Australian Jewish leaders have urged all Australians to hold a moment of silence in honor of the 11 Israelis murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
In a joint statement released Tuesday, Dr. Danny Lamm, head of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, and Philip Chester, head of the Zionist Federation of Australia, encouraged Australians to pause at 11 a.m. local time Friday in memory of the victims. The Jewish leaders also said that they “deplore” IOC President Jacques Rogge’s refusal to hold one minute of silence at Friday’s opening ceremony in London.
“The legislatures of Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany and Italy have passed resolutions calling on the IOC to set aside one minute of silence at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Games to remember the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the Olympic Games in Munich 40 years ago,” Lamm and Chester wrote. “Their calls have been endorsed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, among others. We salute them for their principled leadership.
“May their memory help to advance the highest ideals of sport and sportsmanship which the Olympic Games were created to affirm.”
Meanwhile, Jewish lawmaker Michael Danby has added his name to a petition by the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians also calling on Rogge to hold a minute of silence in London on Friday.
On Monday, Rogge held a moment of silence during a ceremony in the Olympic Village, the first time the deaths have been commemorated in the athletes’ home during the Games.