Monday, July 30, 2012

Stand & Deliver For Israel's Slain Olympians


Stand & Deliver For Israel's Slain Olympians

The London Jewish Chronicle reveals the substance of a distressing meeting that the widows of two of the eleven murdered members of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team have had in London with Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee.

The widows of Andrei Spitzer,who was the team's fencing coach, and of Yossef Romano, who was a weightlifter, handed Rogge  a petition, signed by 105,000 people, that requested a minute's silence for the Israeli victims 40 years after their deaths in Munich at the hands of terrorists.

But despite the widows' heart-wrenching pleas Rogge remained adamant that their will be no such mark of respect at the opening of this year's games.
Inter alia, Mrs Spitzer told the Jewish Chronicle:
"I asked him 'is it because they were Israelis?' and he didn't answer."
A reaction from the IOU president that is eloquent in its silence.

Earlier, Mrs Spitzer said regarding the IOC's stance:
"In London we are told that it is not in the protocol of the opening ceremony. I'm sure it is not in the protocol that our husbands went home in coffins.  We just want them to be remembered as athletes, they don't have to say Israelis. As members of the Olympic family they should be honoured at the Olympics."
She called on ticketholders to mark the anniversary by rising to their feet for a moment when Rogge speaks at the Opening Ceremony.

As José Maria Aznar observed in a crackerjack article in the London Times (24 July) that roundly denounced Israel's exclusion from the recent Global Counter-Terrorism Forum in Istanbul:
"Remembering is important, first, because of the victims, but also because many Europeans adopted the wrong attitude towards Palestinian terrorism after the Munich attack. The culprits who were arrested were later quietly released for fear of further attacks. And because of that initial fear the terrorists knew how to take advantage of the situation and to press for more rewards.
.... Terrorism is not a natural phenomenon; it doesn't happen spontaneously; it's not something ethereal. It can and must be fought using all the tools provided by the law and democracy - and most importantly, it can be defeated if there is the will to defeat it. Israel has provided ample proof that it possesses that will, since its own existence is at stake.
To marginalise or isolate Israel to avoid irritating Turkey is a big mistake. All of the Middle East, from Morocco to the Gulf, is undergoing profound, although not always peaceful, change, which is yielding very disturbing results. Although the elections in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt are something new and promising for the region, Syria is immersed in civil war and there is a danger that the region's largest arsenal of chemical weapons will spin out of control and become available to anyone - as happened with Libya's portable anti-aircraft missiles, which disappeared after the fall of of Colonel Gaddafi.
 In Egypt, the rise of Islamism threatens economic and political stability. Hezbollah is still in Lebanon, keeping alive its goal of eliminating Israel –  just as members of Hamas do in Gaza. Despite sanctions, Iran is moving forward with the development of a nuclear bomb in its effort to become the regional leader and to export its Islamist and revolutionary ideology as widely as possible. There are also other areas in turmoil that directly affect Europe, such as the Sahel region of Africa, south of the Sahara, which is now becoming dominated by al-Qaeda.
Isolation not only renders Israel weaker against its enemies, but also makes all Westerners weaker.  And the practitioners of terrorism know all too well how to exploit our differences.
Remembering Munich 40 years on should be a useful reminder of our successes and failures. It should help us to enhance our collective abilities to fight terrorism. Israel is key in this fight.Israel is a part of the West. Israel is not the problem; it is part of the solution. We will become the problem if we continue to cold-shoulder Israel, the country most affected by terrorism and, possibly, the one that knows best how to defeat it...."
To quote the British Zionist Federation:
"As you are aware, there have been a number of campaigns urging the IOC to hold a minutes’ silence during the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics. Unfortunately the IOC has decided against this commemoration. So, the Zionist Federation UK is inviting you to join us in remembering the 11 murdered Israeli Athletes.
On the morning of the Opening Ceremony, 27th July, we are asking people all over the world to stop for one minute and stand in silence as a personal tribute to those who lost their lives in the 1972 Munich Massacre. Wherever you may be and whatever you may be doing, please join us and stand in silence for one minute in silence as we remember.
We will also be holding a short memorial service that will be streamed live via a webcast from 10.45am. You will be able to view this at www.minuteformunich.org.."
See also