NEW YORK (JTA) — An online petition urging the International Olympic Committee to honor the Munich 11 at the Olympic Games this summer has garnered thousands of signatures.
The Jewish Community Center of Rockland County, N.Y., a member of the JCC Association, initiated the petition, which calls for a moment of silence at the Games in London honoring the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September. The Jewish Federations of North America is asking communities to support the petition, which is attempting to gather 1 million signatures.
“The Jewish Community Center movement is deeply involved in an effort to create a worldwide viral response to a wrong that has not been addressed since 1972," said JCC Association President and CEO Allan Finkelstein. He adds, "Let us finally get the Munich 11 acknowledgement and respect they deserve from the international sports community.”
The JCC Association has recognized the Munich 11 during every Maccabi Games since 1995.
In an official letter sent to the IOC on Monday, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon asked on behalf of the State of Israel for the 2012 Games to open with a moment of silence honoring the 11 Israeli athletes. Ayalon gave copies of the letter to widows of the murdered athletes, and also expressed support for a petition they initiated calling for a minute of silence.