SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Australia’s prime minister signed a letter calling for a moment of silence at the London Olympics in memory of the 11 Israelis killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Julia Gillard is joined by Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, Foreign Minister Bob Carr, opposition leader Tony Abbott, New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell and Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu, as well as Jewish federal lawmakers Michael Danby and Joshua Frydenberg in signing the letter addressed to the International Olympic Committee. The missive was launched last week by the Australian Jewish News.
The letter comes in the wake of International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge’s rejection of Israel’s suggestion that the 40th anniversary of the Munich tragedy should be recognized during the opening ceremony of next month’s Games. Rogge said he would attend a special service in London and IOC officials would attend memorials organized by the Israelis.
"Silence is a fitting tribute for the athletes who lost their lives on the Olympic stage," the letter says. "Silence contains no statements, assumptions or beliefs and requires no understanding of language to interpret."