Saturday, July 28, 2012

London Olympics pauses to honor dead Brits, not Israelis

London Olympics pauses to honor dead Brits, not Israelis

After saying there would be no moment of silence to honor the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the IOC permitted a video tribute to the 52 people who were killed in the suicide bombings in the London transit system the day after the city won the Games in 2005.

That was kind, and fitting, but it only served to highlight the extraordinarily bad judgment the IOC has shown in the matter of the Israelis, who were killed simply because they were Olympians living in the Olympic village. As has been the case for 40 years, the IOC recently refused repeated requests from world leaders and families to honor the Israelis, including President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and leaders of Canada, Australia, Israel and Germany, among others.

They all knew last week that there would once again be no tribute in the Opening Ceremony. But then came this other moment of silence. Talk about a slap in the face. The IOC has steadfastly tried to forget the horror of Munich, and here was another example of their reprehensible oversight by honoring some, but not all.

It's almost unheard of for a nation to change Olympic Opening Ceremony protocol, and the IOC often uses that as one of its excuses to deny a moment of silence for the Israelis. But then it changed protocol for others, ensuring the tragedy of the Munich victims continues to this day within the Olympic world.

No comments: