Canada joins campaign to mark ’72 Olympics massacre


TORONTO (JTA) — Canada has joined the international campaign for a moment of silence at the opening of the London Olympics for the Munich 11.

On Thursday, Canada’s House of Commons unanimously passed a motion to commemorate the “tragic terrorist events of the 1972 Munich Olympics wherein 11 Israeli athletes were murdered.”

“Civil society groups and political leaders around the world have been calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the London Games,” said Liberal Party Parliament member Irwin Cotler, who proposed the resolution. “I am delighted that the Canadian Parliament is the first to unanimously support this call.”

A spokesperson for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the minister called IOC President Jacques Rogge this week and “reiterated his strong support” for the official commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the attack, the National Post newspaper reported.

Baird had sent Rogge a letter this month saying that Canada “strongly supports Israel’s request” for a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the Games in July.

The IOC last month scotched the possibility of a tribute for the slain Israelis at the opening ceremony, saying it “has regularly commemorated the 1972 tragedy and will do so once more in London at a ceremony during the Games, but there will not be a minute’s silence in the opening ceremony,” an IOC spokesperson told the French news agency AFP.

The spokesperson added that Rogge will take part in the London memorial that the Israeli Olympic Committee holds for the Munich 11, as he did at the 2008 Games in Beijing. The Israelis have held the ceremony at each Olympics since 1972.

Recommended from JTA