May 3, 2012
IOC rejects moment of silence for Munich 11
The International Olympic Committee apparently has rejected an online petition seeking a moment of silence for the Munich 11 at the 2012 London Olympics.
Emmanuelle Moreau, the IOC’s head of media relations, told The Jerusalem Post that the Games this summer would not have a moment of silence honoring the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
“The IOC has paid tribute to the memory of the athletes who tragically died in Munich in 1972 on several occasions and will continue to do so,” Moreau told the Post. “However, we do not foresee any commemoration during the opening ceremony of the London Games.”
Moreau told the newspaper that the IOC is represented at a reception that the Israeli National Olympic Committee usually hosts during the Olympic Games in memory of the athletes. The Israelis were killed by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.
The petition launched in mid-April has garnered nearly 25,000 signatures from around the world.
The Jewish Community Center of Rockland County, N.Y., a member of the JCC Association, initiated the petition with Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Israeli fencing Coach Andrei Spitzer.
“The 11 murdered athletes were members of the Olympic family; we feel they should be remembered within the framework of the Olympic Games,” Spitzer wrote in a letter accompanying the petition.
“I have no political or religious agenda. Just the hope that my husband and the other men who went to the Olympics in peace, friendship and sportsmanship are given what they deserve. One minute of silence will clearly say to the world that what happened in 1972 can never happen again. Please do not let history repeat itself.”