Tag: 1972 olympics




Irwin Cotler M.P. Pens Letter to IOC Head Jacques Rogge
I am writing you as a Member of the Canadian Parliament and mover of a parliamentary motion which was unanimously passed by the Canadian House of Commons on June 13, 2012.
What Do the Jews Have to Do?
Arab/Muslim hatred of the Jews is the Jews' fault?
Toronto Star Publishes Letter Justifying Terror Against Israeli Olympians
There’s an important line separating legitimate opinion that enhances the public discourse, from hateful rhetoric that interferes with constructive dialogue.
Daniel Pearl – Brutally Murdered Ten Years Ago
The prisoner, surrounded by cowardly men covering their faces, looked at the camera and said, "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish."

On Topic Links

Irwin Cotler M.P. Pens Letter to IOC Head Jacques Rogge
Montréal. August 9, 2012.

Count Dr. Jacques Rogge
President, International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
C.P. 356 – CH-1007
Lausanne, Switzerland
Dear Doctor Rogge:
I am writing you as a Member of the Canadian Parliament and mover of a parliamentary motion which was unanimously passed by the Canadian House of Commons on June 13, 2012. The motion, which called for a moment of silence at the 2012 London Olympics in memory of those Israeli Olympians killed 40 years ago – where you yourself were an Olympic athlete – read as follows:
That the House offers its support for a moment of silence to be held at the 2012 London Olympics in memory of those killed 40 years ago in the tragic terrorist events of the 1972 Munich Olympics wherein 11 Israeli athletes were murdered.
Indeed, civil society groups, Parliaments and political leaders around the world have been calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a moment of silence at the London Games, with the Canadian Parliament the first to unanimously support this call – an expression of our responsibility to remember – le devoir de mémoire.
Nor is such a memorial, as you best know, without precedent. Two years ago during the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, the IOC, observed a moment of silence – over which you presided, appropriately enough – in memory of the Georgian athlete, Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died tragically in a training accident. Ten years ago, in 2002, the IOC memorialized the victims of 9/11, though that terrorist atrocity neither occurred during the Olympic Games nor had any connection to them. The duty of remembrance was justification enough.
In particular, after eschewing a memorial for the murdered Israeli athletes and coaches at this year’s opening ceremony, the IOC then – and again, rightly – memorialized the victims of the 2005 London Bombings (as it happens, I was in London at the time visiting as Minister of Justice), though this terrorist atrocity, as well, had no nexus to the Olympic Games.
The refusal of the IOC, therefore, to observe a moment of silence on the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre – the slaughter of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches for no other reason than that they were Israelis and Jews – is as offensive as it is incomprehensible. These eleven (11) Israeli Olympians were part of the Olympic family, they were murdered as members of the Olympic family, they should be remembered by the Olympic family at these Olympic Games themselves.
This steadfast reluctance not only ignores – but mocks – the calls for a moment of silence by Government leaders, including US President Barack Obama, Australian PM Julia Gillard, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, and most recently by his Excellency the Canadian Governor General David Johnston; the calls by various Parliaments including resolutions by the US Congress as well as by Canadian, Australian, German, Italian and UK Parliamentarians; and the sustained international public campaign and anguished civil society appeals.
As well, the IOC decision ignores that the Munich massacre occurred at the Olympic games not par hasard, but precisely because the Olympic games provided a venue of international resonance for such an attack; the decision ignores that, as Der Spiegel put it, the killings were facilitated by the criminal negligence and indifference of Olympic security officials themselves; and finally, and most disturbingly, it ignores and mocks the plaintive pleas – and pain and suffering – of the families and loved ones, for whom the remembrance of these last forty years is an over-riding personal and moral imperative, as expressed to you yet again in London this week.
Accordingly, it is not hard to infer – as many have done – that not only were the athletes killed because they were Israeli and Jewish, but that the moment of silence is being denied them also because they are Israeli and Jewish. Professor Deborah Lipstadt – a distinguished historian of antisemitism and one normally understated in her attribution of anti-Jewish or anti-Israel motifs – makes the connection. In her words:


The IOC’s explanation is nothing more than a pathetic excuse. The athletes who were murdered were from Israel and were Jews—that is why they aren’t being remembered. … This was the greatest tragedy to ever occur during the Olympic Games. Yet the IOC has made it quite clear that these victims are not worth 60 seconds. Imagine for a moment that these athletes had been from the United States, Canada, Australia, or even Germany No one would think twice about commemorating them. But these athletes came from a country and a people who somehow deserve to be victims. Their lost lives are apparently not worth a minute.

