Western governments, through their pathetic, morally indefensible non-response to the massacre, implicitly and cowardly legitimized terror as a valid means of Palestinian (and on a larger scale, Muslim) political expression. Indeed, Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat, who personally directed the Munich massacre, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his efforts to “create peace in the Middle East.” Similarly, the man many recently believed was the key to the “peace process,” Palestinian Authority president and so-called “moderate” Mahmoud Abbas, was likewise implicated in the Munich massacre.
Forty years later, as thirty-seven Israeli athletes arrive in London to participate in the Olympic Games, President Obama has a golden opportunity to show moral courage where the rest of the world has faltered. President Obama has reportedly backed an effort to hold a minute of silence during the upcoming opening ceremonies at the London Olympics to recognize the Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Games. For a president who has thus far refused to visit Israel and has publicly snubbed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this is a good start.
International Olympic Committee president and moral coward Jacques Rogge quashed the idea, however, saying, “We feel that the Opening Ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident.” With respect, the Opening Ceremonies are just such a time.
A simple, yet powerful symbol of remembrance of the Munich massacre is necessary and appropriate, especially in light of last week’s terrorist bombing of an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria that many suspect was perpetrated by Iran’s hit squad, the Quds Force. To send a global message that America rejects terror and stands with Israel as it does the same, we propose the following.
American and British Olympians should wear an Israeli flag lapel pin on the blazers of their Olympic uniforms. Further, both countries’ teams should carry the Israeli flag alongside their respective flags, the Stars and Stripes and Union Jack. Finally, once both teams have been introduced and have taken their place in the opening ceremonies, they should unilaterally recognize a minute of silence in remembrance of the eleven Israeli athletes and one American athlete who were murdered in Munich.
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