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The same happened during the first Intifada, when violent Palestinians attacked Israeli civilians and security forces with stones, iron bars, iron projectiles, knives, axes and petrol bombs, but the terrorists were described in the international media as “demonstrators” – even “peaceful protesters.”
Each of Israeli athletes’ stories calls up weeping and prayer. Every one of them was a member of the great body of Israel.
Like Yosef Romano, who the day before he was killed had said, “This is my last competition; I don’t have enough time for my children.”
Like David Berger, an idealist and pacifist Jew from Cleveland, who was supposed to get married after returning from the Olympics.
Like Mark Slavin, who kissed the Jewish soil upon his arrival in Israel from Minsk, where he had fought against the Communists who imprisoned thousands of Jews who, like him, wanted to reach Jerusalem.
Like Ze’ev Friedman, who spoke a wonderful mixture of Yiddish and Russian and was the last male of his family, incinerated in the gas chambers.
Like Kehat Schorr, who had fought against the Nazi troops in the Carpathian Mountains.
Like Yakov Springer, who was one of the few survivors of the armed revolt in the Warsaw ghetto.
Like Eliezer Halfin, who had lost all his relatives in the Holocaust.
Like Yosef Gutfreund, who spent months in prison in communist Romania under the accusation of “Zionist propaganda.”
The Olympic refusal to commemorate the Israelis shows again that we live in a time when death of Jews is celebrated and romanticized and terrorism is stronger than appeasement.
My fellow journalists based in Israel prefer not seeing the dormitories, the schools, the streets, the sports arenas and the events named by the Palestinian Authority after Munich’s killers, like Abou Daoud. And when legions of “martyrs” started blowing themselves up in the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Afula, and then in London, Madrid, Bali and New York, how many Western intellectuals and journalists expressed a lame empathy for the terrorist rage?
The next distribution of Olympic medals will be stained in disgrace. When the Olympic Games will open in London, someone should go to 31 Connollystrasse in Munich. And leave a flower for all of us. We can’t forget Jim McKay, voice breaking, crying, as he told America, ”they’re all gone.”
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