IOC's Obscene Silence

Thursday 26th 2012f July 2012

Itís almost six months since the Jewish News exclusively reported the Israeli Olympic Committee's call for the Olympic Movement to stop "ignoring" its own history by finally commemorating the 1972 Games massacre.

Since then, a campaign for a minute's silence in memory of the slain coaches and athletes at Friday's opening of London 2012 has gone global, with 100,000 signatories to an online petition joining politicians and even parliaments around the globe in urging such a tribute.

And while any step to remember and honour the victims must be welcome, the move by Jacques Rogge to pay tribute in Londonís Olympic Village this week, while unprecedented, was simply not enough.

By holding the event behind closed doors, the IOC failed in a golden opportunity to send a clear and uncompromising message against terror and for peace to a worldwide audience of billions.

The fact that the tribute formed part of press releases from both the IOC and LOCOG does not alter the fact that that some of those who campaigned so strongly for a silence - in including this newspaper and MP Bob Blackman - were not invited to this apparently significant occasion and only discovered it had taken place afterwards. Surely this is something that the IOC should have wanted to make a fuss over?

All this contributes to the appearance that this was little more than an attempt to assuage the critics while still ensuring that anyone who may have a problem with a more public event would not have an issue.
Rogge said on Monday: "The 11 victims came to Munich in the spirit of peace. We owe it to them to remember."

That is certainly a sentiment we can all agree on. But by denying the public silence and choosing to go about the tribute in the way it did, it's little wonder that many will continue to question whether it has its priorities in order.