How odious the International Olympic Committee's refusal to commemorate the eleven Israeli Olympians massacred 40 years ago is was brought home to me when I watched part of the opening ceremony, and saw that other victims were commemorated.
Outrage at the double standards involved has been well expressed by Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who states on Facebook:
'We were deeply disappointed that the IOC did not see fit to remember during the Opening Ceremony the eleven Israeli athletes murdered during the Munich Olympic Games 40 years ago. Only a few days we were told by IOC President Jacques Rogge that "the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident". However, the Opening Ceremony did include moments of silence and respect for those British citizens who died during terror attacks. We can only conclude that Rogge meant that the opening ceremony was not fit to remember a tragic incident involving Israelis.
On Friday night, Rogge finally ran out of excuses. He said a minute silence was not part of the protocol, yet many previous Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies held a minute silence. It was claimed that it was too political, yet many political causes have been remembered and utilized during opening ceremonies. Finally, he used this his card, that it was not an atmosphere fit to remember such a tragic incident, yet other tragic incidents were remembered.
On Friday night, Rogge lost our respect and lost his ability to legitimately represent the Olympic ideal that all are equal in the international family of nations. He was exposed as a hypocrite and as someone who was led by political interests and not the interests of the Olympic Games whose darkest moment saw eleven Israeli athletes tortured and murdered in the Olympic Village, during the Olympic Games under the auspices and supposed protection of the IOC.'And as Tom Gross (in the course of a series of most illuminating pieces about the IOC, Jews, and Israel) points out:
'For 40 years, the IOC has refused to commemorate the Israeli victims with a minute of silence.It claims it is “not a political organization”. But the IOC president spoke about the Bosnian war at the opening ceremony of the 1996 games. And the 2002 Winter Olympic games opened with a minute of silence for the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
Yet when it comes to honoring Olympic athletes murdered at the Olympics itself, it is a different story.
"There is only one explanation for it,” said the widow of the one those murdered. “It is because they are Israeli."
The chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Congress also said last week: "We know why the IOC has refused our request for a minute’s silence: Because the murdered Olympians were Israeli."
At the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics, a minute’s silence was held for a Georgian athlete who had died in a luge sled training accident before the games. Jacques Rogge, the IOC president who has refused to hold a minute’s silence for the murdered Israeli athletes, officiated."'Further evidence that the Olympic spirit does not extend to Israelis has been seen not only in the refusal of the Lebanese judo team to train alongside Israelis, but in the fact that (despite all the blather about "The Olympic Family" made by Olympic organisers at press conferences), Olympic officials willingly obliged tby screening the Israelis from the Lebanese team's view: "they can't see us, but they will smell us," observed an Israeli archly.
And a Tunisian swimmer withdrew from a race in which an Israeli competed, provoking whoos of delight from Israel-demonising westerners like this piece of ignorant prejudice from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on Facebook:
"Congratulations to Tunisian swimmer Taqi Murabit who refused to compete today in the pool at London 2012 due to the presence of an Israeli competitor in his heat who is a member of the Israeli Air Force which routinely bombs occupied Palestine."