Olympic Committee spurning of memory of murdered Israeli athletes is no suprise

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.

IOC President, Jacques Rogge

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.

Read the rest of the essay, here.

7 replies »

  1. Jacque Rogge’ statement is very diplomatic and distinguished, in a certain mealy mouthed weasel kind of way.

  2. By the way, lest anyone believe that there is no precedence for a moment of silence for an Olympic athlete who has died, the following puts that notion to rest:

    At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, a moment of silence was held at the Opening Ceremony. Georgian, Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died during training when he lost control of his sled and crashed into a metal barrier. On entering the Olympic stadium his seven teammates received a standing ovation for their courage in deciding to continue with the games from the 50,000+ spectators. Then the minute’s silence was observed in honour of an Olympic athlete, one of the Olympic family.

  3. Rogge said this evening a propos the Egyptian athletes who had threatened to refuse to compete against Israelis that such actions would be judged to be against the Olympic spirit and anyone resorting to them would be disqualified from the games.

  4. Jacques Rogge is a nothing man with a nothing job. A man who allows bribery when making decisions. A man willing to bow down to bigotry. A man who is an embarrassment to all mankind. Jacques Rogge is like Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, unable to see the faults within the system, washing his hands with the blood spilled by innocents, considering himself a bastion of truth when the reality states that he is a coward. Yes, the quality of life one gets to spend on this Earth has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the individual. Jacques Rogge has the soul of shit on a shoe. When he passes on, the world will be a much better place.

    What a pathetic hack of a man.

  5. Rogge.

    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

    Bullshit. All the IOC cares about these days is the sponsors.

    Nobody is asking for e.g. the fun and fireworks of the opening event to be interrupted by a sombre ceremony. But FFS there must be scope within the 3-week extravaganza for marking the massacre publicly.

  6. I’m surprised to see that Sela forgot to add that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders had dubious, violent pasts.

    Shamir, an Israeli Prime Minister, was a member of several terrorist groups in his young years (Irgun and Lehi). Sharon, also an Israeli Prime Minister, was declared co-responsible for the large scale massacre of women and children in South Lebanon.

    An inconvenient truth?

  7. If they had an ounce of decency and respect for the terror victims, Rogge and the IOC would have suggested the minute’s silence themselves.
    On the other hand, the IOC’S behaviour on this occasion is completely in line with its callous and calculating image – so actually no surprise there, as you said.