AJC Praises Nations Calling for Moment of Silence at London Olympics

June 29, 2012 – New York – AJC praised the growing number of governments calling for a “moment of silence” at the upcoming Olympics in London in memory of the 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team murdered 40 years ago.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has never held an official memorial during the Olympics, and last month rejected requests to do it at the July 27 opening ceremony for the 2012 games.

“The 11 victims in 1972 were Israeli, but the Palestinian terror attack in Munich was an assault on all who came to participate peacefully in the spirit of the Summer Olympics,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “The IOC refusal to hold a moment of silence during the London games opening ceremony, which will be watched worldwide, is simply shameful. How else can we interpret the IOC stance decision but as political in what is meant to be a non-political movement?”

Australia, Canada, Germany and the U.S. have called on IOC President Jacques Rogge to reconsider.

"Holding a moment of silence in memory of the fallen Israeli athletes during the London Olympics will count as a kind, humanitarian gesture, and will send the message that violence and terror do not comply with the Olympic idea," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle wrote to Rogge.

The Canadian and Australian parliaments, and the U.S. Senate, unanimously passed resolutions supporting the memorial. A similar resolution was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but has not yet come to the floor for a full vote.

With the opening ceremony only a few weeks away, AJC is urging other governments to move quickly to join in pressing the IOC to schedule the moment of silence.

“The 40th anniversary of that tragedy is a perfect opportunity for the Olympics to properly honor the memory of those innocent Israelis,” said Harris. “Is a minute of silence too much to ask, given the tragedy that befell the Israeli contingent and, indeed, the entire Olympic movement?” 

Date: 6/29/2012 12:00:00 AM
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