Daily Israel Report

A 'Personal' Moment for Murdered Israeli Athletes?

Chairman of London Organizing Committee for 2012 Olympic Games, Lord Coe, said he will hold a “personal” moment for Israeli athletes.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/6/2012, 10:38 AM

Chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, Lord Coe, said that he will hold a “personal” moment for the Israeli athletes brutally murdered at the Munich 1972 Games during this year’s opening ceremony, The Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported.

While he said that he would mark the anniversary during a “personal moment,” it is unclear how he intends to do so.

A campaign led by Jewish leaders worldwide and Ankie Spitzer, widow of murdered Israeli coach Andrei Spitzer, has applied pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold one minute of silence during this year’s opening ceremony to officially pay tribute to the victims of the brutal attack.

However, after forty years, the IOC has yet to heed the families’ requests.

“On behalf of all the families, I have asked the International Olympic Committee for almost 40 years for a minute of silence in their memory,” Ankie Spitzer said in a video imploring the public to sign a petition on behalf of her cause.

“A minute of silence for these men who went to the Munich Olympics in peace, friendship, and sportsmanship and who lost their lives. The International Olympic Committee has repeatedly said ‘No,'” she continued.

“One minute for the Munich 11 victims to show the world that the doctrine of the Olympic spirit to build a peaceful and better world, which requires mutual understanding with the spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play, is much more powerful than politics,” Spitzer continued.

Two separate memorial events are planned for the Munich athletes this year. One event is organized by the Israeli Olympic Committee on August 6, which President Shimon Peres is expected to attend and the other, organized by the Zionist Federation a month later.

In addition to Israeli MKs, more than 50 British MPs, led by Conservative Bob Blackman, have signed a motion calling for a minute of silence, and the governments of Germany, Australia, the US Senate and Canada have called for a silence to be observed, noted the JC.