Sixty seconds

22 July 2012

There is still time

When the Israeli Olympic delegation enters the stadium,
they should stop dead in their tracks and stand silently for exactly one minute.

All opponents of terrorism should join them.

Much as I would like to claim it, this is not my original idea. I heard it first from the excellent Elder of Ziyon who seemingly was inspired by Bob Costas’ minute of silence for the Olympics.

Pros and cons

The I.O.C. could choose to ignore it which would probably lead to a massive traffic pile-up as the Italian and Ivorian teams crash into the stationary Israelis, making for a memorable opening. The I.O.C. could avoid this by a brief announcement flashed on the screens explaining what is happening. Seb Coe could run 5000m in 14:06.2 he can wait a minute for his speech.

The spectators could choose to stand up in silence which I would certainly do if I was there, which is one reason this is an action item so as many as possible know about this in advance. Some would choose to heckle which undoubtably would cause the cameras to zoom in on them and their national flags. Who stands in silence and who doesn’t would be good indication of who opposes and who supports terrorism.

Israel would be criticised for bringing politics into the ‘holy’ non political gamesa as if the Palestinian terrorists hadn’t. Anyone who knows anything about the Modern Olympics would sneer at the idea that politics weren’ t part of them and in any case not giving the Israeli athletes the minute’s respect is just as political. Perhaps we could agree on a compromise? One minute’s silence for the murdered athletes and one minute’ s thanksgiving for the Palestinian, without whom we wouldn’t be protected by those thousands of soldiers, police and G4S contractactors.

The broadcasters reactions would be interesting. We can count on much of the Arab/Muslim world to cut to a commercial break but they would do so anyway when the Israeli team enters. It’s the other broadcasters who are most interesting. Yet another reason to make sure that if the Israelis stop for one minute’s respect it should be no surprise.

In theory, the IOC ‘police’ could rush in to bundle the Israeli out of the arena, as they would for any streaker or other disruptor. Could we persuade them to try?  That more than anything would imprint the Israeli action in the minds of two billion viewers.

Even at this late stage, the threat that Israel might take this action might be enough to persuade the International Olympic Committee to take the steps they should have done forty years ago.

Sports of the fallen Israeli athletes†

Action item:

  • Spread the message far and wide. Encorage the Israeli team to take this action and make sure it is no surprise if they do.
  • Join One Minute for Munich minuteformunich.org (Facebook) Friday 27th July 10:45 am (GMT) – short service 11 am – minute of silence.
One Minute for Munich

Prayer to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the massacre at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich

Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Lord Sacks

Almighty God:

We, the members of this holy congregation,

Together with members of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth,

Join our prayers to the prayers of others throughout the world,

In remembrance of the eleven Israeli athletes

Brutally murdered in an act of terrorism,

At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich,

Because they were Israelis,

Because they were Jews.

At this time in the Jewish year,

When we remember the destructions of our holy Temples,

And the many tragedies that have befallen our people throughout history,

We mourn their loss

And continue to protest against those who hate our people.

We pray to You, O God:

Comfort the families and friends of the Israeli athletes who continue to grieve

And grant eternal life to those so cruelly robbed of life on earth.

Just as we are united in grief,

Help us stay united in hope.

As we comfort one another under the shadow of death,

Help us strengthen one another in honouring life.

The Olympic message is one of peace, of harmony and of unity,

Teach us, Almighty God, to bring reconciliation and respect between faiths,

As we pray for the peace of Israel,

And for the peace of the world.

May this be Your will and let us say: Amen


†List of fatalities

  • Moshe Weinberg (wrestling coach)
  • Yossef Romano (weightlifter)
  •  Ze’ev Friedman (weightlifter)
  • David Berger (weightlifter)
  • Yakov Springer (weightlifting judge)
  • Eliezer Halfin (wrestler)
  • Yossef Gutfreund (wrestling referee)
  • Kehat Shorr (shooting coach)
  • Mark Slavin (wrestler)
  • Andre Spitzer (fencing coach)
  • Amitzur Shapira (track coach)
  • We must not forget Anton Fliegerbauer (German police officer)

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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