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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Forty Years Ago, Attack was on Israeli Olympic Athletes, Not on They Olympics

I was visiting New York at the time of the Olympics and the terror attack on the Israeli athletes, and a family tragedy occurred in New York that very same weekend.  For that reason, I have always felt removed from the Israeli reaction.  But forty years later I've reached a more accurate perspective.

As Ruthie Blum so perfectly described, in her Israel Hayom article the Olympic Committee, then and now, refuse to accept the truth about the attack.
Since that time, there have been repeated requests to the International Olympic Committee, mainly on the part of families of the victims, to have a regular memorial service at the games. This request has been denied again and again, on the grounds that such a commemoration might “alienate other members of the Olympic Committee.”

The Olympic Committee has always considered the attack more of an attack against the Olympics and its "ideal" rather than a terror attack against Israel.  The Olympic ideal is a lie.  They want themselves and the world to believe that they exist in a world of pure sport and brotherhood.  Didn't the ancient Greek athletes compete stark naked?

The fact that modern Olympics, as a sports competition is nation versus nation,  actually is very different from its ancient roots.  The Olympic committee has always tried to whitewash the reality.  If you ignore the 1972 terror attack against Israel, it never really happened.  If you consider it a minor scratch on the shiny image, then that's all it was.  If you don't want such a thing to happen again, then just placate the terrorist countries.

That's the Olympic way.  Since today's athletes are dressed in designer gear with national logos, instead of competing in their skin of all colors, there must be a way to smudge the problems and wipe them away.

Great Britain is hosting this summer's Olympics and there isn't a country in the world with a more ambivalent attitude towards Israel. Great Britain had been entrusted with the establishment of the Jewish State.  That was the "Mandate."  Instead they gave a humongous portion of the land, all there was east of the Jordan to the Hashemites and declared them to the rulers and to make matters worse, they kept restricting Jewish life and immigration in the rest of the land.  They helped the Arabs and invented a nation and history they called Palestine.  All of this was to make it impossible for the Jewish People to have an independent country. 

There's a lot of dirty stuff in history.  So I'm not surprised at all of the sneaky anti-Israel stuff going on, like the British Olympic refusal to identify Israel's capital city as Jerusalem.  I don't expect them to do the right thing and memorialize murdered Israeli athletes either.


Alan said...

DisEstablishmentarianist that I am, I'm also not a Yavanista. I think of myself more as a pragmatico. And what I see in the ==current== Olympics, is something very different than what was revived in the 1890s. What I see today is ==show business==. Everything is focused on safeguarding the flow of revenues. Viewing it from that angle, is the way to understand the "common sense" is in what the IOC does and says. It's fine that Israelis support their national team with a passion; it's dull-witted, but it's not immoral; and of course it's "normal" in today's world. I join in hoping that an Israeli judoka (spelling?) wins a medal. It won't really prove anything I care about, especially because we know that from the mathematical laws of statistics that individual athletic-contests have a sizeable element of random-chance in their results. But at least it get the lucky girl started down the same affluent path that Bar Rafaelli found.

Batya said...

Alan, I just saw an article, maybe in the hardcopy NYT that listed sports success by the wealth of the nation. Yes, sailing and judo are perfect for Israel to win. And that's what we have gotten medals in.