Home free?


By Jenni Frazer
July 27, 2012
Share
Ankie Spitzer

Ankie Spitzer

After his deplorable reception of two of the Munich massacre widows on Wednesday night — my colleague Jennifer Lipman reported the two women were devastated and heartbroken at his response — Jacques Rogge may well be feeling pretty pleased with himself.

To his Israeli and Jewish critics, he is able to spread his arms wide, shrug his shoulders and insist, yes, I did something — his "spontaneous" minute's silence at the Athletes' Village on Monday, during the ironically-titled event, Olympic Truce. Spontaneous my foot — rarely can there have been a man whose every move was so calculated as to its later effect.

To the Arab representatives on the IOC, who very much did not want Rogge to agree to a minute's silence at the Opening Ceremony, and to the Palestinians who have attacked the idea as "racism" — I even heard a rumour that the Palestinians would only agree to a minute's silence provided it included those members of Black September who died in Munich — Rogge has delivered what they asked.

So is it home free for Jacques Rogge? I'm sure he would like to think so. Even pressure from the prime minister of the host country, Britain's David Cameron, failed to move him. Presumably, whatever happens in the audience at tonight's ceremony, Rogge will be smug in his belief that he is above criticism.

However: Rogge — and, for that matter, the scarcely less culpable Lord Coe — have taken self-righteous refuge in the upcoming commemoration at Guildhall. It has been organised by the Israel Olympic Committee, the UJIA and the Jewish Committee for the London Games. A furious Ankie Spitzer complained bitterly that the IOC was using the Guildhall event as a convenient "beard" to hide behind.

As of this writing, I understand that Jacques Rogge still intends to grace Guildhall with his presence. You know what? The Israeli and Jewish organisers should, quite literally, tell him where to go. Not wanted on voyage, Mr Rogge. Not wanted at all.

COMMENTS

suzanna

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 10:26

Rate this:

-1 points

So the opening ceremony was pretty good. In fact it was better than good - it was riveting; a carnival of Britain and the final surge of music (before the anti climax of Paul McCartney) by Pink Floyd was stirring and brilliantly chosen.
A minute of silence (for anybody) would have ruined this celebration of Britain. This was Britain's event. This event did not belong to Israel or to any other country. Lord Coe was correct to keep this British and for the organisers to set the agenda. The Brazilians will do exactly the same in four years time.
The minute of silence at the Guildhall is appropriate and will surely be a dignified event. Those who wish to attend may (one assumes)


Mary in Brighton

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 11:38

Rate this:

-1 points

I know what you mean by anti climax. There just has to be people in the world more boring than Paul McCartney and I am determined to hunt them down !'


suzanna

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 11:49

Rate this:

0 points

Wasn't he dreadful! And what a dirge of a song. I mean The Artic Monkeys did a better version of a Beatles' song than McCartney managed. In an exemplary show McCartney was a bad choice to end with. Should have had another Pink Floyd song. Pink Floyd are at least more theatrical and, I suspect, more recognised around the world than Heather Mills' x husband.


Mary in Brighton

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 13:18

Rate this:

-1 points

Or better still, the Pogues... The Dark Streets of London. I'm sure Harvey would approve.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNQpMCxh-ww

Actually I am not a big fan of the scripted opening ceremonies. I much prefer the unscripted action of the games themselves. The best bit has been the 4x100 meters free style. That French guy was amazing (nothing to do with him being gorgeous). Agnel hit the water 2 meters behind Lochte, and pulled him back on the first length. Lochte then did the most amazing turn which left Agnel where he started from, 2 meters behind. He had to do it all again and promptly did so!!!!


suzanna

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 13:38

Rate this:

0 points

Neither do I usually enjoy the big scripted events and I was extremely sceptical of this one. Until I watched it (not live but the following day) Danny Boyle did a top job; his vision was quirky, inclusive, ‘cool’ and dignified.

p.s I'll go and google this French swimmer.


happygoldfish

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 15:20

Rate this:

1 point

suzanna: A minute of silence (for anybody) would have ruined this celebration of Britain. This was Britain's event. This event did not belong to Israel or to any other country …

suzanna, you obviously didn't watch the whole ceremony

if you had, you'd have seen emile sande singing "abide with me" to a background of a specially-commissioned dance routine, photos of victims of the london 7/7 terrorists, and photos submitted by ordinary spectators of deceased family members (but not of the 11 murdered olympians )

this sobering memorial certainly did not "ruin the celebration"

i'll quote from cns news …

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/olympics-opening-ceremony-honored-britis...
The International Olympic Committee’s assertion last week that Friday’s London 2012 opening ceremony was not the appropriate setting to remember the Munich terror assault 40 years ago rang hollow after the event did include a moving tribute to others who have died, including British terror victims.

