The International Olympic Committee has confirmed it will not hold a minute’s silence at this summer’s games to mark the 40th anniversary of the terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics.
Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon had written to the IOC last month supporting the widows of two of the victims after they called for a specific memorial during the London Olympics.
They had been backed by thousands of supporters around the world who signed petitions appealing for the IOC to mark the anniversary of the attack in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered.
But IOC president Jacques Rogge said a minute’s silence would not be held. He will attend a special memorial service at London’s Guildhall and said IOC officials would attend commemorative events organised by Israel.
In his reply to the Israeli request Mr Rogge wrote: “The IOC has officially paid tribute to the memory of the athletes on several occasions. Within the Olympic family, the memory of the victims of the terrible massacre in Munich in 1972 will never fade away.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the decision was a “shame” and added: “Perhaps the IOC thinks anything to do with Israel is controversial. It is not a display of great courage and integrity."
The Israeli National Olympic Committee will hold its own ceremony during the London games.