Possible Demonstrations at Olympic Opening Ceremonies
Reuters reports that United States politicians and relatives of 11 Israeli team members killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics refused to be deterred on Wednesday in their campaign for a minute's silence at the opening ceremony in London to honor the dead.
The issue is proving a diplomatic headache for International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge, who hoped to end the debate with a surprise tribute to the victims in the Olympic village in London on Monday. Campaigners have said the gesture was not adequate and it was time for the IOC to honour the victims in Friday's opening ceremony, expected to be watched by more than a billion people around the globe. Congressman Eliot Engel accused IOC of being afraid to offend Arab nations and thus refusing to pay tribute to the victims during the opening ceremonies.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have both backed calls for a moment of silence. Ankie Spitzer, whose husband Andrei was killed in Munich, was planning to meet Rogge in London on Wednesday to hand over a petition signed by more than 100,00 people.
Steve Gold, who helped to lead the petition, said there could be a spontaneous demonstration among the 60,000 people in the Olympic Stadium on Friday if Rogge did not change his mind.