1000s urge Olympics c´tee to remember Munich attack (JERUSALEM POST) By RUTH EGLASH 04/24/12)
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Over 5,000 people have already signed an online petition urging the
International Olympics Committee to observe one minute of silence in
memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympic
Games at the upcoming games to be held in London this summer.
“Tell the International Olympic Committee: 40 Years is Enough!” urges
the petition, which is featured on online social action platform
Change.org and was set up by Ankie Spitzer, widow of fencing coach
Andrei Spitzer together with the Jewish Community Center in Rockland,
“I am asking for one minute of silence for the memory of the eleven
Israeli athletes, coaches and referees murdered at the 1972 summer
Olympics in Munich. Just one minute — at the 2012 London Summer
Olympics and at every Olympic Game, to promote peace,” Spitzer wrote
about the aim of the petition.
She added: “These men were sons; fathers; uncles; brothers; friends;
teammates; athletes. They came to Munich in 1972 to play as athletes
in the Olympics; they came in peace and went home in coffins, killed
in the Olympic Village and during hostage negotiations.”
“In the world we live in today, it is most imperative to remember
those athletes who were murdered 40 years ago, as the message of the
terrorists is still the same. The Munich Tragedy must never be
forgotten...,” Helen Gottleib commented, one of the 4,865 people who
have signed the petition.
Another person wrote: “It doesn´t matter to me what nation the
murdered team members were from. They were Olympians, and should be
remembered at the Olympics.”
According to the information posted along with the petition, the
families of the Munich 11 have worked for four decades to obtain
recognition of the massacre from the International Olympic Committee.
“We have requested a minute of silence during the opening ceremonies
of the Olympics starting with the ’76 Montreal Games,” Spitzer
explained. “Repeatedly, these requests have been turned down. The 11
murdered athletes were members of the Olympic family; we feel they
should be remembered within the framework of the Olympic Games.
“Silence is a fitting tribute for athletes who lost their lives on
the Olympic stage. Silence contains no statements, assumptions or
beliefs and requires no understanding of language to interpret."
Spitzer said that her goal is not political or religious but to
highlight the sportsmanship of the international event and to pay
tribute to those who were murdered.
She pointed out that she has received support in recent years from
the Jewish Community Center in Rockland New York, which has helped
the bereaved families to set up an online memorial and has been
involved in lobbying the Olympic committee.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met with Ankie Spitzer and Ilana
Romano to sign their petition and give them a copy of a letter he
wrote to the International Olympics Committee asking that the 2012
London Olympics be opened with a moment of silence in honor of 40
years since the terror attack.
"The International Olympics Committee must act clearly and officially
against actions of hate and intolerance and appropriately honor the
events of the past," Ayalon wrote.
The Deputy Foreign Minister explained that the Olympics are based on
the values of equality and brotherhood, and must do justice by
remembering the 11 Israeli athletes that were murdered.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem
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