Olympic Committee VP: Fear of Arab Boycott Led to Minute of Silence Rejection
As the 2012 Summer Olympics approach, it’s becoming ever more certain that calls for a minute of silence during the opening ceremony on July 27th to mark the 40 year anniversary of the murders of 11 Israeli team members at the 1972 Games, will be rejected.
According to an interview given by Thomas Bach, the Vice President of the International Olympic Committee, the threats to boycott the opening ceremony made by Arab states in the event of an official minute of silence, have led the IOC to mark the 40 year anniversary in other ways, including a minute of silence on Monday inside the Olympic Village, led by IOC President Jacques Rogge.
The Arab boycott “had been a possibility, according to some of our advice”, Bach said according to Israel’s Channel 2 news.
The push to hold a minute of silence during the opening ceremony in London began with Ankie Spitzer – the widow of an Israeli delegate killed in Munich by Palestinian terrorists – and has been championed by world leaders ranging from President Obama to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
Other lawmakers from the United States and Canada were also active in pushing for the minute of silence.
Back in May, IOC President Jacques Rogge publicly stated the opening ceremony would not include a minute of silence, while stating “within the Olympic family, the memory of the victims of the terrible massacre in Munich in 1972 will never fade away.”
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.