Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat plans to stand up during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London for a moment of silence in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered during the 1972 Munich Olympics, it was reported on Friday.
According to the reports, Livnat plans to stand up when the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, is invited to speak at the ceremony.
The IOC has repeatedly rejected calls to hold a moment of silence for the 11 athletes at the opening ceremony. Rogge said on Saturday that the opening ceremony is “not fit” to remember the Munich Massacre.
Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of the two of the Israeli athletes, have been holding a long battle to get the IOC to observe a moment of silence for the 11. Earlier this week they called on the audience to stand up and not applaud when Rogge is invited to speak at Friday evening’s opening ceremony.
On Tuesday, Spitzer and Romano presented Rogge with a petition that has garnered more than 103,000 signatures requesting the IOC honor the athletes’ memories with a moment of silence. The petition, which was started by Spitzer and Romano in conjunction with the Jewish Community Center Rockland County, New York, has sparked an outpouring of support from around the world.
The moment of silence for the 11 athletes has also been supported by U.S. President Barack Obama as well as by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Congressman Eliot Engel accused the IOC on Wednesday of being afraid to offend Arab nations and thus refusing to pay tribute to the victims during the opening ceremonies.
Steve Gold, who helped to lead the petition that was handed to Rogge, warned there could be a spontaneous demonstration among the 60,000 people in the Olympic Stadium on Friday if Rogge did not change his mind.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)