A moment of silence for the athletes killed during "the Munich Massacre"

The 2012 Olympics coming up is also the 40th Anniversary of the infamous “Munich Massacre” where a large number of Israeli athletes were kidnapped and eventually murdered by a number of Palestinian guerillas who were members of Fatah and more specifically the Black September organization(so named after King Hussein’s crushing of their attempted takeover of Jordan).

The Israelis asked the IOC to hold a moment of silence during the upcoming Olympics in remembrance of those dead athletes and the IOC refused saying they didn’t want to take sides.

The question I pose for the debate is whether or not the IOC is making the right decision or whether or not they should have held a moment of silence in remembrance of the “Munich massacre”?

My own opinion is that I think they should have done so. I’m no fan or supporter of Israel, but if there is such a thing as terrorism it was certainly a horrific act of terrorism and connected to the Olympics and if it had been some IRA guerillas who had murdered some British athletes or some PKK guerillas had killed some Turkish athletes I don’t think we’d be having this discussion.

I’m also sympathetic to those who say, “Well, they’re not holding a moment of silence for the Palestinians who’ve been ethnically cleansed or murdered by the Israelis” and certainly can understand people frustrated that vastly more people are aware of “the Munich Massacre” then Deir Yassin, Kibbiya, or Kfar Kassem, but the murdered innocents of Munich were connected to the Olympics whereas the Palestinians massacred in those other atrocities were not.

Similarly, nobody is demanding a moment of silence for the victims of the Mt. Scopus massacre or the children killed in the Coastal Road Massacre of 1978, both of which were attacks in which vastly more innocent civilians were murdered than at Munich nor would it make sense to have a moment of silence for them since those attacks were not connected to the Olympics.

Anyway, I wanted to see what others think.

Mainly, that I was a little kid at the time and I’ve never been more than fuzzily aware of the incident. “Way back, a bunch of Israeli athletes were killed by terrorists at the Olympics I’ve heard” sums it up.

As for the IOC holding a moment of silence, it’s a tough question. On the other hand, the victims were Olympic athletes so there’s an obvious relevance to the Games; on he other hand the entire Israeli/Palestinian/Muslim/everyone issue is such a political hot button for so many people that I can understand why they’d prefer not to touch it. I don’t think there’s really a right answer for this one.

The IOC has never gotten this right, not even when it happened and Avery Brundage took the opportunity to compare the kidnapping and murder of athletes who had every reason to expect that they would come home from the Olympics to the exclusion of Rhodesia for their overtly racist policies. I would hardly expect them to get it right this time, either.

What do you mean Israeli/Palestinian/Muslim issue?

What exactly did Islam have to do with what happened.

Besides, what makes you think the guerillas were all Muslims?

Leila Khaled, George Habash and countless others certainly weren’t.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad didn’t become forces to be reckoned till about 15-20 years later.

The way I see it, they’re sort of giving in to terrorism in that they don’t want to invite any controversy that might make the games a target of extremists once again. But, an argument could be made either way whether or not that’s the right decision.

On one hand, they should recognize the travesty and pay tribute to the victims. On the other hand, keeping the Olympics safe and free of polarizing tensions is of utmost importance to the whole mission of the games. It’s a tough balance to try to strike.

Maybe not THEN, but it’s an integral part of the issue as it stands NOW, and frankly, the NOW context is what matters.

With London hosting. Britain, a known supporter of Arabs and Palestine.

I’m not sure what you’re trying to communicate with this post.

Would you mind explaining further.


Do they regularly hold organized moments of silence for other Olympians who have died?

Why should this be different?

I am amazed they did not agree to it especially on the grounds of taking sides. Olympic athetes were kidnapped and killed; I wonder if there were prior moments of silence? Personally I do not think the Israeli government should have had to ask.

We’d be having the same discussion if it was PKK that murdered Turkish athletes because 1) nobody would care, 2) nonTurks that do care generally are sympathetic toward the Kurds (and the PKK gets the benefit of the sympathy). It would be the same forces with more apathy.

The twin characteristics of knowing about these massacres and caring about them may only be unique to you on this particular message board. Thanks for the history lesson.

The suggestion is not appropriate for the occasion, and not appropriate for the setting. Need more explanations?

I don’t know… maybe because it was a seminal event in Olympic history that they (the IOC) bear a certain responsibility for? The Olympians didn’t just die, they were brutally murdered. There’s something to be said about the difference between the guy who died on the luge track and an event that the whole world watched as it unfolded and ultimately ended in disaster.

How many of them were murdered during the Olympics?

I’m sorry but your comment as well as your initial one are a bit too cryptic for me.

What did you mean by the above comment and this one as well.

I’m not familiar with another event in which a number of athletes were kidnapped, held hostage and then murdered.

Are you?

The correct place to commemorate the event would be Munich, Germany. It happened during the games there. It’s not only Palestinians and Israelis who were involved but West Germans as well. The failed rescue gave the Germans further resolve to fight terrorism. The GSG-9 was formed as a result.

Now tell me, what is the incident’s relevance to the London games, besides a round number of 40?

The fact that it’s the Olympics as well as that it’s the 40th Anniversary.

Also what did you mean with the comment listed below?

Nothing, it’s simply a round number. What’s the significance of someone’s 40th birthday? It’s just a round number. How about a 40th wedding anniversary, it’s no more significant than the 39th or 41st, right?

Sometimes I think you guys just like to argue for the sake of arguing. Round number anniversaries are how we commemorate things. Multiples of 10 and 25 are common the world over.

I take that back. I made my point some other way.

Again, please explain what you meant by this comment:

I ask because I honestly don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Could you please explain what you meant?