U.S. Representatives Call for Moment of Silence at London Olympics to Mark Munich Massacre
An Israeli petition to the International Olympic Committee for a moment of silence at this summer’s Olympic games in London, in honor of the Israelis who were killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 games in Munich, has been met with a call from two U.S. Representatives.
Congressman Eliot Engel and Congresswoman Nita Lowey, both of whom are democratic representatives from New York, are asking the IOC to reconsider their decision to mark the 1972 incident at unofficial Olympic ceremonies in London, and instead, hold an official moment of silence during the opening ceremony.
The murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches can no longer be ignored by the International Olympic Committee. It’s time that the IOC set aside a moment of silence to remember all the victims,” said Rep. Engel. Engel, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee continued, urging “the IOC to reconsider its appalling decision and stop standing in the way of an appropriate, solemn recognition of the horror with befell the Games 40 years ago.”
Ankie Spitzer, a widow of one of the murdered Israeli athletes, started a petition earlier this year for the IOC to officially commemorate the killings in Munich, asking for “one minute of silence at the 2012 Olympic Games”.
“The murder of 11 Israeli athletes by terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics was a tragedy that reverberated far beyond the Games,” Rep. Lowey said in a statement. “It is necessary, important, and right to hold a minute of silence in recognition of the victims.”
The IOC has yet to respond to the most recent request from Representatives Engel and Lowey, but in the past they have stated their commitment to attending commemorations organized by “outside groups”.
“One thing is certain: We will never forget,” the IOC has stated.