Olympic Committee's Refusal to Honor Munich 11 Mired in 'Stubborn Insensitivity and Callousness'

New York, NY, July 23, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called the continued refusal by the International Olympic Committee to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremony for the eleven Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics, "a continuing stubborn insensitivity and callousness to the memory of the murdered Israeli athletes."

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

The IOC and its president, Jacque Rogge, seem to have no problem with "spontaneous" commemorations – as they did this morning at the Olympic village; or at events organized outside of the Olympics, such as the service sponsored by the British Jewish community on August 6 and the program scheduled on September 5 at the site of the 1972 Olympics.

Yet Olympic officials irrationally and stubbornly refuse to remember the eleven Israeli athletes at an official Olympic ceremony, claiming it would not be appropriate. This four-decade refusal to mark one of the most infamous terrorist attacks in history, and an attack on the Olympics games themselves, represents a continuing stubborn insensitivity and callousness to the memory of the murdered Israeli athletes. It is such a common-sense thing to do – to take just one moment during the games to commemorate those who have died as a consequence of hate. We can never forget that the Munich 11 were targeted and died for no other reason except that they were Israelis.

It should be noted that 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.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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