British politicians call for Munich silence at London Olympics

By Jennifer Lipman, May 22, 2012
Bob Blackman

Bob Blackman

A Conservative MP has tabled an early day motion urging the International Olympic Committee to observe a minute of silence at the games this summer in memory of the Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich tournament.

Bob Blackman, who represents Harrow East, sponsored the EDM noting that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the tragedy, when 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and referees were killed by terrorists from the PLO faction Black September.

"It would be a fitting tribute to the memory of the 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and referees to hold a minute's silence at this year's and every subsequent games to promote peace," reads Mr Blackman's EDM.

His motion has been supported by MPs from a range of parties, including Westminster MP Mark Field, Corby MP Louise Mensch and Belfast East MP Naomi Long.

Nearly 47,000 people have added their names to a petition calling for a silence, launched by the widow of one of the Israeli men murdered at the Munich Olympics.

At every games since 1976 the families of the Munich victims have requested such commemorations to be arranged for the opening ceremonies, but have been turned down by the IOC every time.

Last week the IOC president Jacques Rogge said the request would be turned down this year. He wrote: "The IOC has officially paid tribute to the memory of the athletes on several occasions."

Last updated: 1:55pm, May 23 2012