As Ankie Spitzer, widow of the murdered Andre Spitzer put it, regretfully, “I can only come to one conclusion or explanation: This is discrimination. I have never used that word in 40 years, but the victims had the wrong religions, they came from the wrong country.”
Dr. Rogge, you, as a bearer of memory as a Belgian Olympian yourself in the 1972 Munich Games, have poignantly remarked just days ago, “the Munich attack cast terrorism's dark shadow on the Olympic Games. It was a direct assault on the core values of the Olympic movement.”
This Sunday, when the London 2012 Olympic Games conclude, let us pause to remember and recall each of the murdered athletes. Each had a name, an identity, a family – each person was a universe:


Moshe Weinberg
Yossef Romano
Ze’ev Friedman
David Berger
Yakov Springer
Amitzur Shapira
Eliezer Halfin
Yossef Gutfreund
Kehat Shorr
Mark Slavin
Andre Spitzer


Dr. Rogge, it is not too late for the IOC to remember these murdered Olympians as Olympians at the London Olympic Games this Sunday – it is not too late to be on the right side of history.
Irwin Cotler, P.C., O.C., M.P.
Former Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada
Professor of Law (Emeritus), McGill University.

What Do the Jews Have to Do?
Aaron Goldstein

American Spectator, Aug. 14, 2012

Arab/Muslim hatred of the Jews is the Jews' fault?
Should we really be surprised the International Olympic Committee didn’t see fit to hold a moment of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics at the now completed London games?
I will remember the 2012 Olympics for two things. I will remember them for Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. I will also remember them because the Lebanese judo team refused to train in the same room with their Israeli counterparts. Olympic officials, who would not be moved to hold a moment’s silence for athletes, moved heaven and earth to aid and abet anti-Semitism by placing a screen in the room so the Lebanese team would not be blinded by gazing at the Jews. As Mark Steyn noted it was a case of “taking the Jew out of judo.” All good humor aside, the truth of the matter is that most of the Arab/Muslim bloc is delighted that Jews were slaughtered forty years ago and would have been delighted had it happened again in London.

This delight extends to Muslim countries that have been at peace with Israel. Although it is feared that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will sooner or later tear up the Camp David Accords, the fact is that the peace has long been a cold one and most Egyptians despise the Jewish state and those that comprise its majority….The Camp David Accords aren’t worth the paper on which they are written. The same could be said for the Oslo Accords.
What do Jews have to do to change the hearts and minds of the Arab/Muslim world? Save their lives? Well, when I heard about the massive earthquake in Iran last week, the first thing that came to mind was when the Iranian regime refused Israeli aid following an earthquake in Bam in December 2003 which claimed more than 25,000 lives. Apparently, Iran’s regime would rather its own people die than have their lives be saved by Jews. Of course, this occurred before the current Ahmadinejad regime came to power. So one needn’t imagine what Iran’s response would be if Israel were to offer help now.
Of course, not every one rejects help from Israel. It was recently revealed that the brother-in-law of Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh received life saving heart surgery at an Israeli hospital a few months ago. Has Haniyeh shown any gratitude? Not on your life. Haniyeh and Hamas continue to call for Israel's destruction and blame it for the murder of 16 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai earlier this month even though all evidence suggests it is Hamas that is responsible.
Yet one need not be the brother-in-law of the Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza to be treated in an Israeli hospital. In a spectator.org article last week, P. David Hornik noted that over 100,000 Palestinians from both Gaza and the West Bank were treated in Israeli hospitals in 2010. One woman from Gaza who was treated for burn injuries at an Israeli hospital planned to show her appreciation by setting off a suicide bomb in the hospital in the hope of killing as many Jews as possible. Hornik commented, "Though admittedly an extreme case, it would be nice to think this large number of Palestinians' benefiting from Israeli medicine would have a conciliatory effect." Alas, even the high quality of Israeli medicine isn't strong enough to heal Arab/Muslim hatred of Jews.
The fact of the matter is that there is nothing Jews, be they in Israel or anywhere else, can do about Arab/Muslim hatred and all the peace agreements in the world can’t change that fact. The only people who can stop Arab/Muslim hatred of Jews are the Arab/Muslim world. It is up to the Arab/Muslim world to be willing to be in the same room with Jews without erecting a screen….


Toronto Star Publishes Letter Justifying Terror Against Israeli Olympians
Mike Fegelman
Honest Reporting, August 16, 2012

There’s an important line separating legitimate opinion that enhances the public discourse, from hateful rhetoric that interferes with constructive dialogue. When the Toronto Star published a commentary on August 4 by Reverend Lawrence Pushee justifying terrorism against the Israeli Olympians at the ‘72 Munich games, Canada’s most read daily newspaper saw its respected news platform exploited by a protagonist who seeks to demonize and vilify Jews and the State of Israel.

Responding to a Star editorial which had taken a principled stance in calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies in memory of the murdered Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian terrorists, Rev. Pushee abhorrently declared the following: “That was indeed a horrible and shocking moment for the international community and such an observance would be welcomed by most of us, but only if it were a balanced time for remembering. The Palestinian assassins targeted Israelis because for decades their people had been assassinated by Israeli agents and members of its occupation forces. Munich didn’t just happen out of the blue. To remember the loss at Munich and not remember the suffering of the Palestinians would be to continue the untruth that Israel is the constant victim.”

