While U.S. Maccabi officials are calling on the American athletes at the Olympics to hold their own minute of silence for the victims of the Munich Massacre, Londoners have already taken matters into their own hands.
Maccabi USA President Ron Carner announced Friday, the day of the Opening Ceremonies in the British capital, that his organization is calling upon the USA Olympic Team to hold its own moment of silence during the Ceremonies.
“Following the support of President Obama, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, and the U.S. House of Representatives for a moment of silence in memory of the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Games and today’s rejection by IOC President Jacques Rogge of a face-to-face appeal by two widows of the Munich victims, America’s Olympic athletes are left with no choice but to lodge their own protest.” Carner said in a statement to the media, which was cosigned by other Maccabi officials. “Rogge claims, ‘The opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident.’ The opposite is true. Friday night’s Opening Ceremonies, which will be broadcast to an estimated four billion TV viewers, are exactly the time to remember 11 Olympians who were murdered at the Munich Olympic Games 40 years ago.”
Meanwhile, more than 20,000 people in London have already held minutes of silence throughout the city, including services outside the Israeli embassy and at Trafalgar Square, according to the London Jewish Chronicle.
The Zionist Federation, British Israel Coalition and other advocacy groups organized the events.
Rogge denied last-minute appeal this week by the widows of two of the 11 Israelis murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, West Germany. He did, however, hold a moment silence at a service in the Olympic Village, which about 100 people attended, and plans to hold another in August in London.
(Lee Chottiner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)