On the eve of the signing of the Interim Agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis, a monument unveiling halfway around the world served as a reminder of the darkest days of Palestinian terrorism.
Near the site of the 1972 massacre that took the lives of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, a monument in their memory was revealed last week.
But even as German and Jewish dignitaries gathered alongside the victims’ family members to commemorate the dead, there was bitterness over the monument and what it stood for.
They had originally thought to boycott the event just 10 days before – but the German Olympic Committee agreed to say on the plaque that the Israelis were victims of a terrorist attack.
The original text said the athletes were victims of simply “violence,” which had enraged many Jews invited to the ceremony.
The plaque unveiled at the Wednesday ceremony did not reflect the change, because the new one was not ready in time.
Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Black September movement infiltrated the Olympic Village on Sept. 5, 1972, the 11th day of the Munich Olympics. The terrorists killed two Israeli arthletes and took nine other hostage, demanding the release of 200 Arab prisoners in Israel.
In a shootout in the airport later that day when German police attempted to free the Israeli hostages, the nine were killed, as were a German police officer and five of the terrorists. Three of the Palestinians were arrested.
Relatives of the victims have blamed the German police for responsibility for the attack, and have sued the local authorities for compensation. The trial is pending.