In personal letter, Australia’s PM urges Olympic moment of silence

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a personal letter urged the president of the International Olympic Committee to hold a moment of silence at the London Games in memory of the 11 Israelis killed at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

In her letter to Jacques Rogge, Gillard said a moment of silence, either at the opening ceremony on July 27 "or at an appropriate time during the Games" would allow the Olympic movement "to honor, before the world, the memory of those whose lives were lost during that horrific event."

Her letter, released late last week, drew Rogge’s attention to the fact that the Australian parliament had unanimously passed a resolution on June 25 in support of a minute’s silence, saying it would be a "fitting remembrance and tribute on this significant memorial anniversary."

In an editorial Monday, The Australian newspaper argued that in rejecting the moment of silence on the 40th anniversary of the killings by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September, the IOC had "misjudged the centrality of the Munich massacre, not just to the evolution of the Olympic movement but also to the battle against the evil forces that still pose a constant threat."

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