The decision by the International Olympic Committee to forgo, once again, a prime-time moment of silence in memory of the Israeli athletes slain by Palestinians at the 1972 Munich Games is an insult to the Olympic enterprise. The decision ignores the supposed foundational Olympic premise of unity and camaraderie - in glory and in pain - of athletes, their coaches and their families.
So we endorse the request of Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) made to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, to commemorate the tragic episode in the opening ceremonies of this summer's London games, and welcome the lawmakers' plan to introduce a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives calling for such a move.
Olympic organizers apparently believe that a commemorative pause in the opening ceremony pageantry would detract from the overwhelmingly positive message of their highly choreographed and colorful opening night. But we suspect that the decision goes beyond simply not disturbing the audience with reminders of murder and violence. We can't help but detect a whiff of anti-Israel sentiment, or perhaps a fear of Arab state reaction, to any such Israeli honor or commemoration.
Whatever the reason for the 40-year refusal of the IOC to provide a meaningful, very public commemoration of the murder of Israeli athletes, we are reasonably certain that had the slain athletes been from China, Canada or Cameroon, or anywhere outside the Jewish state, we wouldn't have to be writing this sort of editorial.
The Munich massacre is a permanent stain on Olympic history and professed Olympic values. And the IOC's quadrennial refusal to commemorate that horrific crime simply darkens the stain and deepens the hurt.
We think it is beyond time for the International Olympic Committee to provide an appropriate public tribute to the Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich games. The repeated and stubborn failure to do so belittles the IOC, and puts a lie to the "community" claimed to be cultivated by the Olympic enterprise.
The Olympic family and their friends deserve better.