The IOC refuses to allow a moment of silence at London Games
Israel petitioned the IOC to memorialize the 'Munich 11' killed at the 1972 games
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is demanding the IOC reverse its position
'All we ask for is 'Just One Minute,'" Ayalon tweeted repeatedly
Israel’s deputy foreign minister is taking to social media to pressure the International Olympic Committee to reverse its stance against a moment of silence at the London Games for 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed at the 1972 games.
“We will not let this issue rest and we will be launching a concerted campaign to have the IOC reconsider their position,” Danny Ayalon posted on his Facebook page on Thursday. “All we ask for is ‘Just One Minute!’”
Ayalon repeatedly tweeted a plea for support early Friday, directing people to an online petition sponsored by a Ankie Spitzer, whose husband – fencing coach Andre Spitzer – was among those killed by the Palestinian terror group Black September.
IOC President Jacques Rogge, in a letter to Ayalon received this week, did not directly mention the request for a moment of silence. But he said the IOC “officially paid tribute” to the memory of those killed on several occasions and will continue in consultation with the Israeli Olympic Committee.
“Please rest assured that, within the Olympic family, the memory of the victims of the terrible massacre in 1972 will never fade away,” Rogge wrote.
Ayalon said the response was unacceptable.
“This rejection told us as Israelis that this tragedy is yours alone and not a tragedy within the family of nations,” the deputy foreign minister said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“This is a very disappointing approach and we hope that this decision will be overturned so the international community as one can remember, reflect and learn the appropriate lesson from this dark stain on Olympic history.”
For nearly four decades, Spitzer and others have lobbied the IOC to memorialize the members of the Israeli Olympic team during the Summer Games
But the IOC has repeatedly declined.
The attack began in the early hours of September 5, 1972, eight Palestinian terrorists disguised in track suits broke into the Olympic Village in Munich.
They stormed the apartments housing the Israeli athletes and coaches, killing two and taking nine others hostage. Hours later, the world woke up to the image of a masked man on the balcony of the Olympic Village.
From the Olympic Village, the militants demanded the release of 200 Arab inmates from Israeli prisons or they would start killing the athletes in Munich, one every hour.
“The hardest part was the ultimatums,” Spitzer told CNN in a 2005 interview.
“Every time, you die a little bit because you think now it’s going to happen to him.”
Israel refused to negotiate, and the terrorists demanded an airplane to Egypt. The German government decided to attempt a rescue at the airport.
When it was over, all the Israelis, five terrorists and one German police officer lay dead.
The Munich Games were temporarily suspended, and a memorial service attended by some 80,000 people was held at the Olympic Stadium.
CNN’s Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.