(LONDON) — At the opening ceremonies of this year’s Summer Olympics in London, the Israeli government wants everyone to observe a minute of silence for its 11 athletes and coaches slain during the 1972 Olympic by Palestinian terrorists.
However, the International Olympic Committee has said no to the request.
Even while saying the IOC “sympathizes with the victims’ families and understands their lasting pain,” President Jacques Rogge told the deputy foreign minister of Israel, Danny Ayalon, that the Olympics “has officially paid tribute to the memory of the athletes on several occasions and will continue to do so in close coordination with the National Olympic Committee of Israel.”
Ayalon made the proposal on behalf of widows of two of the slain athletes, who’ve urged the IOC to observe a minute of silence for the dead Israelis since the attack 40 years ago.
The Israeli official called Rogge’s response “unacceptable,” adding, “The terrorist murders of the Israeli athletes were not just an attack on people because of their nationality and religion; it was an attack on the Olympic Games and the international community.”
Two New York Democratic lawmakers, Eliot L. Engel and Nita M. Lowey, also requested Rogge to commemorate the anniversary of the slayings with respectful silence.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN