President Reuven Rivlin with Shlomit Romano, daughter of Yosef Romano, an Israeli athlete killed in the terror attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO) (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Rivlin Munich Olympics

Rivlin condemned the Palestinians’ decades-old practice of celebrating the massacre of 11 Israeli team members at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin condemned Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party for consistently praising the Palestinian terrorist group Black September’s killing of 11 Israeli team members at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“There are still those who see in the murder of sportsmen a heroic deed,” Rivlin said in Germany at the unveiling of a memorial for the slain Israeli athletes, 45 years after the massacre.

“Just last year, Fatah marked the massacre of the sportsmen as an ‘act of heroism,’” he said. “Terror must be unequivocally condemned, everywhere.”

In 1972, six Israeli coaches and five athletes were taken hostage for 20 hours and then murdered by the PLO terror group Black September after a botched pre-dawn rescue attempt by German forces at an airport near the Munich Olympic village.

First Official Moment of Silence 45 Years After the Massacre

Rivlin also noted that Israel has waited almost 50 years for the Olympics to host an official moment of silence to memorialize the slain Israeli team members.

“They were the Olympic family’s sons—a family which for many years abandoned its commitment to them,” he said.

In 2012, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) held an impromptu minute of silence in the London Olympic village to mark the 40th anniversary of the Palestinian terrorist group’s killing of the Israelis.

In 2016, the widows of two of the Israeli team members participated in a ceremony and minute of silence at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic village. The IOC, however, has refused continued requests for an official moment of silence for the slain Israelis at the Olympics.

The family members of the victims learned the details of how they were mistreated only nearly 20 years after the massacre, when German authorities were forced to release reports of the attack that the authorities previously denied existed.

“The terrorists always claimed that they didn’t come to murder anyone—they only wanted to free their friends from prison in Israel,” said Ankie Spitzer, widow of Andre Spitzer, a fencing coach. “They said it was only because of the botched-up rescue operation at the airport that they killed the rest of the hostages, but it’s not true. They came to hurt people. They came to kill.”

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff

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