Local Pols Honor Israeli Olympic Athletes

The International Olympic Committee is still steadfastly refusing to give into pressure — from sources as high as the White House — to honor the 11 slain Israeli athletes of the 1972 Munich Olympics during the games. (A small pre-games ceremony was held Monday.)

But local politicians are keeping up the pressure.  Manhattan Borough President  Scott M. Stringer, Reps. Jerrold NadlerNita LoweyEliot L. Engel, and Steve Israel have launched a petition drive at remembermunich.org. A spokeswoman for Stringer said the petition garnered 1,000 signatures on its first night.

"The IOC’s decision to observe a moment of silence this week on behalf of the fallen Israeli athletes, while respectful, is clearly insufficient," Stringer said in a statement. "On this 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre, the only appropriate way to honor and mourn those who died is on a truly global stage during the Opening or Closing Ceremonies—not at the tail end of a tour of the Olympic Village or behind closed doors at private receptions in London." 

And in the New York City Council Wednesday, Speaker Christine Quinn paused the regularly scheduled meeting to remember the athletes. You can watch the video here, in which Quinn, who was 6 at the time of the events, says she can clearly remember the moment sportscaster Jim McKay announced that "they are all gone."

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.