Why, after 43 years of dashed hopes, do we still wait for the International Olympic Committee to properly commemorate the victims of Black September’s attack on 11 Israeli Olympians at the 1972 Munich Games?
The answer is common knowledge: it doesn’t want to offend anyone, specifically the 20 or so Arab delegations who may or may not have walked out at the mention of Moshe Weinberg, Yossef Romano, Ze’ev Friedman, David Berger, Yakov Springer, Eliezer Halfin, Yossef Gutfreund, Kehat Shorr, Mark Slavin, Andre Spitzer, Amitzur Shapira and Anton Fliegerbauer, a German policeman.
Andre’s widow Ankie has been the prime mover in urging the IOC to do the decent thing – the humane thing – and remember her husband and his fellow sportsmen during an opening or closing ceremony.
Not during some side-show. Not after, before or aside from the main event. Not through some muffled, acknowledgement. Instead, billions of viewers should be given the chance to recall together what happened.
Victims’ families have been asking for official remembrance of those killed since before the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
Loved ones have since passed away, without ever having seen this tribute. That should never have been the case.
For now at least, with the IOC appearing to fudge the issue once again this week, the long and agonising wait looks set to go on.