Friday, July 20, 2012

Just One Minute.

The 2012 Olympics will last 24,480 minutes. Devoting one minute to the memory of the murdered Israeli athletes is not too much to ask.

Yet the International Olympic committee (IOC) simply doesn't care. Over 101,000 people from all over the world have signed a petition that originated with Ankie Spitzer, wife of murdered Olympian Andrei Spitzer. There has been twitter campaigns (Want to help the cause? Use the hashtag #justoneminute)There have been youtubes. There is a facebook page. The U.S. Senate, the German Bundestag, members of the Canadian and Australian and British parliaments, the Israeli government, Jewish organizations throughout the world have all urged the IOC to hold a moment of silence. Even President Obama joined the campaign. “We absolutely support the campaign for a minute of silence at the Olympics to honor the Israeli athletes killed in Munich,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor declared.

From "Jewish Blood is cheap" by Deborah E. Lipstadt
Why the IOC refusal? The Olympic Committee’s official explanation is that the games are apolitical. The families were repeatedly told by long-time IOC President Juan Samaranch that the Olympic movement avoided political issues. He seemed to have forgotten that at the 1996 opening ceremony he spoke about the Bosnian war. Politics were also present at the 2002 games, which opened with a minute of silence for the victims of 9/11.

The families have also been told that a commemoration of this sort was inappropriate at the opening of such a celebratory event. However, the IOC has memorialized other athletes who died “in the line of duty.” At the 2010 winter games, for example, there was a moment of silence to commemorate an athlete who died in a training accident.

The IOC’s explanation is nothing more than a pathetic excuse. The athletes who were murdered were from Israel and were Jews—that is why they aren’t being remembered. The only conclusion one can draw is that Jewish blood is cheap, too cheap to risk upsetting a bloc of Arab nations and other countries that oppose Israel and its policies.

I have long inveighed against the tendency of some Jews to see anti-Semitism behind every action that is critical of Israel or of Jews. In recent years some Jews have been inclined to hurl accusations of anti-Semitism even when they are entirely inappropriate. By repeatedly crying out, they risk making others stop listening—especially when the cry is true.

Here the charge is absolutely accurate. This was the greatest tragedy to ever occur during the Olympic Games. Yet the IOC has made it quite clear that these victims are not worth 60 seconds. Imagine for a moment that these athletes had been from the United States, Canada, Australia, or even Germany. No one would think twice about commemorating them. But these athletes came from a country and a people who somehow deserve to be victims. Their lost lives are apparently not worth a minute.

Bob Costas, NBC sportscaster and lead anchor for the London Games, recognizes the injustice. "I intend to note that the IOC denied the request," Costas said. "Many people find that denial more than puzzling but insensitive. "

Having tweeted, like, shared, is there anything more we can do?
Why, yes. There's this suggestion from the "just one Minute" facebook page

Create Just One Minute in YOUR own TOWN

Main Square OR City Hall OR Jewish Place
Just one place, please! Stay together!

Check your timezone at 7 p.m. (London Time)

One day before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London 2012, join us, bring your spirit; hold one minute of silence to remember eleven athletes brutally murdered at the Olympic Games of Munich 1972, just for being Jews:

David Berger, 28 years old, weightlifter;
Ze'ev Friedman, 28 years old, weightlifter;
Yossef Gutfreund, 40 years old, Greco-Roman wrestling referee;
Eliezer Halfin, 24 years old, wrestler;
Yossef Romano, 31 years old, weightlifter;
Amitzur Shapira, 40 years old, athletics coach;
Kehat Shorr, 53 years old, shooting sport coach;
Mark Slavin, 18 years old, wrestler;
André Spitzer, 27 years old, fencing coach;
Yakov Springer, 51 years old, Olympic weightlifting judge;
Moshe Weinberg, 33 years old, Greco-Roman wrestling coach.

Anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity.

Bay area, Lets remember the athletes that the IOC has forgotten. We'll supply the details as we figure them out.

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