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Olympics Should Honor Slain Israelis – OpEd


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided not to allow a moment of silence at Friday’s opening ceremony for Israeli athletes who were murdered by an arm of the Palestinian Liberation Front at the 1972 Munich games.

On Monday, Olympic officials led a small gathering of attendees in a moment of silence in memory of the Munich massacre. If they were truly interested in honoring the 11 Israelis who were murdered by terrorists 40 years ago, they would not have chosen a pre-Olympic event: they would have chosen the opening ceremonies on Friday. The official reason given for not doing so is that such an event would be “political.”

William Donohue
William Donohue

The Olympics are not exactly virginal in matters political. For example, at the 1908 Summer Olympics, the Irish were told they could not fly the Irish flag; they had to compete under the British flag. At the 1964 Summer Olympics, South Africa was suspended because of its practice of apartheid (the suspension was not lifted until 1992).

Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, points out more hypocrisy: “It should be noted that moments of silence have been held at previous Olympic ceremonies, including one remembering the victims of the 9/11 attack at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.”

If anything, it appears that politics explains why the Munich massacre is not considered worthy of commemoration. Are Olympic officials afraid of incurring a backlash from Muslim extremists? Is cowardice at play? Or is something else at work?

We hope Bob Costas of NBC Sports makes good on his pledge to call for a moment of silence at the televised opening ceremonies. We also urge Catholics to stand with Jews on this issue by signing the online petition to the IOC requesting a moment of silence.

Sign the petition:

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

3 thoughts on “Olympics Should Honor Slain Israelis – OpEd

  • July 26, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I think everyone who died through the hands of terrorists ( a definition wide enough to cover every country’s breach of international laws)should be honored. I think Holocaust museums should be built for Rwanda, Cambodia and the Balkans. I think no single state or its people should have preference! Many innocents die everyday-no one should be put on a pedestal.

  • July 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    And of course monument should be built for those killed due to stste terorism

  • July 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    How about a moment of silence for the children in Gaza who were killed by phosphorus and depleted uranium bombs that the IAF dropped at recess time when they were all expected to be outside, or for the others who died in the “turkey shoot” in Operation Cast Lead, or for the Iraqis and Afghans who died in wars that should never have happened? Or for the Syrians who are being massacred by our Al Qaeda “allies”? The list goes on.

    No more special preferences for those who were victimized 75 years ago but who do it now to others by means state terror and advanced weaponry. No more media propaganda. A victim is a victim is a victim. A victimizer is a victimizer is a victimizer.


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