Sister of Munich victim faults Romney for past silence
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Sister of Munich victim faults Romney for past silence

Praises Obama: ‘The president has placed himself on the right side of history in this matter’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The sister of an Israeli athlete murdered at the Munich Olympics said Mitt Romney’s failure to press for a moment of silence on the 30th anniversary of the killings was painful.

Barbara Berger, whose brother, David, was on the Israeli wrestling team in 1972, wrote in Haaretz on Wednesday that families of the 11 victims of a Palestinian terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics would continue to advocate for a formal moment of silence at the Olympics, despite the refusal of the International Olympics Committee to allow such a moment this year, the massacre’s 40th anniversary.

Berger said the families were heartened by growing international support for such a moment, in particular praising President Obama.

“The president has placed himself on the right side of history in this matter,” she said. “He has elevated our call to the highest levels of public discourse. For this, all of our families will forever be touched and grateful.”

Berger noted that Romney, this year’s presumptive Republican presidential nominee, subsequently added his support, and she said the families were grateful. But she faulted him for his silence when he attended the opening ceremonies in London on July 27 and when he directed the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

“Mr. Romney was painfully silent on the issue of a minute of silence when he attended the Games … and when he subsequently traveled to Israel, just as he was silent to our pleas in 2002 when he oversaw the Olympics in Salt Lake City,” she said.

Romney’s campaign will not comment on his silence in 2002.

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