March 31, 2016
Press Release

Tribute to Israelis Killed at 1972 Olympics in Munich Would be Powerful Reminder of Loss of Innocent Life in Fight Against Terror and Hate

Families of Victims Prepare to Meet Soon with Olympics President

White Plains/New City, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY17-Westchester/Rockland) recently renewed her call for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a minute of silence during the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games to honor the memory of the 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and referees who were brutally killed by terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“Without observances like this minute of silence, we risk that the world will forget – forget those lost to at the hands of brutal terrorists, forget the families they left behind, forget the tragic events that marred an international celebration of sportsmanship,” said Lowey. “By remembering the attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics with a minute of silence in the opening ceremonies at the upcoming Olympics in Brazil, we can help ensure that the world’s attention remains united in denouncing prejudice, hate, and intolerance.”

This year marks the 44th anniversary of the barbaric murder at the hands of the Palestinian militant group Black September.  In a recent letter to IOC President Thomas Bach, which can be found here, Lowey called for the IOC to hold a minute of silence during this summer’s games, a request she supported along with victims’ families and the Jewish Community Center Rockland in advance of the 2012 Olympic Games. In 2012, Lowey held her own minute of silence on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of the effort. She also wrote the IOC and introduced a resolution calling for the minute of silence along with Congressman Eliot Engel.

Lowey has met with Ms. Ankie Spitzer and Ms. Ilana Romano, two widows whose husbands were killed in the brutal attack in 1972 (photo below). They will meet soon with Bach, whose predecessors have hosted receptions or memorial services in memory of the victims during previous Games but never a minute of silence.

“For the victims’ families, whose painful loss is all the more palpable with each and every Olympic Game, a minute of silence would be a fitting recognition of the athletes’ sacrifice and ultimate display of respect for their memory,” said Lowey. 

Congresswoman Nita Lowey joins Ms. Ankie Spitzer (left) and Ms. Ilana Romano (right) in the fight to remember the Munich 11 at the Olympics.  Ms. Spitzer’s and Ms. Romano’s husbands were among the Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

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