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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Munich 11

This summer will be 40 years since the 1972 Israeli Olympic Team was massacred at the hands of Palestinian terrorists in Munich.  While the world stood by, seemingly helpless, an entire national team was wiped out for the sake of a misguided message.

Today, the President of the IOC hosted a ceremony at London's Olympic Village, in which a moment of silence was observed in honor of the murdered athletes.  This may or may not have been a concession to public pressure after he refused to allow for such an acknowledgment during the Games' Opening Ceremonies next week.

The fact that this anniversary would not be acknowledged in "prime time" speaks volumes about the world's attitude about Israel.  Apparently, the governing body of this event is cowed at the prospect of "offending" several other countries who continue to have issues with Israel, notwithstanding what those athletes endured.  The fact that it could have been any other country that suffered the same fate at any time is apparently lost on the IOC, because Israel has never really been thought of as any other country.

So if Mr. Rogge won't stand up and do the right thing for all to see and hear, I'll just have to do it instead.

I'll acknowledge the fact that in 1972, 11 young men and women sought to honor their country by developing their bodies to perform great feats of strength and speed, and not to be tossed from an apartment window in order to meet the demands of a group of murderers.

I'll acknowledge the fact that one country has always been forced to militarize its entire citizenry, despite the fact that it is the Holy Land, merely for the sake of its survival.  Its attempt to join the international community as an equal nation was met with disaster, because the world chose not to accept it as an equal nation.

I'll acknowledge the fact that since that time, Israel has returned to the Olympics, brave as always, and that its athletes have earned medals for their performances.

And I will also acknowledge the fact that Israel has more than earned the right to be respected as an equal nation, at the very least at the Olympic Games, and should receive more than mere lip service from a committee that is so easily pressured.

In the interests of disclosure, in case you haven't already learned from my prior postings, I am Jewish, I am Zionist, and I am proud.  It's not my style to blame discrimination, real or perceived, for any disadvantages, or to use it as a crutch or an excuse.  However, if it looks like discrimination, sounds like discrimination, and smells like discrimination, you have to form a conclusion.  I dare the IOC to say that they would refuse a moment of silence if the athletes murdered by terrorists had been Belgian, Bolivian, Okinawan, or any other nationality. 

Feel free to comment, whether you agree or disagree -- provided you choose your words wisely.