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New York, U.S.A. – AJC was surprised to learn last week that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) indeed chose to hold a moment of remembrance for terror victims — just not one dedicated to the memory of the 11 Israeli Olympians murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Olympics 40 years ago.
After rejecting repeated requests from the victims’ families and world leaders, including President Obama and the Australian, Canadian, German and Italian parliaments, for a minute of silence at the opening ceremony in London, there was a commemoration of the victims of the 2005 terror attacks in London.
“We mourn all those slain at the hands of terrorists, and were profoundly saddened by the barbaric bombings in London on July 7th seven years ago,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “We fully support the desire to remember these deadly assaults.”
“At the same time, the 1972 attack was on Olympics participants. It took place in the Olympic Village during the games themselves. The requested moment of silence was to honor not only the Israelis, but also the very sanctity of the Olympic movement.”
IOC President Jacque Rogge repeatedly turned down the requests for honoring the fallen Israelis, saying that such a moment of silence would not be appropriate and, misleadingly, had no precedent.
Indeed, there have been observances in past Olympics, including in 2002 to honor the victims of 9/11 and now of 7/7.
“The 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics was the perfect opportunity for the IOC to publicly remember, for 60 seconds and in silence, the 11 Israelis,” said Harris. “Regrettably, the IOC has spoken loudly and consistently for four decades — the murder of 11 Israeli Olympians is best ignored, if not forgotten.”