This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes after a 21-hour standoff in Munich during the XX Olympiad. The International Olympic Committee, however, has steadfastly refused to hold a moment of silence to remember the athletes and coaches who were kidnapped, beaten and then killed.
They’ve held moments of silence before. In 1984, a moment of silence was observed for war-torn Sarajevo. At the close of the 1996 games, they held a moment of silence for the victims of the Centennial Park bombing (which took place during the games). In 2002, less than a year after 9/11, our colors were carried in straight from the ashes of Ground Zero and our tattered flag was raised amid a moment of silence. THIS year, a moment of silence was observed along with a video tribute to Brits who died during the transit bombings the day after London won the 2012 games. Never, not once, in any Olympiad since 1972 has the IOC allowed a moment of silence to remember the innocent sons, husbands, and fathers from Israel who were slaughtered by terrorists. They’ve allowed commemoration for everyone impacted by jihadi terrorism except for Israelis.
It seems to me that the IOC’s message is clear: the Israelis deserved it. We’ll play along just enough to get by, but deep down we believe they deserved it because they’re dirty Jews and we’re hoping that the Palestinians eventually just kill them all.
I might be taking it a bit far there, but how else can I interpret their utter lack of recognition for one of the most brazenly inhumane terrorist attacks in modern history? They’ll hold a moment of silence for everyone BUT the Israelis? Really? What else can we glean from that?
Guri Weinberg, the son of slain wrestling coach Moishe Weinberg, recently wrote a very strong-worded op-ed about his interaction with the IOC. Guri is now an actor; he was only a month old when his father was murdered at the Olympic village. He, along with other widows and children of the slain athletes, has long hoped and argued for a moment of silence to remember their calm bravery before their deaths. It was hoped in 1996 that such recognition would finally come to pass, but when the group met with Alex Gilady – who at the time was a member of the IOC’s Radio & Television Commission and is the Senior VP of NBC Sports today – they were met again with disappointment. He told them his hands were tied, then made an astonishing comment: if they held a moment of silence for the Israelis who had died that day, they would also have to hold a moment of silence for the Palestinians who had died during the botched rescue attempt.
Those Palestinians weren’t athletes. They were terrorists. They were there to use collateral damage to chastise the IOC for not recognizing Palestine as a member and force Israel to release more than 200 other terrorists from jails all over the world (it’s worth noting that among the prisoners were a pair of German Neo Nazis from the group that had helped the terrorists get fake ID’s and detailed info on the Olympic village and where different athletes were being housed). I’m absolutely floored that anyone in the IOC would actually believe that recognizing that event would also require paying homage to the terrorists who carried out the act.
The day after the massacre, all of the flags in the Olympic stadium were lowered to half-mast. Each and every Arab nation represented demanded that their flags not be lowered for dead Jews. Since the massacre, Iranian athletes have become famous for withdrawing from events where they would have to compete against Jews. The IOC claims to want to uphold the “spirit of the Olympic Charter”, yet when extreme unsportsmanlike behavior rears its ugly head, they back down and slink away as if they are completely impotent.
In a telling move, Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, said, “Sports are meant for peace, not for racism… Sports are a bridge to love, interconnection, and spreading of peace among nations; it must not be a cause of division and spreading of racism between them [nations].” That statement leaves me in a fury. He said that in a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge, the coward who openly refused (almost mocked) to allow a moment of silence during the 2012 opening ceremony in London. In that same letter, he referred to the massacre as the “Munich Operation” and did not acknowledge the loss of innocent Israeli life with so much as a glimmer of humanity. Such innuendo makes me wish Israel would simply say “to hell with this ridiculous ‘peace’ process” and clear out every Palestinian camp and neighborhood.
Mahmoud Abbas is currently the head of the PLO and the president of the Palestinian National Authority. He didn’t get there by sitting on his laurels. Abu Daoud, now the only surviving planner of the attack, wrote in his autobiography that Abbas funded the operation and knew exactly what they were going to be doing. Abbas’ hands are just as bloody as Yasser Arafat’s were, and our government officials still try to talk to him as if he really wants peace. He, along with every Arab nation that sits on the IOC, is perfectly happy to pretend that it either didn’t happen or was justified – and the IOC is happy to oblige.
Every single delegate to the IOC who does not stand up and scream bloody murder about these injustices is an accomplice to them. I include the US delegate in that.