That segment of the otherwise upbeat ceremony, featuring a poignant rendition of the hymn “Abide with Me,” could easily have accommodated a reference to the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by PLO terrorists during the 1972 summer games – but did not.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon … pointed out in a statement that the event, in the end, “did include moments of silence and respect for those British citizens who died during terror attacks. We can only conclude that Rogge meant that the opening ceremony was not fit to remember a tragic incident involving Israelis.
Ayalon said Rogge had lost the ability to legitimately represent the Olympic ideal of equality.
“He was exposed as a hypocrite and as someone who was led by political interests and not the interests of the Olympic Games whose darkest moment saw eleven Israeli athletes tortured and murdered in the Olympic Village, during the Olympic Games under the auspices and supposed protection of the IOC."

oh, and if this was "Britain's event", as you put it

then why was muslim-american olympian mohammed ali honoured so uniquely and prominently?

(and why are you and mary dishonouring the 11 murdered olympians by wittering on about singers and swimmers?)


suzanna

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 15:36

Rate this:

0 points

Britain has won a gold! That'll keep the press happy.
Just checked out the French swimmer you mentioned. Not my type. But two gold medals is good work.


Viv Hanshall

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 16:01

Rate this:

0 points

I also enjoyed the opening ceremony and agree with you Mary and Suzanna - Sir Paul was boring!
There was so much good music throughout that Hey Jude sounded out date and soooo laboured.
The James Bond bit was a bit naff also but done in jest so that saved it.

I also found the part where the professional 'peacemakers' handed over the Olympic flag to the uniformed soldiers quite moving.


suzanna

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 16:22

Rate this:

0 points

Bradley Wiggins has just won a Gold. He's good isn't he!


Viv Hanshall

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 16:45

Rate this:

0 points

Wiggins is having a good year.

I don't watch much of the sport to tell the truth. Bit dull. But I respect the hard work of all the athletes.


zaheerayin

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 16:56

Rate this:

0 points

Suzanna, I take it Jonathan is more your type? ;-)


Real Real Zionist

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 17:23

Rate this:

-1 points

There is so much about the Olympics I despise. However, it is difficult not to get drawn in. I think Mary nailed it when she spoke of unscripted drama. There is so much of it packed into so short a time that it can be compelling.

Getting back on topic....The disparaging of Rogge is really quite silly. He's just doing his job. The job of the IOC is to ensure that the Olympics are a "success". They are a success when the TV companies, sponsors, etc. etc. are happy. They are happy when the people are happy. All the talk of the Olympic spirit and the Olympic family is just part of the sales pitch, it makes the people feel warm and cosy and enocourages them to buy the stuff. A large number of countries walking out of the Olympics makes the people very unhappy indeed. Who knows what the private feelings of Rogge and his colleagues are? Call them hypocrites if you will. However, how many among us have not done things that we are very uncomfortable with because the boss (the job) required it? Rogge is just doing his job.

When Danny Boyle put together the opening ceremony, he would have had no idea that there was going to be a fuss over the Munich business. The theme was a roller coaster ride through British social and economic history. 7/7 is part of that history and the fleeting images of the victims are therefore not inappropriate. It was a history of Britain, not a history of the Olympics. Muhammed Ali was a renowned Olympian and obviously was a favourite of Boyle. It is worth pointing out that at the time, he was Cassius Clay and not a Muslim.

The refusal to include in the ceremony a minute of silence for the Munich victims, was purely a response to what the job required. Call it cynical if you will, but to call it a manifestation of anti-Semitism smacks of paranoia. I wonder if it is more cynical and more hypocritical than the behaviour of some of those who encourage the families to bare their souls in the pursuit of the hopeless. That they would end up even more hurt and bitter, was entirely predictable. One has to wonder about the motives and the agendas of these people.


happygoldfish

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 17:58

Rate this:

0 points

Real Real ZIonist: It was a history of Britain, not a history of the Olympics. Muhammed Ali was a renowned Olympian and obviously was a favourite of Boyle.

you've just contradicted yourself …

you've proved it was not just a history of britain


Real Real Zionist

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 09:17

Rate this:

-1 points

Oooooooohhhhhhh YOU GOT ME !!!

A fleeting image of one person does not a history make.

The point about Ali was that you you seemed to be implying that that the IOC were happy to have a tribute to A MUSLIM but not to JEWS, in turn implying that anti semitism was at play. Plainly ridiculous.

My advice to you is to have a lie down, wake up all refreshed and move on.


joshua789

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 12:04

Rate this:

-1 points

'oh, and if this was "Britain's event", as you put it …

then why was muslim-american olympian mohammed ali honoured so uniquely and prominently?'

Because . . . people like Mohammmed Ali.
And Danny Boyle likes him too.

And what has 'Muslim' got to do with it?
RRZ is correct about your false assumptions.

RRZ - you point above is full of sense.


Advis3r

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 12:43

Rate this:

1 point

Personally I can't wait for the not too distant day when Sharia Law comes to Britain and then suzanna (whose pathetic attempts to disparage Israeli sensibilities by her inane postings on this thread ably assisted by the other usual suspects are plain for all to see) not only won't be driving for a living she just won't be driving period.


