zionist entity”; and helping Iraq direct scud missiles at Israel during the first Gulf War.

For those disinclined to count Nusseibeh as a promoter of violence, there’s much better evidence about where al Quds stands on the issue of the sanctity of human life.

For example, there’s the case of Sami Salim Hammad, an al Quds dropout who carried out a homicide bombing in Tel Aviv during Passover, on April 17, 2006. In this bombing, 11 innocent people were killed, including a 16 year old American, Daniel Wultz.  While it is true that Hammad dropped out of al Quds, that didn’t stop the students there from claiming him as their own.  Immediately after the bombing, once Hammad’s “martyr’s video” was released, they hung a huge poster of Hammad in one of the al Quds University buildings.  They were so proud of their “shahid.”

Plans for Munich Olympics Memorial Unveiled

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Plans for a memorial in Munich to 11 Israelis and a German police officer murdered at the 1972 Summer Olympics there were unveiled on Wednesday, the eve of Rosh HaShanah, at the Bavarian Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs.

The planned hall of remembrance is slated to be built near the site that housed the games and will cost 1.7 million euros (approximately $2.25 million). It will allow visitors to learn about the events and the victims — 11 Israeli athletes and coaches along with the police officer — as well as to view the site of the failed rescue attempt at the Furstenfeldbruck airfield. Ultimately the airport’s tower will be included in the memorial, which is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

The memorial was designed by a team under the auspices of the ministry in consultation with relatives of the victims, the consul general of Israel, experts from the concentration camp memorial at Flossenburg, the Jewish Museum in Munich and the Bavarian State Ministry for Political Education.

Israeli Foreign Ministry department manager for Western Europe Ilan Ben Dov called the 1972 attack “a trauma for my entire generation” and added, “Every Israeli group that comes to Germany as part of a youth exchange and educational cooperation should visit this site.”

Costas Recalls Munich 11 During Olympic Opening Ceremony

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Sportscaster Bob Costas remembered the 11 Israelis killed in the 1972 Munich Olympics on air as the Israeli delegation entered the Olympic stadium in London.

“These games mark the 40th anniversary of the 1972 tragedy in Munich, when 11 Israeli coaches and athletes were murdered by Palestinian terrorists,” Costas said during NBC’s broadcast of the opening ceremonies last Friday.

“There have been calls from a number of quarters for the IOC to acknowledge that with a moment of silence at some point in tonight’s ceremony. The IOC denied that request, noting it had honored the victims on other occasions.”

Costas noted that International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge held a moment of silence in the Olympic Village earlier in the week.

“Still,” Costas said, “for many, tonight, with the world watching, is the true time and place to remember those who were lost, and how and why they died.”

After 12 seconds of on-air silence, Costas cut to a commercial.

(JTA)

The IOC And Israel’s Martyred Athletes

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

For months, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has dismissed calls for a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics to mark the 40th anniversary of the murder of eleven Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

On Monday, in advance of this Friday’s opening ceremony, Mr. Rogge did preside over a previously unannounced tribute attended by several Olympic administrative officials.

But not only was this an insult to the memory of the slain Israelis, it underscored Mr. Rogge’s utter failure to grasp that the murders were not only about the Israeli victims but about the Olympics itself.

Since the days of ancient Greece, the Olympics have been characterized by a general truce that interrupted whatever wars were being fought at the time. This was to enable athletes and visitors to travel unimpeded to the games and ensure that the games themselves would be conducted free of violence. We don’t always have good things to say about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, but a statement he released last week put it best:

The tradition of an Olympic truce began in ancient times to allow safe passage for athletes traveling to the games. This resulted in an environment where the true spirit of the Olympic Games was on display: peaceful competition among nations, feats of individual excellence.

Today, sports and events such as the Olympic and Paralympic games break down barriers by bringing together people from all around the world and all walks of life. The participants may carry the flags of many nations, but they come together under the shared banner of equality and fair play, understanding and mutual respect.

We give meaning to these values through the Olympic truce, the call for warring parties everywhere to lay down their weapons during the games. These pauses in fighting save lives. They help humanitarian workers reach people in need. And they opened diplomatic space to negotiate lasting solutions.

The Olympic truce – and more broadly the Olympic ideal – carries a powerful message: that people and nations can set aside their differences and live and work together in harmony. And if they can do it for one day, over one event, they can do it forever. This is the dream on which the United Nations is built, and the goal of our daily work.

I call on all those engaged in hostilities to respect the Truce – which has been endorsed by all 193 UN member states. This is an uphill battle – but we must persist in proclaiming the Truce and do our utmost to win adherence to it. For these next few weeks may the torch of the Olympic and Paralympic games in London serve as a beacon of peace around the world.

Consider what happened in Munich on September 5, 1972, the 11th day of the Olympiad. At 4:30 a.m., several Palestinian terrorists made their way past security and, armed with hand grenades and Kalashnikovs, entered two Israeli team apartments. They killed two Israelis and took nine hostage. The hostages were later killed by the terrorists in the course of a failed rescue effort.

The massacre clearly struck at the essence of the Olympic concept. So why would Mr. Rogge and the IOC resist marking this enormous negation of it? There were various reasons given that revolved around the notion that the games are “apolitical” and that every effort is made to avoid “political issues” and embarrassing participating (i.e., Arab) states.

Political issues? Noting the cold-blooded murder of eleven human beings is a political statement? That only follows if the murders themselves were deemed political statements. Is that Mr. Rogge’s point after all?

