| JERUSALEM, July 9
JERUSALEM, July 9 Israeli Sports Minister Limor
Livnat on Monday criticised compatriot and International Olympic
Committee (IOC) member Alex Gilady for failing to support a call
to commemorate the 11 Israelis killed in Munich in 1972.
Family members of the athletes, coaches and officials who
were killed by Palestinian gunmen during the Munich Olympics
have tried for four decades to persuade the IOC to organise an
Livnat, speaking to Israel's Olympic and Paralympic teams
during an official send-off by Israeli President Shimon Peres,
said Israelis had expected Gilady to lead the cause and not
oppose the move.
She said Gilady had told her that he would not support a
move that could jeopardise the unity of the Olympic movement and
"he would not give (Israel's) enemies an excuse to boycott the
"(Gilady is) the only Israeli in the IOC, the one who should
be at the forefront of the Israeli struggle to commemorate the
11 at the opening ceremony, the Israeli whom the whole of
Israeli society expects to represent the bereaved families that
asks that its sons be recognised," Livnat said.
She said many Western leaders supported her personal plea to
IOC President Jacques Rogge to hold a commemoration at the
opening ceremony in London on July 27.
"The U.S. Senate has been convinced, the chairman of the
German Bundestag has been convinced, the Australian parliament
has been convinced, the Canadian parliament has been convinced,
the London Assembly has been convinced, but the IOC and Alex
Gilady have not been convinced," she said.
Gilady, 69, an ex-journalist who covered the Munich Games
for Israeli television, told Israeli media: "It is the
minister's full right to react in this way, I can only commend
her for speaking."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met the
Olympic delegation later, said the events of Munich had damaged
the Olympic ethos.
"I think that after 40 years, the time has come to stand for
a moment of silence...this is our demand of the IOC," Netanyahu
The IOC told Reuters that Rogge was expected to attend a
commemorative event organised by the Israeli Olympic Committee
during the second week of the Games, on Aug. 6.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)