In other words, Pushee was claiming that while the cold-blooded murder of these Israeli civilians was bad, they essentially had it coming to them in so much as Israeli security forces had allegedly killed Palestinians. Why Toronto Star editors elected to publish a commentary justifying terror against innocents is bewildering….

HonestReporting Canada ardently supports free expression and strongly defends the right to offend, but Reverend Pushee’s comments crossed the line. That is why we appealed to Toronto Star editors to “unpublish’ this letter from the Star’s website. Yet in response, the Star regrettably defended their publication of this commentary stating: “We have discussed the points you raise and we do not think that any action is warranted by the Star. Letters to the editor reflect the opinion of the writer and we try to publish letters that provide a wide range of points of views.” The Star also declined to publish our rebuttal to this inflammatory letter displaying a lack of commitment in providing a diversity of opinion on this issue. That the Star actually believes that Pushee’s remarks add to the marketplace of ideas shows a remarkable lack of judgement on the part of their editorial team.

By giving a platform for this letter to be published in perpetuity on the Star’s website, the Toronto Star has been used and has become a tool that fans the flames of hatred against Israel and Jews.(Top)


Daniel Pearl – Brutally Murdered Ten Years Ago
Jeff Dunetz

Yid with Lid, Feb. 2012

The prisoner, surrounded by cowardly men covering their faces, looked at the camera and said, "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish." just before Khalid Sheikh Mohammed brutally hacked his head off in front of the whole world. …[T]en years after that horrific day, the memory of how Daniel Pearl was murdered still resonates in the hearts of many people.…Pearl was lured into his capture for one reason, he wanted to give the terrorists an opportunity to tell their side of the story–he was killed for one reason—he was a Jew

It is sad that Daniel Pearl's murder is relegated into the  deep crevices of our collective memories. It is also sad that many among us view the man who hacked of Pearl's head, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, as a martyr, [especially] by liberal Americans, because he was blind-folded and showered with water–they call that torture. They remember the killer's water boarding, but do not remember his act of brutally murdering this American, leaving his wife a widow and causing his son (who was born months after his death) to be born without his father.

I ask you…which…act was really torture, water boarding, or having ones head hacked off with a knife?  And by knife I do not mean the swift executioners blade, but literally cut off  with back and forth movements as one would slice off a piece of steak.   I also ask, was the…revelation of  soldiers possibly urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters anywhere as disrespectful as posting a video of Pearl's murder ending with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed holding up the young man's head in triumph?

Ten years after the death of Daniel Pearl, we should remember him as he lived, as a son, a husband, a future father and as something that rarely exists in today's world—a responsible journalist. (Top)


On Topic Links


Media-ocrities of the Week





In 1996, I, along with other Munich orphans and three of the widows… met with Alex Gilady. Gilady [an Israeli who] has been a member of the IOC’s Radio and Television Commission since 1984.  I have known Mr. Gilady since I was a kid; in fact, I grew up with his daughter…so we arrived with high hopes. Gilady informed us that a moment of silence was not possible because if the IOC had a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes, they would also have to do the same for the Palestinians who died at the Olympics in 1972. 

My mother said, “But no Palestinian athletes died.” Gilady responded, “Well, there were Palestinians who died at the 1972 Olympics.” I heard one of the widows say to Gilady, “Are you equating the murder of my husband to the terrorists that killed him?” Silence.


Then Ilana Romano burst out with a cry that has haunted me to this day. She screamed at Gilady, “How DARE you! You KNOW what they did to my husband! They let him lay there for hours, dying slowly, and then finished him off by castrating him and shoving it in his mouth, ALEX!” Without a hint of empathy, Gilady excused himself from our meeting.





On Friday, July 27, prior to the official opening of the 2012 London Olympic Games, the Lebanese judo team refused to practice next to the Israeli team and Olympic organizers. The organizers promptly placated the Lebanese team and set up a separation screen to split the gym in half. “We started to practice. They came and they saw us—they didn’t like it and they went to the organizers.” said a spokesman for Israel’s Olympic Committee, [This]. prompted [an] angry [response] from an Israeli official who said “What? they can’t see us, but they will smell us.”


