(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon wrote an official letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) asking them to open the London 2012 Olympic Games with a minute of silence in memory of the members of the Israeli Olympic team murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
On Monday (23 April 2012) DFM Ayalon gave a copy of the letter to representatives of the families, Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of two of the murdered athletes, and expressed his support of a petition they initiated calling for the minute of silence.
In his letter to the IOC president, Ayalon asked, on behalf of the State of Israel, to fulfill the wishes of the families and to observe a moment of silence at the opening of the Olympic Games to be held in London this summer. He stressed that past events in the history of the Olympic Games, good as well as bad, should be commemorated in a fitting manner.
Ayalon said that the Olympic Games are based on the principles of equality and brotherhood and added, “We must remain vigilant against acts of hate and intolerance that stand in contrast to the ideals of the international Olympics.”
Spitzer and Romano thanked the deputy FM and said that they were very moved by the gesture. “For 40 years the International Olympic Committee has refused our request to commemorate the sacrifice of our loved ones. We were very pleased to read the letter of support sent by the deputy foreign minister to the IOC. His backing, on behalf of the State of Israel, gives us hope and honors the memory of the athletes who were sent to represent the State.”