WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Reps. Nita Lowey and Eliot Engel introduced a resolution calling on the International Olympic Committee to honor the Munich 11 with a moment of silence at the London Games this summer.
“Forty years after a terrorist attack that reverberated far beyond the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee has a moral responsibility to commemorate the Israeli athletes and coaches who died," Engel and Lowey, both New York Democrats, said in a statement May 18 announcing the resolution.
The proposed moment of silence would take place during the opening ceremonies to honor the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September during the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Engel and Lowey joined House of Representatives Foreign Affairs chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) in asking the IOC to reverse its decision to not hold a moment of silence for the athletes. Ros-Lehtinen released a statement the same day as the two New York lawmakers calling on the IOC to recognize the slain Israelis.
"Is one minute too much for the IOC to spend in remembrance of 11 innocent lives brutally cut short at the 1972 Games?” Ros-Lehtinen said in her statement.
Family members of the murdered athletes have been pushing the IOC to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the massacre, but the IOC has refused. Instead, the IOC has said its officials will attend separate Israeli commemorations of the murders during the London Games.