One of the fundamental principles of “Olympism,” as outlined in the Olympic Charter, states:

“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.” ….Earlier in the week, when the IOC refused to include a moment of silence to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the terrorist murders of 11 Israeli Olympians, Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Federation, sent a letter to IOC chairman Jacques Rogge thanking him for his position, writing: “Sports is a bridge for love, connection and relaying peace between peoples. It should not be a factor for separation and spreading racism between peoples.” And yet “separating and spreading racism between peoples” is exactly what occurred in the practice center for the judo teams in London. (London Telegraph, Reuters & CAMERA alert, July 27& 30, 2012)


Weekly Quotes


“I believe that the enduring alliance between the State of Israel and the United States of America is more than a strategic alliance: It is a force for good in the world.”—U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in a foreign policy address in Jerusalem. In the speech, he also said, pointedly: “We cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel voice their criticisms. And we certainly should not join in that criticism. Diplomatic distance in public between our nations emboldens Israel’s adversaries.” (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 1, 2012)

‘‘As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, [actually $31,400, Ed.] and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, [actually $2,900, Ed.] you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,’’”And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things.”Mitt Romney at a fundraiser on his recent visit to Israel, much to the great chagrin of  Saeb Erekat, , a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who replied, ‘‘It is a racist statement and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation.’’ (Israel Hayom & Boston Globe, July 30 & 31, 2012)


“He [the Israeli] has stolen my culture, turned it into technology, burned my customs and traditions, and taken what I have, leaving me devoid of initiative.”—Ibrahim Al-Fani, an official at the Al-Quds Institute of Research and Documentation, in an interview on PA TV in December 2010,We must put together a cultural team and prevail over the Israelis in disseminating [our] culture, for they have no culture. You know that the Hebrew language is not [really] the Hebrew language, since it is taken from Aramaic. All the universities in the world know this. They stole the Aramaic language and codified it, and it became Hebrew. (cited in Israel Hayom, July 31, 2012)


“Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program. This must change, and it must change quickly because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.”—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem with visiting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at his side. “We will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Period …We will exert all options.” In an apparent nod to Netanyahu’s call for the U.S. to. couple sanctions with a more credible threat of military action. Panetta added that “We have to exhaust every option, every effort, before we resort to military action.” At the same time, Panetta made clear [that] Israel—and Israel alone—has the right to decide if and when to strike Iran if it believes its security is threatened, “We respect Israel’s sovereignty and their independence. And their effort to decide what is in their national security interest is something that must be left up to the Israelis,”(Wall Street Journal, Aug. 1, 2012)


“The [Syrian] government controls nothing any more, except through shelling and artillery,”—Abu Abdul Jabr  a bearded rebel leader and former interior decorator “They can make a massacre but that is it. He said he believed the fight for Aleppo would be finished by the end of Ramadan, the holy fasting month, in mid-August. “We have the resolution to fight. It means with us one month on the streets is equivalent to five years in military services. The troops don’t have the strength to match us and are defecting whenever they can.” (National Post, Aug. 1, 2012)


“I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East peace process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including (the) Israeli people.”—Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi Tuesday in a letter Israel said it had received.  Morsi’s spokesman Yasser Ali told Reuters “The letter that the media reported to have been sent from President Mursi to Israel was fake. President Mursi has not sent anything to Israel,”. An official from Peres’s office said the letter was authentic. “It was received by the Egyptian ambassador and handed over (to Peres’s office). The denial was to be expected, given the letter’s high publicity in Israeli and Egyptian media,” the official said (Boston Globe, July 30, 2012)

 “Israel is not a victim, and even when civilians are killed, the occupying Israeli policy is to blame.”MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) told Channel 10. Zoabi said on Thursday that Israeli policy was responsible for the terrorist attack that killed five Israelis in Bulgaria on July 18 “If there was no occupation, no repression and no blockade, then this wouldn’t have happened,” she said during an interview at Haifa’s Gordon College of Education. (Jerusalem Post, July 27, 2012)


“We carry a message of peace to the world.”—Mohamed Morsi in his inauguration speech as President-elect of Egypt, emphasizing “the state of Egypt’s commitment to international treaties and agreements.” Encouraging as these statements may be, the Post notes Morsi, as a candidate from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, may have some difficulty reconciling them with the tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood, as set forth by Mustafa Mashhur, Muslim Brotherhood leader from 1996 to 2002, in his book Jihad is the Way. In it he defines Israel and Israelis as “the criminal, thieving gangs of Zion,” and says “that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine… are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and the Muslims, and they can be resolved neither by negotiation nor by recognizing the enemy’s right to the Islamic land he stole.” (Jerusalem Post, July 31, 2012


“There’s a different leader in Syria now,” she explained. “Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he is a reformer.” Secretary of State HilaryClinton’s comments, from March 27, 2011, in response to CBS’s Bob Schieffer on why the U.S. was prepared to intervene against Moammar Gadhafi but not against Assad:  She “clarified” her comments a few days later when she said: “I referenced the opinions of others. That was not speaking either for myself or for the administration.” (Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2012)


“To the Jewish martyrs of the Vélodrome d’Hiver, we owe the truth about what happened 70 years ago,”—France’s President François Hollande said last Sunday at the site of the the Winter Velodrome arena from which Jews were deported in WWII, which was demolished long ago. “The truth is that the crime was committed in France, by France.” In publicly saying this, Hollande broke with his mentor and the hero of the French left, former French President François Mitterrand, who, refusing to acknowledge broad French responsibility for the operation said, in 1992 “Let us not ask for an accounting from the Republic.” (New York Times, July 29, 2012)