Advis3r

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 14:53

Rate this:

0 points

Hi Joshua or should I say coward how about giving us your name and address and repeating the libel about Jonathan Hoffman you wrote here thehttp://www.thejc.com/blogs/jonathan-hoffman/video-jacques-rogges-olympic-village-remembrance-munich-massacre.
In your opinion therefore this picture:
http://jacksonianlawyer.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/obama-gaddafi-handsh...
of a smiling Mr Gaddafi and Mr Obama makes Mr Obama a supporter of fascist dictators - so who is dozy?


joshua789

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 15:09

Rate this:

-2 points

Jose - you are tiresome and whiny.

Just follow the link kindly provided by others and you will see pictures of Jonathan Hoffman with the EDL. I repeat, the EDL and Jonathan Hoffman standing happily together.

Obama is a President, statesman and diplomat - meeting with world leaders is part of his job spec.


joshua789

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 15:10

Rate this:

-1 points

The disdain poured onto the head of Jacque Rogge is pointless, incorrect and actually belittles the memories of those killed in Munich. The Olympics - as others have pointed out - 'belong' to Britain in this instance and the director of the opening ceremony was the Scot Danny Boyle - not the Israeli hasbara.

If Danny Boyle chose to commemorate his father, victims of the wars in which Britain fought and the victims of the bombings on 7/7 then that is entirely his prerogative.
He and Britain decide who to commemorate, how to commemorate and for how long.
The next Olympics in Brazil will be the same. The host nation will decide the format of the opening ceremony. After that, the candidate city will also decide. Incidentally, one of the three short listed cities is Istanbul. Perhaps they might choose (if selected) to commemorate those executed on the Mavi Marmara?


Mary in Brighton

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 15:14

Rate this:

-1 points

Advsr isn't President Obama PAID to meet with other heads of state ? Is that not his job ?


Mary in Brighton

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 15:15

Rate this:

0 points

Ooops Joshua already said that.


joshua789

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 15:25

Rate this:

-1 points

Mary - the lame point that somehow Obama meeting with Gaddafi exonerates Jonathan Hoffman standing shoulder to shoulder with the EDL is quite risible isn't it?

(By the way - to continue your conversation yesterday with Suzanna, I totally agree about Paul McCartney. He was dull. Ringo should have performed Thomas the Tank Engine, two great British institutions)


Advis3r

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 16:12

Rate this:

2 points

Joshua you are yellow and your disgusting attempt to trivialise this thread is evidence of the shallowness of your claim to speak for the Palestinians who thanked the IOC for not holding the minutes silence.
Give your name and address and repeat the claim that Jonathan Hoffman supports the EDL otherwise any comment you make on this website is not worth bubkas.
You like the intellectually challenged Mary totally miss my point. Just because Mr Obama was pictured with Mr Gaddafi does that make him a supporter of Gaddafi? And yet on the basis of a photo showing Jonathan Hoffman next to the EDL you cowardly hide behind a pseudonym and libellously brand him a supporter of the EDL - you are the dozy one.
To paraphrase you Jonathan Hoffman is an interlocutor for Israel should he have to curtail his support for Israel because a bunch of unwanted members of the EDL turn up to the same demonstration?


joshua789

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 16:23

Rate this:

-2 points

'. . . you cowardly hide behind a pseudonym . . '

yes, OK 'Jose', 'Advis3r' you got me there. What a cowardly thing to do. use a pseudonym. Jeez.

Also, those EDL members don't look 'unwanted' they look quite 'at one' with Jonathan Hoffman and the cabbie.


Real Real Zionist

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 16:42

Rate this:

-2 points

Ok I had an idea, and now I am gonna have to lie down a while.

This " Olympic spirit " thing, koff, is inspired by the classical Greek Olympic truce, which, incidentally, isn't all that has been written home about it. The Corinthians and the Plataeans, particularly, being notorious as not to be trusted.

But anyway, why not have at every opening ceremony,a minutes silence for all victims of war, terrorism, etc etc ?


Ben F

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 17:58

Rate this:

-2 points

Unless I'm reading it hopelessly wrongly, there is no claim on the site that we are discussing that Mr. Hoffman is a supporter of the EDL, but that he is happy to demonstrate along side of the EDL.


zaheerayin

Fri, 08/03/2012 - 11:44

Rate this:

-2 points

There seems to be a great deal more evidence than simply a photo.


Advis3r

Fri, 08/03/2012 - 12:45

Rate this:

2 points

The claim was by Joshua quote:
"I'll repeat that: members of the EDL plus Hoffman (and the cabbie) standing in support of each other." - but obviously he is too much of a coward to add his real name and address to such a libel.
And Zaheeryin let's see what "great deal more evidence" there is as you claim.
As usual an unsubstantiated smear campaign by people who consider it great sport to make libellous statements behind the relative safety of aliases - real heroes.

POST A COMMENT

You must be logged in to post a comment.

LATEST COMMENTS