Israel’s 1972 Munich Massacre Victims Remembered at Tokyo Olympics

Stand for Israel  |  July 23, 2021

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Forty-nine years ago at the Munich Olympics, Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes. And now, all these decades later, the Israelis who were lost have at last been remembered by the world. The Times of Israel reports that, as the Tokyo Olympic Games opened, a moment of silence was held – for the first time since the 1972 attack – for the victims of the Munich Massacre:

Forty-nine years after the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, Friday’s opening ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics included, for the first time, an official commemoration of those who died in the terror attack.

Tributes were paid to those lost during the pandemic and throughout Olympic history. The Israeli delegation that was killed at the Munich Games was specifically mentioned. A moment of silence was offered inside the stadium, alongside a dance performance honoring the dead.

“In particular we remember those who lost their lives during the Olympic games,” the announcer said. “One group still holds a strong place in all our memories and stands for all of those we have lost at the games: the members of the Israel delegation at the Olympic Games Munich 1972…”

Families of the Munich victims have campaigned for years for greater public recognition for the dead from the International Olympic Committee. The IOC faced criticism for refusing to hold a moment of silence for the Israeli victims during the opening of the 2012 London Games, 40 years after the attack.

Widows Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano were at Friday’s ceremony.

“Finally there is justice for the husbands, sons and fathers murdered at Munich,” the two said in a joint statement. “We went through 49 years of struggle and never gave up. [We] cannot hold back our tears. This is the moment we’ve waited for…”

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