Short Takes


ISRAEL, PA REACH AGREEMENT ON TAXES AND TRANSFER OF GOODS—Several months of secret meetings between Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resulted in an agreement reached on Tuesday evening that Steinitz hailed as “an important step in strengthening the economic ties between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.” This will help foster trade between Israel and the PA, as well as to help strengthen the Palestinian tax system and…its financial base. Additionally, the agreement will enable both sides to more effectively fight smuggling and tax evasion. “The new arrangements are part of our overall stated policy to support the Palestinian society and to strengthen their economy,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Fayyad said that the agreements “will help to strengthen the economic base of the Palestinian Authority…also improve the economic relations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.” (Times of Israel, August 1, 2012)


ARCHIVES SHOW SOVIET MIDDLE EAST ROLE—Secret files from the former Soviet Union, known as the “Bukovsky archives” show that Cold War nuclear disarmament campaigns across Europe were largely funded by the Soviet bloc. “The money was channelled through communist parties or other pro-Soviet organizations. Baroness Catherine Ashton was the treasurer for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament from 1980 to 1982”. Highly secretive about its sources of funding, the CND refused to submit its accounts to independent audit. Finally forced to do so under enormous pressure, auditors discovered that 38 percent of their annual income was untraceable. “Will Howard, a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, was responsible for this part of the fund-raising.  Baroness Ashton is now the E.U. foreign policy chief, leading negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran. Whatever the outcome, we may surely thank the Kremlin for that, too.”
(Tablet, June 20, 2012)


GOLAN DRUSE MAN INDICTED FOR PASSING INFO TO SYRIA—A Druse resident of the Golan Heights was charged Monday with passing intelligence information on Israeli military positions to Syria. Earlier this month the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested Dr. Iad Johary, who admitted that between 2005 and 2008 he was in touch with various Syrian intelligence operatives while he was studying medicine in Syria. The Shin Bet said Johary admitted to providing information about the locations of IDF bases in the North, IDF training areas in the Golan Heights, IDF patrols along the Syrian border and security measures at the Kuneitra crossing He also identified residents of the Golan Heights who opposed the Syrian regime. (Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2012)


MUSLIM BROTHERS PLOTTING OVERTHROW OF GULF STATES—Dubai’s chief of police has warned of an “international plot” to overthrow the governments of Gulf Arab countries, saying the region needs to be prepared to counter any threat from Islamist dissidents as well as Syria and Iran. “There’s an international plot against Gulf states in particular and Arab countries in general…This is preplanned to take over our fortunes,” Chief Dahi Khalfan told reporters …”The brothers and their governments in Damascus and North Africa have to know that the Gulf is a red line, not only for Iran but also for the Brothers as well.”

(Jeruslaem Post, July 26, 2012)


ISRAELI SURGEONS FIX LATVIAN BOY’S RIGHT HAND—Kyril, a 12-year-old boy from Latvia whose congenital defect made it impossible for him to eat, scratch or do anything else with his right hand, is now able to function normally and return home, thanks to surgeons at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Kyril suffered from brachial plexus palsy, a defect that occurs in one in 3,000 to 5,000 births. The surgeon, Dr. Mark Edelman, head of the pediatric orthopedics department at Rambam, turned the boy’s wrist 65 degrees around and set it in its new location with six screws. (Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2012)


INDIA, US LEARNING FROM ISRAEL’S BORDER SECURITY—In August, a delegation from India will arrive to study the various technologies used by the IDF to secure the borders with the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Egypt, and which could be implemented as part of India’s own fence with Pakistan and Bangladesh. India is interested in beefing up its border security to prevent future incidents like the Mumbai attacks in 2008. Israel’s primary concern is with the growing number of terror attacks along the Egyptian border.  The US Department of Homeland Security is testing the ELM-2112 family of “persistent ground surveillance radars”, developed by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, and used by the IDF to detect intruders before they reach the border. Five different versions detect individuals at ranges from 300 m. up to 20 km., and vehicles at up to 40 km.  (Jerusalem Post, July 3, 2012


JEWISH GROUPS DEMAND ONTARIO BLOCK HATE RALLY—In an effort to stop an “anti-Semitic hate rally” from taking place on government land next month, two Canadian national Jewish organizations are lobbying Queen’s Park in Toronto. The International Day of Al-Quds, to be held on August 17 and 18, is a pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist day of protest initiated by Iran’s Grand Ayatollah in 1979. Events are planned for Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. “Speakers at last year’s Toronto event likened Israel to a cancer, waved yellow Hezbollah flags and hoisted images of Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian leader of the Islamic Revolution”. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs videotaped the protest and presented footage to Queen’s Park last month as evidence the group is spreading hate and shouldn’t have permission to protest there. (National Post, Aug. 1, 2012)





Baruch Cohen


Tisha B’av (The Ninth of Av) is the traditional day of mourning for the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Today, our enemies are calling again for the destruction of our Temple, Israel’s Capital, the Capital of the Jewish People: Jerusalem.


