A minute's silence for the victims of Munich during the opening ceremony of the Olympics could never have been anything but political under present circumstances in Israel/Palestine. The widows have a right to make their request to the IOC - as they do every four years - but their vehemence at being thwarted, together with their unwarranted demonisation of Jacques Rogge, serve only to despoil the very memorials set up to honour their husbands. And for Limor Livnat to claim that failure to hold a minute's silence is a 'moral victory for evil' (surely a contradiction in terms!) is rhetorical nonsense. The Munich victims are commemorated at every Games, as they were this year both within the Olympic Village and in the Guildhall. How many minutes for Munich do they want? The fact that the Israeli government has so robustly backed the campaign this time round betrays desperation. This is a crucial time for Israel, which as we know is threatening military action against Iran, at a time when its international image is increasingly marred by its policies towards the Palestinians. These widows are being used to propagate the idea, expressed quite openly by Ms Spitzer at the Guildhall, that Israel is being discriminated against, which is a way of accruing political capital. The IOC has quite rightly refused to allow the Olympics to be manipulated in this way.
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