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Senate Calls for Olympics Munich Remembrance

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution urging the International Olympic Committee to observe a moment of silence at the 2012 London Olympics for the Munich 11.

The Senate resolution, which passed Monday, is part of a larger global effort calling on the IOC to honor the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were murdered at the 1972 Games in Munich by members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the measure.

A similar resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) was passed unanimously by the House Foreign Affairs Committee but has not been brought to the House floor.

William Daroff, The Jewish Federations of North America’s vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office, applauded the Senate’s action.

“According to the Olympic Charter, ‘The goal of Olympics is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity,’ ” Daroff said in a news statement. “As we approach the 40-year anniversary of this massacre, we hope everyone – especially members of the IOC – will embrace that Olympic spirit and come together to honor the memory of the slain Israeli athletes and coaches.”

An ongoing worldwide petition seeking a moment of silence at the London Games that was organized by the athletes’ families was rejected by the IOC. Several countries have passed resolutions requesting that the IOC remember the fallen athletes with a moment of silence.

While IOC officials have participated in memorial ceremonies hosted by Jewish communities, the IOC has not commemorated the ‘72 tragedy during the Games other than the day after the massacre.

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