Parliament on Wednesday held a minute of silence for the first time in more than a decade, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.
Around 15 MPs present stood in silence to mark the Munich Massacre, at the end of a 90-minute private members' debate on the subject in Westminster Hall. The silence is the first in Parliament since the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in London and was granted by the chairwoman after a request by the Conservative MP for Harrow East, Bob Blackman.
Blackman, who helped to secure the debate, described the failure of the International Olympic Committee to hold a tribute for the victims at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics this year as "shameful." "It was right that we remembered the victims of two world wars and the 7/7 terrorist attack at the ceremony," he said. "The one area which was not mentioned was the darkest hour of the Olympic movement, namely the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre."
Speaking during the debate, Tessa Jowell, the Labor shadow minister for London, cited the Talmudic verse that "taking a single life is like destroying an entire world," before naming each of the victims including a German police officer killed during the massacre.
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