Intense pressure is mounting on the International Olympic Committee to commemorate the tragic anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Thus far Olympic organizers have resolutely refused to acknowledge the anniversary or the request for a moment of silence at the opening of events.
It is largely presumed the French are behind the refusal because of their nation’s fear of offending Arab and Islamic nations.
Philanthropist and businessman Stanley Tate is making all-out international effort for a fitting remembrance. Tate is one of the most affluent Jewish Republicans in the U.S. and is trying to raise awareness of his cause placing ads in U.S. and European newspapers.
Tate plans to run ads in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, the London Times, and other major newspapers. Some papers are offering to run the ads free of charge.
In the 1990s, Tate was the chairman of the Resolution Trust Corp., a key government agency that managed banks’ assets during the savings and loan crisis. He also started Florida’s prepaid college tuition program. He is also the Miami-Dade County co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
“I am hoping for a couple of hundred thousand emails to be sent to the Olympic organizers asking for one minute’s silence,” Tate remarked in an interview last week. He noted that his letter to the United States Olympic Committee had gone unanswered.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already informed him that the commemorative plaque in Munich is “a sufficient memorial.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen wrote to the IOC last May requesting their support for the 11 athlete’s memory and Israeli respect. “Is one minute too much for the IOC to spend?” she asked after meeting with Tate.
Families of the “Munich 11” have worked for 40 years to obtain what they feel is proper recognition of the Munich massacre from the International Olympic Committee. They began requesting the minute of silence during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics at the ’76 Montreal Games.
The Anti-Defamation League joined the plea for the minute of silence and the ADL National Director Abe Foxman wrote to IOC President Jacques Rogge in May. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke as late as Wednesday in support.
Others supporting cause range from sportscaster Bob Costas to the parliaments of Germany, Canada, and Australia.
The 11 Israeli athletes were murdered on between September 5th and 6th, 1972 by track-suited members of the Palestinian Black September terrorist group that infiltrated the Olympic village. They were taken hostage. They demanded the freedom of 200 Palestinians being held in Israel along with members of the German Red Army Faction.
Five of the murderers were killed in a staged rescue attempt along with the athletes and a German police officer. The other three who escaped were later captured and imprisoned but astonishingly released by the West German government only six weeks later after Black September hijacked a Lufthansa airplane.
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