JTA — Ankie Spitzer led a minute of silence to honor the 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team killed in a terror attack at the 1972 Munich Games during the opening ceremonies of the JCC Maccabi Games.
Spitzer, the widow of an Israeli coach who was killed at the 1972 Games, led the minute of silence streamed live around the world on Sunday evening at the JCC Maccabi Games opening ceremonies at the JCC Rockland in suburban New York.
“Maybe, at the London games, we did not get the minute, but let me assure you, we did not have silence either. For 40 years, we walked this long and lonely road by ourselves, but not anymore,” Spitzer said at the event. “Two years ago, I came here to the JCC Rockland and the JCC decided to dedicate the Maccabi Games to the memory of our loved ones. They were the ones who initiated the petition on the internet, and through this petition the world woke up.”
The JCC Rockland had initiated a petition drive, which turned into an international campaign, to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinians terrorists at the Munich Olympics. The International Olympic Committee turned down the request despite high-profile supporters such as President Obama, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and governments around the world.
Some 1,225 athletes from 36 delegations from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Mexico and Venezuela will compete in sporting events this week.