Munich Widows and Israeli Ambassador call for Minute Silence
25 July 2012
Ilana Romano, wife of murdered Israeli weightlifter Yossef, and Ankie Spitzer, wife of fencing coach Andre Spitzer, this morning made a last minute appeal to the International Olympic Committee to mark the murder of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes at the 1972 Munich Games with a minute of silence at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.
Speaking at a press conference overlooking the Olympic Village this morning, the two women made a passionate request to IOC President Jacques Rogge to agree to mark the tragedy.
Mrs Romano reminded Rogge that as an athlete in 1972 he heard the shots and explosions in the Olympic village and, in his own words, “decided not to let terror win”. Not marking the tragedy, said Romano, is letting terror win.”
The Press Conference was introduced by Israeli Ambassador HE Daniel Taub. Taub noted that Munich was, “a tragedy that we need to remember, especially in a week where once again Israelis have been the victims of terrorism in Bulgaria,” before backing up the widows’ plea. “It was the darkest moment in Olympic history. An attack on Olympic athletes, in the Olympic village during the Olympic games. This is that is why is needs to be remembered publically, to show that the Olympic ideals of peace and understanding through friendship and solidarity have not been forgotten.”
The Israel Embassy in London, in coordination with the Zionist Federation, is organizing its own minute of silence ceremony which will be broadcast at 11am on Friday broadcast over the internet from the Israeli Embassy, on http://www.minuteformunich.org.
A separate memorial ceremony, organised by the Israeli embassy, together with the Israel Olympic Committee and the British Jewish community will take place on 6th August. Many British, Israeli and other world leaders are expected to attend. For more information, please contact Olympics@london.mfa.gov.il