Sister of slain Olympian criticizes Romney’s moment of silence record


Barbara Berger lost her brother David Mark Berger when he was murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics, where he was representing Israel as a weightlifter.

In an Op-Ed for Haaretz, she writes about the campaign for a moment of silence and devotes two paragraphs to the responses of the two contenders for the White House:


Most significantly, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, declared his support, with the White House stating that it “absolutely supports the campaign for a minute of silence at the Olympics to honor the Israeli athletes killed in Munich.” The President has placed himself on the right side of history in this matter. He has elevated our call to the highest levels of public discourse. For this, all of our families will forever be touched and grateful.

Former Governor Mitt Romney, the presumed Republican nominee for president and Mr. Obama’s opponent this fall, followed suit a few days later, and for this we are also grateful. But Mr. Romney was painfully silent on the issue of a minute of silence when he attended the Games this past weekend and when he subsequently traveled to Israel, just as he was silent to our pleas in 2002 when he oversaw the Olympics in Salt Lake City.

It does seem a bit harsh to accuse Romney of being "painfully silent" while he was at the London Olympics, where he attended the opening ceremonies. (Did Michelle Obama speak out on the issue while she was at the Olympics?) And Romney did discuss the murdered Israeli Olympians in his speech in Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Post has an interesting overview of Romney’s history with the moment of silence issue.

And Haaretz had a separate profile of an Israeli member of the International Olympic Committee who has opposed calls for a moment of silence.

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