Washington, DC -- The House Committee on Foreign Affairs today adopted a resolution sponsored by Reps. Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey calling on the International Olympic Committee to hold a minute of silence to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the terrorist murder of 11 Israeli Olympians at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Reps. Engel and Lowey released the following statement:
“Forty years after a terrorist attack that reverberated far beyond the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee has a moral responsibility to commemorate the Israeli athletes and coaches who died. We’re not asking for a gold medal – just a minute of silence. We are pleased the Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed this resolution, and we are hopeful the full House will do the same.
“The Munich 11 were part of the Olympic family, and IOC’s rejection thus far of a minute of silence is unacceptable. We intend to put the U.S. Congress on record that those who died deserve to be remembered in a respectful manner to mark this anniversary. The Olympics provide a unique opportunity to send a message that can literally reach billions of people in every corner of the globe. ”
Family members of victims of the 1972 Munich massacre, like Ankie Spitzer, and community organizations like the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Rockland launched an online petition urging the IOC to honor the victims with a minute of silence at the opening ceremonies during this summer’s Olympics in London. So far more than 68,000 people have signed it.
Rep. Engel is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. Rep. Lowey is the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.