Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is calling for a moment of silence at London’s 2012 Olympics opening ceremony to remember Israeli team members murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Ayalon requested the commemoration of the 11 killed athletes, as well as an emphasis on the Olympic principles of equality and brotherhood, in an official letter to the International Olympic Committee.
“We must remain vigilant against acts of hate and intolerance that stand in contrast to the ideals of the international Olympics,” said Ayalon.
He sent a copy of the letter to the relatives of the murdered victims, who have spent decades petitioning for a moment of silence at the Olympics in honor of the Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by the Palestinian group Black September at the 1972 Munich Games.
“For 40 years the International Olympic Committee has refused our request to commemorate the sacrifice of our loved ones,” said Ankie Spitzer, widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer, one of the murdered athletes, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.
The 2012 Olympic Games will take place from July 27th to August 12th, and the Paralympic Games from August 29th to September 9th.
British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould hosted Sports and Culture Minister Limor Livnat, Israel’s Olympic and Paralympic delegations, Israeli athletes, and members of the International Olympic Committee on Saturday night to wish luck to this year’s Israeli participants, and to mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.