Over the last few weeks there’s been a buzz in the air that only precedes a global spectacle – and the Olympics are the ultimate spectacle. Over the last four years while the hundreds of elite athletes and their support teams have been physically and mentally preparing, London has been grooming and preening for the performance of its lifetime.
As Jews, the Games are always bittersweet – this time all the more. London 2012 will mark 40 years since the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
Casting a further shadow is the IOC’s refusal to honour the memory of those lost with a minutes silence during tonight’s opening ceremony. This in spite of numerous petitions and support from political leaders across the world – Julia Gillard, Benyamin Netanyahu and Barak Obama to name a few.
Despite the lack of official recognition by IOC President Jacques Rogge, Jewish communities will be holding their own commemorations. Dr. Danny Lamm, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, and Philip Chester, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia have asked our community to mark a minute’s silence at 11.00am on Friday 26 July prior to the opening ceremony.
There will be similar initiatives around the world.
While I appreciate that perhaps it might not be in-line with the celebratory nature of the opening ceremony, like those world leaders that have stood up for our community, I feel that this gesture of respect would have been the right thing to do.
To those who lost loved one’s 40 years ago I hope you know that they will always be remembered.
I’d like to also take this opportunity to wish our Australian athletes, particularly those from our own community – Steven Solomon and Adam Kellerman – all the best.
Faster, higher, stronger.
Ian Sandler is the Chief Executive Officer of JCA