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Senate Passes Gillibrand-Rubio Resolution to Recognize 40th Anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics Terrorist Attack

Jun 26, 2012 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today announced passage of their Senate resolution urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to observe one minute of silence during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games to recognize the 40th Anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack which killed 11 athletes and coaches from the Israeli Olympic Team. The Senators’ bipartisan resolution, which is co-sponsored by more than thirty Senators, comes after the IOC rejected proposals from the Israeli government and Representatives Nita Lowey (NY-18) and Eliot Engel (NY-17) to hold a moment of silence at this summer’s games.

“The Olympic movement is a celebration of athletic excellence, sportsmanship and spirited international competition, yet forty years ago in Munich, terrorists shocked the world by killing innocent members of the Israeli team,” said Senator Rubio. “As the London Summer Olympics begin next month, we should use the occasion of the Opening Ceremony to pay tribute to the fallen athletes and coaches and deliver a united message against terrorism.”

“The Munich tragedy was an outrageous attack against innocent athletes and against the unifying spirit of the Olympics,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Observing a moment of silence at the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, when the world’s attention is focused on this symbol of international cooperation and peace, would pay tribute to the slain athletes and coaches and would send a powerful message of unity in the fight against terrorism.”

On September 5, 1972, Palestinian terrorist group called Black September broke into the Munich Olympic village, killed an Israeli athlete and coach, and took nine other athletes and coaches hostage. A German police officer was killed and the nine hostages were murdered during a rescue attempt.

Senators Rubio and Gillibrand proposed a resolution that calls on both the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Senate to observe one minute of silence to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack, remember those who lost their lives and reject and repudiate terrorism as antithetical to the Olympic goal of peaceful competition.

Co-sponsors of the resolution include Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jeff Blumenthal (D-NM), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Scott Brown (R-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bill Nelson (D-FL), James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Full text of Senators’ resolution is below:

Whereas, in September 1972, in the midst of the Munich Olympics, the core spirit of the Olympics was violated when members of the Black September Palestinian terrorist group murdered eleven members of the Israeli Olympic Team consisting of athletes, coaches, and referees;

Whereas one West German police officer was also killed in the terrorist attack;

Whereas the international community was deeply touched by the brutal murders at the Munich Olympics and memorials have been placed around the world, including in Rockland County, New York, United States; Manchester, United Kingdom; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Munich, Germany;

Whereas the International Olympic Committee has an obligation and the ability to fully and publicly promote the ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter, which states, “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”

Whereas no opening ceremonies of any Olympics since 1972 have marked an official recognition of the terrorist attack that brutally betrayed the vision of the Olympic Games; and

Whereas the London Olympic Games in 2012 will mark four decades since this act of terror took place without a full and public commemoration of the gravity of this tragic event for all Olympians and all humankind: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) should observe a minute of silence to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack and remember those who lost their lives;

(2) urges the International Olympic Committee to take the opportunity afforded by the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack to remind the world that the Olympics were established to send a message of hope and peace through sport and athletic competition; and

(3) urges the International Olympic Committee to recognize with a minute of silence at the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony those who lost their lives at the 1972 Munich Olympics in an effort to reject and repudiate terrorism as antithetical to the Olympic goal of peaceful competition.