Friday, July 20, 2012

Waiting for Silence

On the 5th of September, a little before 5am, 8 terrorists stormed the dorms of the Israeli athletes in Munich.  They took the Israeli Olympic team hostage, demanding the release of 234 prisoners being held in Israeli jails.  The kidnapping resulted in the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches.  It remains one of the lowest moments in modern Jewish history.

That was 40 years ago.  Next Friday evening the Games of the 30th Olympiad will begin in London.  40 years and 10 Olympics after the Munich Massacre, and the International Olympic Committee refuses to observe a minute of silence in memory of the Israeli team of 1972.  They claim that the 21 Arab nations who participate in the games would refuse to participate if there was a memorial for Israelis.  So 40 years ago 8 terrorists held 11 people hostage.  Today, 21 nations are holding Israel hostage.  It is a shame and an embarrassment to the world that they are allowed such power.

According to the IOC’s web site, the very first listed responsibility of the IOC is: “To encourage and support the promotion of ethics in sport…and to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that, in sport, the spirit of fair play prevails and violence is banned.”

What greater ethics is there than to band together to decry the violence that they would ban from the Olympics?  Or do they limit their ethics and their view of violence to the sports field and not to the real world?

What makes this even more tragic is that the Olympics this year begins on the 9th of Av, Tisha B’Av, the Jewish day of mourning and memory.  It is an opportune moment to show global solidarity and respect for human life.  So that is exactly what we will do at Temple Sinai.

Next Saturday morning at the end of Shabbat services we will hold a mini-Yizkor service in memory of the victims of the attack on the 1972 Olympics.  We will be more than just silent.  We will raise our voices in prayer and in memory.

Meanwhile, please take the time to sign thepetition to the IOC in hopes that they change their mind.

No comments: