In The Hollywood Reporter, Bob Costas – the NBC TV host for the London Olympics – talked about the fact that the International Olympic Committee refused to hold a moment of silence for the victims of the Olympic massacre in Munich 40 years ago:
When the Israeli delegation enters the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium, Costas will stage his own protest: “I intend to note that the IOC denied the request,” he says, modulating his voice as if he were on the air. “Many people find that denial more than puzzling but insensitive. Here’s a minute of silence right now.”
This gave me an idea.
Why doesn’t the Israeli delegation, upon entering the stadium, simply stop in their tracks and stand still for exactly sixty seconds?
Better yet – instead of blindsiding the IOC (not that they deserve any slack), but they should announce today that they intend to hold their own minute of silence.
This way, the IOC can choose to do the right thing – ensure that the music stops playing, put a brief announcement on the screens in the stadium explaining what is happening – or it can be faced with the prospect of the Italy and Ivory Coast delegates crashing into the immobile Israelis they are trying to follow into the stadium.
There is no downside. Arab TV stations will probably cut away for commercials, but besides that the world would not blame Israel one bit.
Israel has gone through the proper channels to ensure that the IOC does the right thing. It didn’t work.
Sometimes, one has to break the rules to do what is right.