We, today’s Jews, must not forget or ignore the ongoing calls to destroy Israel and Jerusalem. Tisha B’av must be a clear reminder; we must alert our people, and the world, to the real danger which the State of Israel faces.


Tisha B’av recalls the terrible price, the enormous sacrifices, paid during our history, for our existence as Am Israel, and for the State of Israel. Today, Am Israel Chai, the people of Israel Lives!


Zionism, more than any other movement in our modern history, has successfully brought us together—Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, socialist, liberal, right-winger, left-winger. We are Am Ehad, one people, and we have One Israel, One State.


Strong, and always united, together, under one indestructible Rock, one flag, one unique banner of Zionism: we are the People of Israel, the State of Israel.


Am Israel Chai!


Long live the Eternal People and the State of Israel!


(Baruch Cohen is Research Chairman at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.)


[In a sad Tisha B’Av moment the London Olympics
begin without recognizing Israel’s 1972 martyrs—Ed


David Roumani

Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2012


As this year’s Israeli delegation [of Olympic athletes] prepares to head to London to compete in the 2012 Olympics, [they] will surely remember the courageous athletes from the ‘72 Munich Games.

An event that took place Tuesday evening [July 17] in Talpiyot shed light on what the Olympics represent.

“The Olympics are a symbol of freedom and peace between nations” said Dan Alon, an Olympic Fencer from the ‘72 Israeli delegation, to a large crowd at the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel (AACI).

Alon, a survivor of the Munich Massacre, is featured in the documentary “The Eleventh Day: The Survivors of Munich ‘72”

Alon began fencing when he was only twelve years old and quickly made a name for himself, earning bragging rights as Israel’s Junior Champion, and following national service, Israeli’s National Champion.

Born in Tel Aviv, Dan, like many other athletes today, had a singular dream—to participate in the Olympics.

Dan spoke to the crowd about his own experiences at the Olympics, and recounted the horrific events that occurred.

Weightlifters, Moshe Weinstein, and Joseph Romano, both whom Alon called, “Tremendous human beings, and very dedicated athletes,” tried to fight off the terrorists, and as a result lost their lives.…

For the Israeli delegation, the Olympics wasn’t just a competition, it was a chance to show the world that the nation of Israel was thriving. Alon expressed that being the first Israeli team to compete since World War II was a once in a lifetime opportunity “to show the world, that we are here, and still alive!”…

Athletics competitions are decided by mere milliseconds of a difference. A few milliseconds was the difference that some of the Israeli Olympians had, to try and save their teammates.

Though the games continued after the terrible massacre, according to Alon, “some of the players from various countries decided that in light of what had happened, they would pack their bags and return home—for this I applaud them.”

For Alon, and other Israeli Olympians, one of the most important aspects of the Olympics is that they know the people of Israel will always be by their side. Some of the pain and suffering he felt returning to Israel after the massacre was alleviated when he stepped off the plane.

“When we land[ed] at the airport, and I [saw] these beautiful Israeli people, waiting for us—thousands of them, it was something I will never forget.”

(Dan Alon was CIJR’s special guest at the Institute’s 2006 Annual Gala celebration)

Abraham Cooper

National Post  Jul 27, 2012

I remember that sunny summer afternoon in 1984, standing on Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles, transfixed as the Olympic Flame passed by, on the final leg of its international journey. It was making its way from the Santa Monica Pier (carried there by, you guessed it, former USC great O.J. Simpson) en route to the 1960 Decathlon Gold Medalist, Rafer Johnson, who would ascend the stairs of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and rekindle the flame on the site of the 1932 Games.

It was an exciting moment for everyone in our neighborhood, young and old. Truth be told, that Torch symbolizes everything that is great about the Olympics. But even before the opening ceremonies, controversies enveloped the 1984 Games.

For one thing, there was the tit-for-tat Soviet-led 14-nation boycott in response to the U.S.-led boycott of the 1980 Games over the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. … And there was the refusal of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to honor 11 Israeli athletes brutally murdered during the 1972 Munich Games by Palestinian terrorists. It was just one of the many opportunities for the IOC to address the pain of the families of the slain athletes and to correct its disgusting behavior in Munich, when it initially refused to delay the games even for an hour when the atrocity came to its ignoble end on a nearby military airfield.…

Given what happened in 1984, it came as no surprise that this year, the IOC is shamelessly refusing Barack Obama’s request and those of decent people everywhere to invest in a moment of silence at the Games in London for those 11 souls. In doing so, today’s IOC leadership displays a remarkable continuity with immoral decisions of the past. At the 1936 Munich Games, for instance, the IOC delivered on a golden platter what Adolph Hitler desired: international legitimacy despite his regime’s barbaric anti-Jewish racist laws.

