Ambassador says tragedy should embody fight against terror

By Jenni Frazer, August 9, 2012

Ambassador Daniel Taub spoke at the beginning of the emotional Guildhall commemoration ceremony on Monday. He said: "There are some who have suggested that remembrance does not sit well with the Olympic atmosphere. But we answer: without remembrance there is no true celebration.

"We know this only too well from our tradition. There is no Israeli independence day without the Memorial Day for the fallen that precedes it. There is no Jewish wedding without a broken glass. And so there can be no London without Munich. Today we come together to remember the darkest moment in Olympic history, the massacre of the 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 games

"At a time in which Israelis and others have been targeted in India, Georgia, Cyprus, Thailand, Turkey, and tragically last month in Bulgaria, we must all remember that the threat of terrorism remains real.

"The Munich tragedy gives us a second commandment - to deny to the enemies of peace, of Israel, of the Olympic spirit any hint of victory. The commandment to thrive, to flourish, to live for those very values that they sought to destroy.

"Forty years ago we witnessed a tragedy, but before that we witnessed a miracle. Less than three decades after the Shoah, on that same soil of destruction, we saw athletes from an independent Jewish state walking proudly beneath their own flag, competing as equals on the international plane.

And so today we also recognize this year's Olympic athletes: raised in a land their forefathers could only dream of, trained in the language of the Bible, revived after two thousand years.

Last updated: 11:12am, August 9 2012