DFM Ayalon: “Unfortunately, this response is unacceptable as it rejects the central principles of global fraternity on which the Olympic ideal is supposed to rest”
(Communicated by DFM Ayalon’s Bureau)
Today (Thursday , May 17, 2012), Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon responded to the letter he received from International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge rejecting his request to hold a minute silence in memory of the members of the Israeli Olympic team murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972, during the upcoming London Olympic Games.
“Unfortunately, this response is unacceptable as it rejects the central principles of global fraternity on which the Olympic ideal is supposed to rest,” Ayalon said. “The terrorist murders of the Israeli athletes were not just an attack on people because of their nationality and religion; it was an attack on the Olympic Games and the international community. Thus it is necessary for the Olympic Games as a whole to commemorate this event in the open rather than only in a side event.”
IOC President Rogge’s reply was in response to Ayalon’s letter, sent a few weeks ago, requesting the minute silence on behalf of representatives of the families, Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of two of the murdered athletes.
“This rejection told us as Israelis that this tragedy is yours alone and not a tragedy within the family of nations. This is a very disappointing approach and we hope that this decision will be overturned so the international community as one can remember, reflect and learn the appropriate lesson from this dark stain on Olympic history.”
Ayalon passed Rogge’s response to the athletes families, including Spitzer and Romano who advocated for the minute silence. Ayalon told them that the Ministry will in the coming weeks launch a campaign that it is hoped will reverse the decision.