Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is calling on the International Olympic Committee to dedicate a Minute of Silence to the memory of the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered during the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Ayalon wants the Minute of Silence to be observed during the opening ceremonies this summer in London. This year’s summer games are scheduled to begin July 27.
The Olympics represent international friendship through sports. It is fitting that the world never forgets the tragedy of the murdered athletes so that history does not repeat itself.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Tell the IOC that 40 years of silence is enough. Sign the Minute of Silence Petition.
1972 was only the second summer Olympics held in Germany. The first was the 1936 games that were held in Berlin.
1972 was the year that American Jewish swimmer Mark Spitz won seven gold medals and a 17 year old Soviet gymnast named Olga Korbut made her Olympic debut.
The games were overshadowed by the Munich massacre.
During the night of September 4-5, Arab terrorists from the Black September Organization infiltrated the Olympic Village and took Israeli hostages. By the time the massacre was over they killed 11 members of the Israel Olympic delegation. A number of Israelis either escaped or were at other locations.
The terrorists demanded safe passage to Egypt and the release of 234 Palestinians and other security prisoners jailed in Israel as well as two German radicals held in Germany.
The German police made an unsuccessful rescue attempt during which all the Israeli hostages and five terrorists were killed. Three remaining terrorists were captured but were later released following the hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner.
The memorial service for the Israelis slain in Munich was attended by 80,000 people. The Munich Olympics then resumed.
Golda Meir who was Israel’s Prime Minister asked the world to condemn the unspeakable criminal acts committed. Forty years later Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is still asking the world to condemn the Munich massacre.
King Hussein of Jordan was the only Arab leader to speak out about the massacre. He called it “a savage crime against civilization . . . perpetrated by sick minds.”
Israelis involved in the Munich massacre
Prof. Shaul Ladany
Female members of the Israel delegation were housed in another building and were not taken hostage. The members of the sailing team were in Kiel, 900 km from Munich.
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