The 11 Israeli athletes massacred by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics should be honoured by a minute’s silence in Rio this year, according to one of Britain’s leading Paralympic competitors.
Ade Adepitan (pictured above), who was awarded an MBE for his services to disability sport, told the Jewish News: “It was an atrocity which was committed in the Olympic Village, and of course that’s how we should remember and commemorate within the Olympic world”.
His call is not without precedent. The UK Jewish community lobbied hard for a minute’s silence to be included at the London Games in 2012 without success. A petition for such a tribute gained more than 80,000 signatures but the plea was still not granted.
Proponents were keen for the world to remember the horrific acts of violence visited on the Israeli team in the Olympic Village in Munich.
The terrorist group Black September committed the crime and held nine team members hostage for nearly a day. The hostages as well as all but three of the terrorists were killed during a botched rescue operation at a nearby airport, where the hostages were taken to be flown to an unnamed Arab country. The episode inspired a number of dramatizations, including the 2005 Steven Spielberg film “Munich.”
Now the focus for remembrance is switching to the Rio Games that start on August 5.
Mr Adepitan, a wheelchair basketball medallist (at the Athens Games and the Paralympic World Cup) was one of two guest speakers at the annual dinner held by the UK Friends of Yad Sarah, the Israeli charity whose principal work lies in lending wheelchairs and crutches to those in need.
It is estimated that one in every two Israeli families has used Yad Sarah’s services, and fundraising at the dinner went towards buying an additional 3,000 wheelchairs.
According to the Jewish News, Mr Adepitan, who is also a TV presenter who has anchored numerous programmes on the BBC and Channel 4 about disabled sport, spoke passionately about the difference that a wheelchair had made to his life.
He said he was “honoured” to be addressing the charity, particularly after listening to the other guest speaker, Dan Alon. Mr Alon is a former Israeli fencer who was one of the very few to escape when Palestinian terrorists stormed the Munich Olympic Village.
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