What purpose would a moment of silence at the 2012 London Games serve? It would send a message that, at the Olympics at least, it is not geopolitical business as usual; that the memory of murdered Israeli athletes would be as valued as other Olympians who died; and that the Olympics would not cave to a two-tiered system, driven by Arab and Muslim nations.

So this year, since the spineless IOC President won’t, we will join NBC’s Bob Costas’ for an on-air minute of silence, and suggest we all add a second Minute of Silence—for the death of the Olympics Flames’ promise of a level moral playing field for all.

David Feith

Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2012

What are the Olympics for? Awesome displays of physical ability, mainly, but with a heavy helping of politics—from mere kumbaya globalism to notorious whitewashes of Nazism and Communism. On rare occasion, though, the Games inspire displays of sound political judgment. This year’s first medalist in that category is television anchor Bob Costas.

The NBC veteran has revealed that his broadcast of the July 27 opening ceremony will include a minute of silence for the 11 Israeli Olympians murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Games 40 years ago—a minute of silence that the International Olympic Committee has refused to arrange on its own. Mr. Costas explained to Hollywood Reporter magazine: “I intend to note that the IOC denied the request. Many people find that denial more than puzzling but insensitive.” So he’ll tell viewers “here’s a minute of silence right now.” Judging from the 2008 ceremony, 35 million Americans could be watching.

Mr. Costas is hardly alone in finding the Munich killings worthy of commemoration. Others who have spoken up include President Barack Obama (“absolutely,” the White House said Thursday), all U.S. senators, every Australian and Canadian parliamentarian, Germany’s foreign minister and some 100,000 online petitioners. But none has shaken the IOC from its decades-long refusal—and none has Mr. Costas’s opportunity to impose an unofficial but almost uniquely high-profile minute of silence.

The IOC, for its part, contends that it is simply upholding Olympic tradition. “The [slain athletes’] families were repeatedly told by long-time IOC President Juan Samaranch that the Olympic movement avoided political issues,” historian Deborah Lipstadt wrote in Tablet magazine this week. “He seemed to have forgotten that at the 1996 opening ceremony he spoke about the Bosnian war. Politics were also present at the 2002 games, which opened with a minute of silence for the victims of 9/11.”…

To be sure, the IOC is upholding tradition in treating the Munich massacre as a mild nuisance best forgotten. This tradition dates back to the day of the attack, when officials agreed to suspend competition only after an international outcry, nearly 12 hours after the Israelis were first killed or taken hostage. “The Games must go on,” IOC President Avery Brundage said the next day, and countries’ flags weren’t to be flown at half-mast because 10 Arab nations had objected. Ever since, the case against a minute of silence has rested largely on fears of an Arab boycott.…

The Munich attack was an unprecedented media event—likely more so than its perpetrators could have even dreamed, as it unfolded over almost 24 hours of live television. It ended with now-famous words from Jim McKay of ABC news: “Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They’ve now said that there were 11 hostages—two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight. They’re all gone.”

Before his death in 2008, McKay spoke frequently about Munich, sometimes alongside relatives of the slain athletes. (“That day was the end of innocence in sports,” he wrote in 2002.) Now Bob Costas takes up McKay’s admirable tradition—before tens of millions of TV viewers.

Jose Maria Aznar

Times of London, July 24, 2012

When we are about to mark the 40th anniversary of the terrorist attacks at the Olympic Village in Munich, in which 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists, it is a real paradox to see Israel excluded from the first meeting of the Global Counter-terrorism Forum.

This initiative, led by the United States and attended by 29 countries and the European Union, took place last month in an effort to improve the co-ordination of counter-terrorism policies at global level. Why wasn’t Israel invited? The meeting was held in Istanbul and no one wanted to “provoke” the host, the Islamist Government of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Worse still, in July, the forum organised its first victims-of-terrorism meeting. Not only was Israel excluded, but Israeli victims had no place in its official speeches. When we see deadly terrorist attacks such as the recent one in Bulgaria, targeting tourists simply because they were Israeli, the marginalisation of Israel is totally unacceptable.

As a terrorism victim myself, who was fortunate to survive a car-bomb attack, I cannot understand or justify the marginalisation of other terrorist victims just for political reasons. If we extrapolate Israel’s experience of slaughter to Britain, it would mean that in the past 12 years about 11,000 British citizens would have died and 60,000 would have been injured in terrorist attacks. In the case of the United States, the figures would be 65,000 dead and 300,000 injured. Israel’s ordeal is far from insignificant.

It is even more poignant if one considers Israel’s willingness to face up to terrorism and the practical experience that it has acquired to defeat it. Israel has much to contribute in this area and everyone else has a lot to learn if we really want to defeat the terrorists.

Fiamma Nirenstein, the vice-president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies (and a member of the Friends of Israel Initiative) has made a proposal that is as fair as it is attractive—to hold a moment of silence at the London Olympics in memory of the 1972 massacre. Remembering is important, first, because of the victims, but also because many Europeans adopted the wrong attitude towards Palestinian terrorism after the Munich attack. The culprits who were arrested were later quietly released for fear of further attacks. And because of that initial fear the terrorists knew how to take advantage of the situation and to press for more rewards.

