Labour MP: Cameron should back Munich silence


A former Labour minister has written to the Prime Minister calling for him to back a minute's silence at the London Olympics in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered in Munich 40 years ago.

Denis MacShane, Labour MP for Rother h am and Europe Minister under Tony Blair, said David Cameron should follow the example set at Euro 2012 in Poland, during which the England team visited Auschwitz "in the spirit of 'Never Again'."

Dr MacShane urged Mr Cameron to push the International Olympic Committee to change its stance on an official commemorative silence or agree to "some moment of commemoration", which the IOC has so far refused to support.

"The IOC will come up with the usual line about not mixing sport and politics," he wrote. "But at the recent Euro 2012 competition the players and stadiums showed signs 'No to Racism' and the English and other football teams visited Auschwitz."

"If the IOC treats the memory of the dead Jewish Olympians with indifference than shame on them," he said. "But I am sure most MPs would welcome some statement from the British Government in support of a commemoration moment.

"If the IOC persists in its stubborn disregard of the anti-Jewish atrocity committed at the 1972 Olympics then I hope Britain can organise its own ceremony to say again "Never Again" to Jew-killing in the name of any ideology or cause."

On Thursday Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee, agreed to hold a "personal" memorial to the dead athletes, but did not go into details as to what this would be.

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