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Joint Press Release – 23 July 2012

Community call to remember Israeli Olympians killed in Munich

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV) have put out a call to the community this week to remember the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The call comes in the wake of the International Olympic Committee’s continued refusal to hold a minute of silence at the Games’ Opening Ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the massacre.

The JCCV has written to synagogues throughout Victoria asking for the athletes to be remembered in sermons this weekend and for a memorial prayer to be said. “It is important that Jewish communities world-wide take action to mark the anniversary of those catastrophic Games. Here in Victoria, some 16,000 kilometres and 40 years from where the attack was perpetrated, we remember the innocent lives that were cut short and denounce terrorism against Israel in all its forms,” said JCCV Acting President Helen Light.

In addition, both the JCCV and the ZCV are promoting a facebook campaign called Minute for Munich, and will be holding a small memorial service at Beth Weizmann on Friday.

ZCV President Sam Tatarka said: “40 years ago the Munich Olympics were hijacked by a deplorable act of terror when 11 members of Israeli Olympic Team were killed simply because they were Jews and Israelis. A minute of silence is the least the International Olympic Committee, the world and we in Melbourne can do to send the message that terror waged upon innocent people will not be forgotten or politicised. At Beth Weizmann Community Centre on Friday morning, we will be sending that message by marking a minute of silence and we invite the entire community to join us.”

The 2012 Olympic Games commence in London this Friday. Israel will be sending a team of 38 athletes to the Games.

For further information, please contact:
Sam Tatarka – President, Zionist Council of Victoria  Ph: 9272 5544
Helen Light – Acting President, Jewish Community Council of Victoria Ph: 9272 5566