* Palestinian President Abbas played a key role in enabling Munich Olympics massacre
* Lebanese team insist on a barrier between them and the Israelis in 2012 London training area. And the IOC obliges.
Armed police during the attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972
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1. Washington Post: “If ever there was a reason for the often overused moment of silence, this is it”
2. Parliaments across the world call on IOC to “do the right thing”
3. Why is the media silent on Abbas’ role in the Munich massacre?
4. Palestinian Authority thanks IOC for refusing to honor Munich victims
5. The IOC was political enough to mark the Bosnian War and 9/11
6. The IOC’s “Fascist past”
7. Reuters lumps together innocent victims and terrorists
8. A suggestion for Israel’s Olympic delegation: Stop marching for one minute
9. The murdered athletes
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
WASHINGTON POST: “IF EVER THERE WAS A REASON FOR THE OFTEN OVERUSED MOMENT OF SILENCE, THIS IS IT”
This dispatch concerns the 2012 London Olympics, which starts shortly.
Many of us are looking forward to what should be a wonderful festival of sport over the next two weeks.
But at the same time there is growing bewilderment and anger across the world at the refusal of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to permit a moment of silence at today’s opening of the games to remember the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by terrorists at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Among the murdered Israelis was Yakov Springer, who took part in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in the Holocaust.
“If ever there was a reason for the often overused moment of silence, this is it,” writes Washington Post columnist Tracee Hamilton.
“They were not tourists,” Ankie Spitzer, widow of slain fencing coach Andre Spitzer, told reporters yesterday. “They came with dreams and came home in coffins.”
PARLIAMENTS ACROSS THE WORLD CALL ON IOC TO “DO THE RIGHT THING”
I have written about the IOC’s refusal in a dispatch earlier this year.
Since then, the parliaments of Germany, Italy, Canada, Australia and the U.S. Congress, among others, have held a minute’s silence and criticized the IOC’s decision, as have U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Over 50 British MPs (led by Bob Blackman MP, who is a subscriber to this email list) have signed a motion calling for the IOC to observe a moment’s silence this evening during the opening ceremony. (The minute of silence held in the Italian parliament was also led by a subscriber to this email list, Fiamma Nirenstein, Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.)
In a statement, the widows of the murdered Israeli athletes thanked these parliaments. “For 40 years we have walked alone, and it is wonderful that now governments around the world are supporting us and understand the injustice that has been done to us. All of this support gives us the strength to continue, because we are no longer alone in our struggle.”
Several private organizations, including the British Israel Coalition, have already held a minute’s silence earlier today in Trafalgar Square in central London where they recited Kaddish, the Jewish mourning prayer, for the murdered Israeli athletes.
Jonathan Sacerdoti, Director of the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, said “by refusing the request for a minute of silence in the opening ceremony, the IOC has made far more political a statement than they ever would have by granting it. Terrorism is the enemy of everything for which the Olympics stands. If anything, the threat has got worse since Munich.”
WHY IS THE MEDIA SILENT ON ABBAS’ ROLE IN THE MUNICH MASSACRE?
Even when the Munich massacre has been written about in media in recent days, there has been almost no coverage of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s role in the massacre.
Abu Daoud, who openly acknowledged his role in the Olympic massacre, both in his memoir, “Palestine: From Jerusalem to Munich,” and in an interview with al-Jazeera TV, is one of several senior PLO members who has said that Yasser Arafat’s then deputy, Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen), was responsible for financing the Munich attack.
When Abu Daoud died in 2010, the official Palestinian Authority daily paper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, reported (July 4, 2010) that “President Mahmoud Abbas sent a telegram of condolences yesterday over the death of the great fighter Muhammad Daoud Oudeh, ‘Abu Daoud.’ What a wonderful brother, companion, tough and stubborn, relentless fighter.”
Please see this dispatch from 2003 for more detail:
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY THANKS IOC FOR REFUSING TO HONOR MUNICH VICTIMS
In a letter sent on Tuesday to IOC chairman Jacques Rogge, the Palestinian Authority officially thanked the International Olympic Committee for refusing to hold a minute of silence at today’s opening ceremony in London to mark the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli sportsmen at the 1972 Munich Games, the PA’s official news agency, Wafa, reported yesterday.
