Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian Authority Minister for Sport, wrote a letter to IOC head Jacques Rogge thanking him for not caving to demands for a minute of silence at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, saying that “sports are meant for peace, not for racism… Sports are a bridge to love, interconnection, and spreading of peace among nations; it must not be a cause of division and spreading of racism” (translation by Palestine Media Watch).
Rajoub also called the failure of the campaign a “victory for Sports freedom” and claimed that the opening ceremony was “not a suitable place for the revival of these kind of events” (translations based on Google translate).
How on earth a memorial for the victims of what must be the worst terrorist atrocity in the history of the Olympics could be viewed as racist is completely beyond me. I would think that it makes a far better explanation for there not being one. Having said that I am sure that the Guardian will have a go at explaining it to those of us who can’t quite see the logic.
It would seem that if there is going to be peace spreading through the Middle East it isn’t going to come through sports!
This actually could have provided an opportunity for both Palestinians and Israelis to come together to remember how bad things once were and to ensure that they don’t go that way again. It appears that the PA leadership is just so entrenched in the world of Intifadas and ‘resistance’ to Israel that they are unable to make the switch towards cooperation of any kind.
In order for the lives of Palestinians to improve the PA needs to cooperate with Israel, in order to ensure the end of settlements, the removal of checkpoints and guarantee Palestinian freedom of movement the PA simply HAS to work with Israel and yet it seems that they are more interested in inciting their own population (and others for that matter) against absolutely anything Israeli.
I can’t see how a minute of silence would in any way have hurt Palestinians or their objectives for statehood and yet still the PA felt the need to get involved. I would have thought that it being a Palestinan terror group that was responsible for the massacre in the first place would have ensured that they might want to keep a low profile…I guess I was wrong!
Having said that I doubt anyone is surprised by this latest outburst from the PA.
Demands for some official recognition for the victims of the massacre held at the 1972 Munich Olympics have been steadily gaining in volume until reaching a crescendo in recent days.
There has never been an official Olympic ceremony in memory of the Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago.