Munich 11 petition garners nearly 20,000 signatures


(JTA) — An online petition urging the International Olympic Committee to honor the Munich 11 at the Olympic Games this summer has garnered more than 19,600 signatures.

The Jewish Community Center of Rockland County, N.Y., a member of the JCC Association, initiated the petition with Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Israeli fencing Coach Andrei Spitzer. It 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 petition drive, which is hoping to gather 1 million signatures, was launched on April 13.

Spitzer says in a letter introducing the petition that the families have been asking the International Olympic Committee before every Olympics since the tragedy for a moment of silence. 

"The 11 murdered athletes were members of the Olympic family; we feel they should be remembered within the framework of the Olympic Games," Spitzer wrote.

"I have no political or religious agenda. Just the hope that my husband and the other men who went to the Olympics in peace, friendship and sportsmanship are given what they deserve. One minute of silence will clearly say to the world that what happened in 1972 can never happen again. Please do not let history repeat itself."

The Rockland JCC, which will host the 2012 Maccabi Games, has made the moment of silence a mission for its games.

The JCC Association has recognized the Munich 11 during every Maccabi Games since 1995.

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