The following was written by Hadar Sela, and published at The Commentator:
It is by now pretty clear that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has no intention of changing its stance on the subject of the modest request for a minute’s silence to commemorate the eleven Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists forty years ago at the Munich Olympics.
In his letter of response to the request, IOC President Jacques Rogge wrote:
“What happened in Munich in 1972 strengthened the determination of the Olympic Movement to contribute more than ever to building a peaceful and better world by educating young people through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit.”
But of course the real message which Rogge and his committee are transmitting loud and clear to the young people they claim to educate is that the ‘Olympic spirit’ is craven in the face of political pressures and that the IOC considers a ‘peaceful and better world’ to be one in which terrorism is appeased and overlooked.
That message, however, is neither new nor surprising.
The background to Rogge’s current stance begins with the fact that just eight years after Munich, Yasser Arafat – under whose leadership the PLO created the Black September terrorist group which carried out the murders – attended the 1980 Olympic games in Moscow at the invitation of the Soviet government and with an apparent blind eye from the IOC.
It continues with the Palestine Olympic Committee’s acceptance to the Olympic Council of Asia just 13 years after the terror attack and the IOC decision to accept Palestine as a full member in 1995, despite the fact that Arafat headed the Palestine Olympic Committee in its early days.
Palestine’s first ever Olympic participant (at the 1996 Atlanta games) held a day job with Force 17 – Arafat’s elite security unit – which also engaged in terror attacks. Force 17 was founded and initially commanded by Ali HassanSalameh, who was also chief of operations for Black September.
One of Force 17’s more notable alumni is Imad Mughniyah – who later went on to join Hizballah.
Today, the Palestine Olympic Committee is headed by Jibril Rajoub – himself no stranger to terrorism, having joined Fatah in his youth and been convicted of throwing a grenade at Israeli soldiers in 1970. Rajoub was released from prison in 1985 under the ‘Jibril deal’ prisoner exchange with the PFLP-GC.
His repeated re-arrest for terrorist activities and his role as organiser in the first Intifada caused him to be deported to Lebanon in 1988. From there he moved to Tunis, where he was the aide and advisor of Khalil al Wazir – aka Abu Jihad – the commander of Black September in the early 70s.
- NBC sportscaster to mark Munich 11 (timesofisrael.com)
- Peter Tatchell: IOC ‘abdicated its moral responsibilities’ over Munich silence (thejc.com)
- German FM calls for minute of silence for Israeli athletes killed on his territory (timesofisrael.com)