I have experienced terrorism at first hand. Many of my friends and some political colleagues have been killed by terrorists whose only merit was to have a hood, a gun or a bomb. Nonetheless, even in the most difficult times, I have always believed that weakness and appeasement are the wrong choices. Terrorism is not a natural phenomenon; it doesn’t happen spontaneously; its not something ethereal. It can and must be fought using all the tools provided by the law and democracy—and most importantly, it can be defeated if there is the will to defeat it. Israel has provided ample proof that it possesses that will, since its own existence is at stake.

To marginalise or isolate Israel to avoid irritating Turkey is a big mistake.…Isolation not only renders Israel weaker against its enemies, but also makes all Westerners weaker. And the practitioners of terrorism know all too well how to exploit our differences.

Remembering Munich 40 years on should be a useful reminder of our successes and failures. It should help us to enhance our collective abilities to fight terrorism. Israel is key in this fight. Israel is a part of the West. Israel is not the problem; it is part of the solution. We will become the problem if we continue to cold-shoulder Israel, the country most affected by terrorism and, possibly, the one that knows best how to defeat it.

(Jose Maria Aznar was Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004
and is chairman of the Friends of Israel Initiative.)

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein

Jerusalem Post, July 26, 2012

…As the nations of the world gather for the Olympic Games, flags wave proudly in the wind, representing the more than 200 participating countries. Every flag represents a country marked by borders which determine the athletes’ nationality.…

What makes these nations different? Who drew up these borders in the first place? They were drawn up arbitrarily by force of circumstances; is that enough to form nationhood? Evidently, it is: So much hinges on a border, which is merely an imperfectly—and often capriciously—drawn line.…

Among the many national flags at the Olympic Games, there is one that represents the most ancient of the nations, the only one which exists with its original land, language, religion and values as it had when it was born thousands of years ago: Israel. It is also the only country on earth whose original borders are not artificially nor arbitrarily created by human beings but delineated clearly in the Bible, a book which came into the world more than 3,330 years ago, authored by G-d Himself. As the Torah states (Numbers 34:1-12): “G-d spoke to Moshe saying… This is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance… Your southern border shall be from the edge of the Dead Sea to the east…

“The border shall go around from Atzmon to the stream of Egypt. The western border shall be for you the Mediterranean Sea… This shall be for you the northern border… The border shall descend and extend to the bank of the Kinneret Sea to the east.

“The border shall descend to the Jordan [River], and its outskirts shall be the Dead Sea…”

In 1947, the United Nations allocated a much smaller portion within these borders as the area for the modern State of Israel. Since the Six Day War many countries have declared Israel’s presence in the West Bank an “illegal occupation.”…

How is it possible that the only nation in the world whose borders are not arbitrary, and who has an ancient, unbroken connection to its land is accused of illegal occupation? It is a particularly bitter irony when young nations of the world, barely a hundred years old themselves, accuse the oldest nation of all of colonialism, and deny its right to exist within its ancient borders.…

The audacity of those who contest Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is historically bizarre and unconscionable. Three thousand years ago the great capitals of today did not even exist; there was no London, Paris, Washington or Moscow—but Jerusalem was a Jewish city, and it was the capital of the Jewish state. Since the Roman conquest of Israel about 2,000 years ago, Jews mention the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple at every wedding and funeral… in every prayer service and every time we say Grace after Meals. If Jerusalem is not the capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish state, then the very concept of a capital city has no meaning.

The Olympic Games officially open on the 27th of July. It is remarkable that on the Jewish calendar this date corresponds to Tisha B’av—the very day which, more than any other, demonstrates the eternal Jewish connection to Jerusalem and Israel. It is the fast day on which we mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple some 2,500 years and then again, almost 2,000 years ago.…

It is not only a day of sorrow, but also of repentance and reconnection with the Divine moral mission and destiny of the Jewish People. There is a well-known legend of Napoleon Bonaparte walking into a dimly lit synagogue on Tisha Be’av night. He asked why the congregants were sitting on the floor… mourning the destruction of Jerusalem and their Temple some 1,800 years before. Reportedly, Napoleon then said that a nation which remembers and is connected to its historic mission and destiny in such a way will one day regain its land, Jerusalem and its Temple.

Perhaps this year the kings, presidents and world leaders gathered in London for the Olympic Games will follow in the footsteps of Napoleon and find a synagogue to enter on Tisha B’av. Maybe then they will finally appreciate the eternal Jewish connection to Israel, Jerusalem and the values of the Torah…that [have] sustained the oldest, most resilient and ever-vital nation on earth, which has seen so many others burst onto the stage of history only to disappear forever. Maybe then they too will glimpse the truth of the world’s eternal nation.

(Warren Goldstein is chief rabbi of South Africa.)