julio 28, 2012

Shame on you, Jacques Rogge! An open letter

July 27, 2012


Mr. Jacques Rogge
President
International Olympic Committee


Dear Mr. Rogge:

 I was happy to read that, as a young man, you were able to compete in the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics representing your country, Belgium. That luxury, unfortunately, was not afforded to the five Israeli athletes, four coaches, and two referees who were murdered in cold blood by a terrorist Palestinian cell between 5 and 6 September, 1972, at the Olympic Village in Munich. That is, during the second week of your second Olympic Games as a yachtsman. While you had the option to enjoy the remainder of the 1972 games –I have a feeling you did –, and had another shot at Olympic glory in Montreal ’76, the only option these eleven Israeli men had was to return home in wooden coffins wrapped in the glorious flag of their country.


I don’t have to tell you about the circumstances of their deaths. A terrorist commando of the Palestinian Black September (indeed it was) organization. I am sure by now, as you have this letter read to you by one of your many assistants, all you hear is blah, blah, blah. But please think about the fatherless children, the young widows, the inconsolable parents, the broken dreams, the unrealized potential…

Forty years have passed since Moshe, and Yossef, and Ze’ev, and David, and Yakov, and Eliezer, and Yossef, and Kehat, and Mark, and Andre and Amitzur were killed, and the IOC – which you preside since 2001 – has done absolutely nothing to honor these men. They came to Germany to celebrate the Olympic ideal with the rest of the world, only to have their lives cut short for the only reason that they were both Jewish and Israeli. Not a single minute devoted to them, not a single gesture made during any of the nine Games that have taken place since. And none will be made in London, thank YOU very much, the tenth time the IOC will have missed the opportunity to recognize these eleven sportsmen that didn’t deserve the cruel fate that awaited them at the Olympic village.

Excuse me, Mr. Rogge, if I am led to believe that this lack of respect and care for the memory of the only athletes ever to have been murdered during the course of an Olympic Games in modern times is exactly the same reason they were murdered in the first place. You call it what you want. In my book, that is plain and blatant anti-Semitism.

Your shameful attempt at sidestepping the worldwide cry for a minute of silence to be observed during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics by giving an impromptu speech before a handful of journalists and IOC personnel last week, was nothing but a thumbing of the nose at the memory of the Munich 11.

Your argument that holding a minute of silence in their honor at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Games could prove divisive and thus contrary to the Olympic spirit of fraternity, only shows that you are a spineless bureaucrat who knows not the difference between good and evil, between decency and pandering to the whims of those who make a habit of disrespecting the Olympic ideal and the sanctity of human life. Please do the sports world a favor, and have the decency of relinquishing your post as President of the IOC.

Sincerely,

A very disappointed sports fan from Costa Rica,  

Eli Feinzaig

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