On behalf of Anglican Friends of Israel and our Christian constituency I would like to thank the Zionist Federation of Great Britain for holding a very poignant commemoration this morning for the 11 Israeli athletes murdered in Munich in 1972.
A 15-minute webcast from the Israeli Embassy provided the focal point. Memorial prayers and the lighting of candles preceded a minute’s silence. ZF Chairman Harvey Rose was joined by the Israeli Ambassador H.E. Daniel Taub and representatives of Jewish and Christian faiths. Jacob Vince (Chief Executive of Christian Friends of Israel, UK) eloquently summarised the feeling of hurt and disappointment caused by the IOC’s (International Olympic Committee) rejection of calls to officially commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.
Executive Director of the ZF Alan Aziz said:
We believe it is wrong that the IOC refuses to commemorate the Munich massacre at the Opening Ceremony,
We must not let people forget and the groundswell of support that our campaign has received has demonstrated that not only do people remember the horrific events of Munich, but they also understand the importance of remembering it and the innocent victims of that fateful day.
20,000 are reported to have marked the minute’s silence across London, with hundreds joining together in solemnity in Trafalgar Square.
As anticipation builds towards this evening’s opening ceremony there is a sense of national pride and collective hope. There is also disappointment and shame over the IOC’s incomprehensible obduracy.
Steve Nimmons, Community Relations Director, Anglican Friends of Israel.