Cotler Urges IOC, Rogge Provide Minute of Silence at London
Closing Ceremony, Honor Israel Petition
Israel News Agency
Israel --- August 10, 2012 ... One of Israel's closet friends,
Canadian MP Irwin Cotler, a former Justice Minister of Canada
has come out swinging at IOC President Jacques Rogge.
has ignored the repeated pleas of the relatives of the murdered
Olympians in Munich 1972 Games. In doing so, he has also refused
to listen to the voices of over 100,000 people who signed an online
petition created by the JCC in Rockland, New York, President Barack
Obama, Mitt Romney, the Canadian House of Commons, the US Congress
and several other global leaders.
a sharply worded letter written to Rogge, Cotler called the decision
not to honor the fallen athletes with a minute of silence at the
London Olympics opening ceremony "as offensive as it is incomprehensible."
Without directly stating that Rogge's actions were blatantly anti-Semitic,
he did say: "not only were the athletes killed because they
were Israeli and Jewish, but that the moment of silence is being
denied them also because they are Israeli and Jewish."
make matters even worse, as Rogge refused a minute of silence
for the dead Israelis at the opening ceremony stating: "We
feel that the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit
to remember such a tragic incident he then allowed two separate
minutes of silence for terror victims from other countries.
a memorial service held away from the Olympic stadium this week,
one of the terror victim relatives, Ankie Spitzer, looked at Rogge
and stated: "Shame on you IOC, because you have forgotten
11 members of the Olympic family." Spitzer received a standing
ovation for her remarks at Monday's service at London's Guildhall.
Israel News Agency was the first organization to call for
a minute of silence at the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics.
Our rationale was and is that Rogge is the victim of political
terrorism, has been taken political hostage by over 40 Arab nations
that threatened to boycott the Olympics if mention of the dead
Jews was made at the opening ceremonies. But with all the athletes
heading home after the closing ceremonies in London, there can
be no boycott. There would be no excuse not to hold a minute of
Israel News Agency created a petition at Minute4Israel.com
which is presently reaching 1,000 signatures from around the globe.
If Rogge listens to MP Cotler and these social media groups which
represent hundreds, thousands of Israelis, Jews, Christians and
the Olympic family of nations which are not bowing to political
terrorism, then we know that the Olympic spirit of fair play is
there is no minute of silence for the dead Olympians during the
London Closing Ceremonies, we will then know that it is only pure,
racist anti-Semitism which rules the IOC, not the Arabs who murdered
men who came to play sport in peace.
11 Israelis murdered in Munich were Yossef Romano, Moshe Weinberg,
Zeev Friedman, David Berger, Kehat Shorr, Yakov Springer,
Mark Slavin, Andre Spitzer, Eliezer Halfin, Yossef Gutfreund and
informed the Israel News Agency that they would be proud
to have his letter to IOC President Rogge on the petition and
act as a co-sponsor.
reminded Rogge, himself a former Olympic yachter for Belgium at
the 1972 Munich Games, that there are numerous precedents at the
Olympic games of moments of silence, including at the 2010 Winter
Olympic Games in Vancouver, where a moment of silence was held,
and over which Rogge presided, in memory of Georgian luger, Nodar
Kumaritashvili, who died in a training accident.
In 2002, the
IOC also memorialized the victims of 9/11 though that terrorist
atrocity neither occurred during the Olympic Games nor had any
connection to them. The duty of remembrance was justification
enough, Cotler wrote.
In his letter,
Cotler quotes Deborah Lipstadt, a Holocaust historian and professor
of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University, stating
that her assessment of the IOCs position is correct when
she recently asserted that the committee is anti-Israel and perhaps
athletes who were murdered were from Israel and were Jews
that is why they arent being remembered, Lipstadt
wrote. This was the greatest tragedy to ever occur during
the Olympic Games. Yet the IOC has made it quite clear that these
victims are not worth 60 seconds.
for a moment that these athletes had been from the US, Canada,
Australia or even Germany. No one would think twice about commemorating
them. But these athletes came from a country and a people who
somehow deserve to be victims. Their lost lives are apparently
not worth a minute.
Rogge, you, as a bearer of memory as a Belgian Olympian yourself
in the 1972 Munich Olympics, have poignantly remarked just days
ago, the Munich attack cast terrorisms dark shadow
on the Olympic Games. It was a direct assault on the core values
of the Olympic movement.
when the London 2012 Olympic Games conclude, let us pause to remember
and recall each of the murdered athletes. Each had a name, an
identity, a family each person was a universe.
not too late for the IOC to remember these murdered Olympians
as Olympians at the London Olympic Games this Sunday. It is not
too late to be on the right side of history.
is how far will the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs bend to
create effective PR for Israel? Who leads the PR war - terror
victim's families who are divided on several issues, or the MFA
which needs to speak with one message regarding terrorism against
No one terror victim owns this dark and tragic territory let alone
to be in a strategic, professional media position to determine
where and when the State of Israel will speak out and defend herself.
Can anyone argue, as a few Jews actually are as I write this feature
(two Jews, three opinions), with having a minute of silence for
dead Israeli Olympians in front of billions watching the closing
ceremony of the Olympics?
Are we to miss yet another PR opportunity to state Israel's case
while being confronted with countless Palestinian, Iranian and
Islamic terror groups who coordinate sophisticated
flotilla and protest media PR events against Israel on almost
a daily basis?
new petition sponsored by two groups 1
Minute for 11 Olympians on Facebook and Minute4Israel.com
is now gaining social media strength in calling for a minute of
silence for the murdered Olympians during the Closing Ceremony
join us in our fight against terrorism, against discrimination
and for respect and basic human dignity in and outside of the
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