This year marks the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 members of the Israeli delegation to the Olympic Games in Munich by Palestinian terrorists of the “Black September” faction. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected pleas by the families of the victims, and supporters worldwide, to include a memorial as part of the opening ceremonies for the games in London. It was only one of many affronts to Israel at the games–as well as to common sense, and the “Olympic spirit.”
The same IOC that rejected a memorial for the Munich victims included moments of silence for the victims of war, as well as for the 7/7 terror attacks in Britain in 2005 (a memorial that NBC failed to air). Yet somehow the IOC could not find thirty seconds for the victims of an atrocity directly connected with the Games themselves. The true motive was confirmed by news of an effusive letter from the Palestinian Authority to IOC president Jacques Rogge, thanking him for rejecting the Israeli request. Palestinians regard the Black September murderers as heroes, and the IOC feared to provoke them or supporters within the Arab world.
In a further insult, the IOC bowed to a request by the Lebanese delegation to have a screen erected between its judo team and the Israeli team so that they would not have to share the same practice mat as the Israelis.
And the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), providing coverage of events in London worldwide, is refusing to identify Jerusalem as its capital in its broadcasts, prompting protests from the Israeli government. Recently, a BBC anchor also referred to the terror attack in Bulgaria that left five Israelis dead and many more injured as an “accident.”
What we are witnessing is the continued hostility towards Israel–and Jews–in international institutions under pressure from the Arab-Islamic bloc of nations (and within elite British officialdom as well). It is a disgrace–and all the more shocking as it reprises the international isolation of the Jewish people in the 1930s. Jews were allowed to compete–barely–in the Munich games in 1936, but within a few years the Evian conference on refugees made it clear that the world was prepared to look the other way. The attitude of the IOC and the BBC towards Israel are a sign that the world may be headed back in the wrong direction.