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Munich Moment of Silence Push Gains Steam

The campaign to observe a minute on silence to commemorate 40 years since the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, at the Olympic opening ceremony in London on Friday is attracting unprecedented levels of support including that of United States President Barack Obama and the mayor of the host city, Boris Johnson.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is still refusing to hold a moment of silence at the ceremony and the families of the eleven athletes are planning a mass gathering at London’s Trafalgar Square on Friday to observe the minute’s silence there.

On Wednesday, two of the athletes’ widows, Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano will issue a final appeal to the IOC and its president Jaque Rogge to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremony for the 2012 Games at the Olympic stadium in east London on Friday afternoon.

The press conference will be attended also by Israel’s ambassador to Great Britain, Daniel Taub. This evening, Spitzer and Romano presented Rogge with a petition signed by over 100 thousand people on the internet, calling for the minute’s silence. The IOC and Rogge have refused to the demand, as they have done at past Olympic Games, claiming that it would “bring politics into the Olympics,” but Israeli sources have said that the real reason is their fear that athletes from Arab nations would ignore the gesture. At the 2002 winter Olympics at Salt Lake City, a moment of silence was observed for the victims of the 9/11 attack.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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