In a sense this reminds us of the recent meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The secretary was pitching a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and among other things was urging Mr. Netanyahu to meet PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s demand that Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli jails for terrorist acts committed prior to the Oslo Accords be released. The theory seems to be that before Oslo, the murder of Jews was properly viewed as an act of resistance by a freedom fighter. Post-Oslo, however, such a form of resistance was criminalized.

Forty Years Since Munich

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

With the fortieth anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany rapidly approaching, Yishai presents a series of clips from “One Day in September”, a documentary made about the massacre and the events that led up to and resulted from the murder of Israeli athletes. Following the riveting clips, Yishai presents an interview with Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Andre Spitzer, one of the athletes that were murdered by Arab terrorists in Munich. Do not miss this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Olympic Gold Medal for Lying and Sanctimony Goes to…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Europe has temporarily forgotten its financial problems. This is the summer of sports. In June the European football (soccer) championships are being held in Poland and Ukraine. In July, there will be three weeks of the Tour de France, the world’s most famous cycling race. And by August, Europeans will be watching this year’s Summer Olympics in London.

As usual, however, the Olympics are tarnished by ugly politics. Forty years ago, the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich were marred by the murder of eleven Israeli athletes by the Palestinian terror group Black September. As the London Olympics are the tenth Olympic games since the Munich Olympics, relatives of the murdered Israeli athletes believe it would be appropriate if, during the ceremonies in London, a moment of silence were held for the eleven athletes massacred in Munich. Up till now the Olympic Games have never officially commemorated the murdered athletes with such a moment.

Normally, when an athlete dies, the International Olympic Committee honors him with a minute of silence. Two years ago, the 21-year old Georgian athlete, the luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, suffered a fatal crash during a training run for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge expressed his condolences on behalf of the entire Olympic community during his opening speech, while the Canadian and Olympic flags were flown at half-staff.

The same Jacques Rogge, a Count from Belgium, refuses to include such a moment of remembrance for the eleven murdered Israeli athletes, despite the fact that Rogge himself was present at the Munich Olympics as a member of the Belgian sailing team.

In 2004, Ankie Rekhess, a Dutch-born Israeli journalist and the widow of Andrei Spitzer, one of the athletes murdered in Munich, confronted Rogge during a press conference in Athens. “You yourself are an Olympic athlete,” she said. “Hence, you are a brother of the eleven murdered athletes. Why don’t you remember them in front of all other athletes? This concerns the entire Olympic family.” Rekhess received a standing ovation from the 300 people present in the room. However, in his reply, Rogge rejected the request, referring instead to friendship, sportivity and the necessity to keep politics out of sports.

For forty years, Ankie Rekhess has been working her way through the hierarchy of the Olympic Games, seeking to obtain a moment of silence for her husband and his colleagues. In 1996, she was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times after the rejection of her request for a similar moment during the Atlanta Olympics, the first one in which Palestine took part. “I don’t want to condemn anyone,” she said. “I simply want recognition for 11 athletes who came home in coffins 24 years ago.” Today, another 16 years later, Rekhess still has has not managed to persuade the Olympic Committee to honor those who were killed because they believed in the Olympic ideals.

After the Munich massacre in 1972, Rekhess saw the room where the athletes had been tortured and mutilated. “I saw pictures of what they had done to them and vowed no one would ever forget. That is why I want the moment of silence… to remember them all.”

In Simon Reeve’s 2001 book One Day in September, Ankie Rekhess recalls her husband’s idealism and attitude towards the Olympics: “[While strolling in the Olympic Village] he spotted members of the Lebanese team, and told [me] he was going to go and say hello to them… I said to him, ‘Are you out of your mind? They’re from Lebanon!’ Israel was at war with Lebanon at the time. ‘Ankie,’ Andre said calmly, ‘that’s exactly what the Olympics are all about. Here I can go to them, I can talk to them, I can ask them how they are. That is exactly what the Olympics are all about.’ So he went… towards this Lebanese team, and… asked them, ‘How were the results? I’m from Israel and how did it go?’ And to my amazement, I saw that the [Lebanese] responded and they shook hands with him and they talked to him and they asked him about his results. I’ll never forget, when he turned around and came back towards me with this huge smile on his face. ‘You see!’ said Andre excitedly. ‘This is what I was dreaming about. I knew it was going to happen!’”

Olympic Committee Refuses to Commemorate Israeli Munich Massacre Victims

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

A campaign by the widows of two Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre have had their petition for a memorial at the 2012 Olympic games rejected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Ankie Spitzer, widow of murdered Israeli wrestler Andre Spitzer, and Ilana Romano, widow of murdered weightlifter Joseph Romano, issued an appeal for a minute of silence at this year’s games, in memory of the violence which marred the Games 40 years ago.

Spitzer told Reuters that the IOC refusal is due to concern that Arab countries would publicly protest the memorial to the murder victims by walking out.  “They say we bring politics into the Olympics, which is not true, because I didn’t ask them to say that there were 11 Israelis,” Spitzer said.  “They tell us that the Arab delegations will get up and leave, to which I said: ‘It’s okay, if they don’t understand what the Olympics are all about, let them leave.’”

On September 5, 1972, Palestinian Black September terrorists stormed the Olympic Village in Munich, and killed 11 Israeli weightlifters, wrestlers, and coaches – two during the surprise attack on the Israeli dormitory, and 9 more in a failed hostage rescue attempt.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/olympic-committee-refuses-to-commemorate-israeli-munich-massacre-victims/2012/04/22/

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