Ayalon hails planned Munich 11 memorial at Olympics (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 07/06/12)
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Diplomatic officials in Israel say that the nature of the memorial
reportedly being planned in London not known.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon hailed reports Thursday that
some kind of memorial for the 11 Israeli athletes killed by
Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games was being
planned for the opening ceremony of this year’s London games.
“If this is true, it is a tremendous development,” Ayalon said. “It
shows the International Olympic Committee is listening to the many
voices in the international community, parliaments and world leaders
who have stated loud and clear that the call for remembrance at the
opening ceremony is a humanitarian obligation, not a political
statement,” said Ayalon, who has spearheaded efforts to get a moment
of silence included in the opening ceremony.
The Jewish Chronicle in London reported Thursday that Sebastian Coe,
the chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic
Games, told staff that a memorial was being considered for the
Diplomatic officials in Israel said that the nature of the memorial
was not known, but that what was important from Israel’s perspective
was that it take place at the opening ceremony – and not at some side
venue – because the opening ceremony will be attended by tens of
thousands of people and watched by hundreds of millions around the
Ayalon sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee earlier
in the year on behalf of the families of the murdered athletes asking
for a moment of silence, but was told that the IOC commemorates the
incident by attending the memorial service held at every Olympic
games by the Israeli delegation.
Unsatisfied, the Foreign Ministry launched a campaign around the
world to get parliament members and governments to place pressure on
the IOC to have a commemorative moment of silence for the athletes at
the opening ceremony. The families of the 11 athletes have been
trying to do this unsuccessfully since 1976, and this is the first
year the ministry has become actively involved.
The ministry’s campaign has been augmented by an online petition the
families have organized, which has already been signed by some 80,000
people. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 07/06/12)
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