An Israeli government spokesperson responded by saying that “if the leadership of the PA is not willing to disassociate itself from its terrorist past, and is unwilling to see the Munich massacre as a brutal act of terrorism, then in Israeli eyes there will be big questions regarding their true commitment to peace and reconciliation.”
THE IOC WAS POLITICAL ENOUGH TO MARK THE BOSNIAN WAR AND 9/11
For 40 years, the IOC has refused to commemorate the Israeli victims with a minute of silence.
It claims it is “not a political organization”. But the IOC president spoke about the Bosnian war at the opening ceremony of the 1996 games. And the 2002 Winter Olympic games opened with a minute of silence for the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
Yet when it comes to honoring Olympic athletes murdered at the Olympics itself, it is a different story.
“There is only one explanation for it,” said the widow of the one those murdered. “It is because they are Israeli.”
The chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Congress also said last week: “We know why the IOC has refused our request for a minute’s silence: Because the murdered Olympians were Israeli.”
At the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics, a minute’s silence was held for a Georgian athlete who had died in a luge sled training accident before the games. Jacques Rogge, the IOC president who has refused to hold a minute’s silence for the murdered Israeli athletes, officiated.
THE IOC’S “FASCIST PAST”
This not the first time the IOC has courted controversy involving Jews.
By the time the 1936 Berlin Olympics was held, 114 anti-Semitic laws had been enacted in Nazi Germany. Yet the IOC said the games should go ahead even though it was clear they were going to be a propaganda coup for Nazism.
The chairman of the American Olympic Committee, Avery Brundage, is said to have been behind the decision to stop the two Jews on the U.S. track team in 1936, Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman, from running in the 4 x 100-meter relay race, in order to appease Hitler.
Brundage later became IOC president for twenty years, from 1952 - 1972, and it was he who stated after 11 Israeli Olympians were murdered by Palestinian terrorists at Munich in 1972 that “the Games must go on.” Brundage was so gleeful in his remarks that The Los Angeles Times reporter at the games, Jim Murray, described his behavior as “like having a dance at Dachau.”
Juan Antonio Samaranch, from Spain, who led the IOC from 1980 to 2001, was a well-known Fascist and there are photos of him giving the Fascist salute in Barcelona as late as 1974, when he was an IOC vice president. Yet, the IOC still elected him its president in 1980.
REUTERS LUMPS TOGETHER INNOCENT VICTIMS WITH TERRORISTS
A Reuters report a few days ago has been reproduced in papers around the world.
Organizers try to quell anger over Munich tribute
By Keith Weir
LONDON (Reuters) -- Olympic organizers hit back at criticism on Tuesday of how they had honored 11 Israeli team members killed at the 1972 Munich Games, ignoring calls to hold a minute’s silence for them in the opening ceremony.
Tom Gross adds:
But what is of interest is that the Reuters report goes on at the end to lump the terrorists in with the victims. It concludes:
Within 24 hours, 11 Israelis, five Palestinians and a German policeman were dead after a standoff and subsequent botched rescue effort.
(Reuters reporting by Keith Weir; Editing by John Mehaffey)
A SUGGESTION FOR ISRAEL’S OLYMPIC DELEGATION: STOP MARCHING FOR ONE MINUTE
The blogger “Elder of Ziyon” has suggested that “the Israeli delegation, upon entering the stadium, simply stop in their tracks and stand still for exactly sixty seconds.”
He adds: “Better yet – instead of blindsiding the IOC (not that they deserve any slack), but they should announce today that they intend to hold their own minute of silence.
“This way, the IOC can choose to do the right thing – ensure that the music stops playing, put a brief announcement on the screens in the stadium explaining what is happening – or it can be faced with the prospect of the Italy and Ivory Coast delegates crashing into the immobile Israelis they are trying to follow into the stadium.
“There is no downside. Arab TV stations will probably cut away for commercials, but besides that the world would not blame Israel one bit.
“Israel has gone through the proper channels to ensure that the IOC does the right thing. It didn’t work. Sometimes, one has to break the rules to do what is right.”
THE MURDERED ATHLETES
[All notes above by Tom Gross]