Tag: 2012 Olympics

ZACHOR, REMEMBER! IOC IGNORES MURDERED JEWISH OLYMPIANS, WORLD FORGETS PEARL MURDER

 

 

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."

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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.
 
Sincerely,
Irwin Cotler, P.C., O.C., M.P.
Former Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada
Professor of Law (Emeritus), McGill University.
(Top)

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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….
(Top)

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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)

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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)

 

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