The head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee called the campaign to hold a minute of silence for the 11 Israelis murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics “racism.”
In a letter written to International Olympic Committee head Jacques Rogge, Jibril Rajoub wrote that “Sports are a bridge for love, communication and the spreading of peace between nations and should not be used for divisiveness and the spread of racism,” according to the Times of Israel.
Rogge has declined numerous requests to hold the minute of silence at the opening ceremony of the London Games on Friday. He held a minute of silence in memory of the athletes at a small ceremony in the Olympic Village on Monday.
Black September, a Palestinian terrorist group, was responsible for the killings in Munich.
In an interview with the French news agency AFP on Monday, Rajoub said that “sport in Palestine is a means to achieve national goals” as well as “a tool of struggle to present the Palestinian cause.”
A petition to hold a minute of silence in memory of the murdered athletes has garnered more than 100,000 signatures, and the international campaign has received the endorsement of numerous public figures, including President Obama and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.