Honoring the perpetrators

The 11 athletes were never memorialized at the games, not even at significant anniversaries. In Israel they're memorialized every year at the Maccabi games, but the world just turned the page and forgot them.

Fast forward 40 years to 2012, and in London the International Olympic Commission rejected a special petition to hold one minutes of silence at the beginning of the games to mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre. The petition came endorsed by tens of thousands of signatures - but I guess that remembering unpleasant episodes is not a British strong suit. Or maybe, the British were afraid that remembering a crime commited 40 years ago by Arab terrorists would stirr the local population of Londonistan (a popular moniker for a sector of London populated mostly by Muslims) into violence.

In a way, the refusal to memorialize 11 Israeli athletes killed by Arabs forty years ago epitomizes the state of our world today. There is no doubt that holding a minute of silence was not going to "alter the schedule". As for the heightened danger of attacks if the 11 Israelis were remembered (because the Muslims could be offended), it reminds me of one definition of Chutzpah: A man who kills his parents and when put on trial asks for clemency from the judge because he's an orphan!

Yet not holding a minute of silence speaks volumes. Holding the minute of silence would have recognized the 11 young men and women who were dedicated to the ideals of Human brotherhood through sports; to the ideals of a world moving away from violence and reaching out for peace - According to the Olympic charter, in the long list of ideals behind the quadrenial summer games, number four is "Cooperate with the competent public or private organizations and authorities in the endeavor to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace;".

If holding a minute of silence would have honored 11 young people who gave their lives for those ideals, not holding the memorial is in fact honoring the perpetrators and dishonoring the Olympic ideals - not that that stops British pragmatism from ignoring reality. Burying their head in the sand seems to be lately the most popular reaction among European politicians...maybe they should think about the old joke asking "If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody around to hear it, does it still make a noise?". Extremists of all persuasions do not need pretexts to fight against what the Olympic games represent. Forty years ago, Arab terrorists striked at the games because they knew the world was watching - they killed 11 people as a publicity stunt. The same holds true today - if they want to strike, they don't need a pretext.

I weep for the 11, I weep for their families, I weep for Israel - but I also weep for the Olympic ideals and I weep for a Europe which continues to close its eyes to the rising hydra in their midst. And I weep for Islam, a religion that doesn't seem to have the strenght nor the will to prevent extremists from killing in its name.


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