Daily Israel Report

Olympics' Rogge Refuses to Answer 'Anti-Israeli' Question

IOC President Jacques Rogge refused to say whether he denied 'Minute for Munich' request because the athletes were Israeli.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/27/2012, 1:31 PM

President of the IOC Jacque Rogge
President of the IOC Jacque Rogge
Reuters

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge refused to answer a question posed by the families of the slain Israeli athletes as to whether he denied their request to hold a moment of silence in their memory due to the fact that they were Israeli, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, widows of two of the Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, reportedly spent half an hour pleading with Rogge earlier this week to change his position on holding a minute of silence in honor of the athletes at Friday’s opening ceremony.

The women handed Rogge a petition, which was signed by over 105,000 individuals, supporting their request.  

“For one moment I thought he was swaying and I pleaded with him do the right thing, the thing we all ask for,” Spitzer said. “I asked him ‘is it because they were Israelis?’ and he didn’t answer.”

“We are outraged. We are so angry. We are sad. We could not believe it but he is not going to do it,” she told the JC.

Even after 40 years, the IOC, with President Roggee at its head, has consistently rejected the request, which has received the support of leaders and individuals worldwide, including President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and others.

“I was looking him in the eye but he said we had two different opinions,” Spitzer stated. “We said ‘you didn’t hear the voice of the world’. He said: ‘Yes I did’.”