The 2012 Olympics will mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre in which 11 Israelis participating in the games lost their lives to a terrorist organization known as Black September. Surprisingly, ever since the incident, no Olympic event that followed ever held a moment of silence for the victims.
While many have lobbied for the International Olympic Committee to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremony, the IOC has refused and refused to budge on its stance. For the 2012 Olympics, both President Obama and Senator Hilary Clinton as well as other world leaders have all spoke in favor of having the moment of silence. So far, though, the IOC has showed no signs of relenting.
It is suspected that the IOC refuses to hold a moment of silence out of fear of offending Muslim nations. In fact, Jibril Rajoub, who is the chairman for the Palestinian Olympic Committee, sent a personal letter to the IOC praising and thanking the members of the board for making the decision not to commemorate the fallen Israeli athletes. He also added that allowing such a moment to proceed will only lead to divisiveness and racism.
The widows of two of the Israeli athletes who lost their lives that day are now calling for audience members to stage a peaceful and silent protest during the opening ceremony. They are asking for the spectators to remain silent when IOC president Jacques Rogge speaks at the ceremony.
While the IOC has commemorated the victims in other ways, families of the victims feel that the only true way to remember them is by having a moment of silence during the actual opening ceremony. Even with a petition of over 100,000 signatures requesting for the minute of silence, the IOC has already made it clear that no such moment will be held.