The US, Australia and Germany have joined the Israel-led call for the International Olympic Committee to institute a moment of silence at the 2012 London Olympics commemorating the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were murdered at the 1972 Games in Munich by members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.
Last month IOC president Jacques Rogge rejected an official request from Israel to allow the silent tribute for the Munich 11 at the July 27 opening ceremony of the London Games.
The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution Monday urging the International Olympic Committee to observe a moment of silence. A similar resolution introduced in the US House of Representatives by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) was passed unanimously by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but has not been brought to the House floor.
About 100 Australian lawmakers – including Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott – voted unanimously Tuesday for a similar motion by standing in silence as a mark of respect to the memory of the victims.
Proposed by Liberal lawmaker Paul Fletcher, the motion, which said the impact of the massacre by Black September terrorists in 1972 “has been seared on world consciousness,” urged the International Olympic Committee to commemorate the anniversary during next month’s Olympics.
Also Tuesday, German Parliament President Norbert Lammert pledged his support in an official letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. Rivlin solicited his German counterpart on the behalf of two widows of the Munich victims, Anky Spitzer and Ilana Romano.
“That Germany, on whose territory the terrorist attacks were carried out, joined the cause is extremely significant,” Rivlin was quoted by Maariv as saying. “The case for a minute of silence to mark the 40th anniversary of the massacre is a moral cause of the first order.”
The developments came less than two weeks after Canada’s parliament passed a unanimous resolution supporting the memorial. Last week the London Assembly joined the growing chorus of organizations urging the IOC to change tack.
While IOC officials have participated in memorial ceremonies hosted by Jewish communities, the IOC has not commemorated the ’72 tragedy during the Games other than on the day after the massacre.