July 4, 2012

"They Came In Peace And Went Home In Coffins"

There is a very moving article in Commentary Magazine (22 May 2012) called "IOC: Been There, Done That, On Munich."

It is about a request made to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a single minute of silence at the 2012 London Games to commemorate 40 years since the murder of 11 Israeli olympic athletes at the Munich Olympic games. 

However, the IOC in utter disrespect for the slain athletes has refused even this one moment to memorialize the victims--the athletes--of their own games. 

It is a disgrace on the IOC governing body--who are supposed to represent the best that the world has to offer in terms of competition and achievement, and instead they will be proponents and symbolize the opposite--the dark side, where terrorism, murder, and hatred prevail. 

While the Olympians who work hard to perfect themselves in body and spirit are heros, the IOC are showing themselves morally weak and spineless. 

The wife of slain olympic athlete, Andre Spitzer, said it best:

"They came to Munich to play as athletes in the Olympics; they came in peace and went home in coffins, killed in the Olympic Village and during hostage negotiations."

To those who would deny a moment of silence for the slain, she states:

"Silence is a fitting tribute for [the] athletes...Silence contains no statements, assumptions or beliefs and requires no understanding of language to interpret."  

However this silent commemoration can send the critical message: "That what happened in 1972 can never happen again."

I love the notion she presents that: "A spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play," is more powerful than politics.

But unfortunately to the Olympic committee members today, the opportunity to commemorate the dead, respect the living and set a high moral standard for all is overcome by antisemitism and moral cowardice. 

Hopefully, the tremendous lifting spirit that permeate the Olympics athletes genre can infuse the IOC to change their decision and to see their way to provide a more noble and lasting message of peace to the global community.

To the families of the victims, let us offer up the traditional prayer of condolence: "May G-d comfort you among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem."

(Source Photo: here of the plaque in front of the victims quarters at the Munich Olympics)


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