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French swimmer stuns Olympic Games with a silent tattoo

The IOC’s refusal to permit a minute’s silence for victims of the Munich terror attack 40 years ago has already provoked a protest from the Italian team, who staged a minute’s solidarity silence outside the Israeli team’s quarters.

Now a French swimmer has found another method of commemoration. Fabien Gilot, a member of the gold medal-winning 4 x 100 team raised his arm in triumph to reveal a tattoo in Hebrew reading: אני כלום בלעדיהם - in English: I am nothing without them.

He explained that it was a tribute to his grandmother’s Jewish husband, Max Goldschmidt, an Auschwitz survivor and a huge influence on his life.

It’s a poignant counterpoint to the recent furore over the Bayreuth swastika tattoo.

Allez les bleus!

UPDATE: Some other cultural tattoo issues here and here.

FINAL RESULT: Read here.

IF YOU LIKED THIS STORY, click here for more.

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  1. Yes, well, judging by some news reports, the Idiotic Olympic Committee are certainly living up to their name!

    • The IOC and particularly Rogge who is a Belgian, would rather kowtow to Arab pressure, threats and boycotts than stand up for decency, human rights so lacking in the Arab world, and remember Olympians murdered by those who have committed the world atrocities this planet has seen!

      What to they, the EU and those who constantly condemn Israel about 11 murdered Jews? Rememeber, the world stood by when 6,000,000 were slaughtered!

      • I completely agree with Frank

      • Dear Frank, being a Muslim, I stand by Fabien and the innocent Israelis who died in the Munich Massacre. Truly, the people who did this, committed a heinous crime. There is no doubt about it and nobody can tailor any excuse for such atrocity.. However, as per the “human rights lacking in arab world and the atrocities committed by them”. we should see both sides of the picture. We should analyse, without bias, what happened to Palestinian people, what is still happening to the innocent people in Palestine and what is their future and what should we expect from the whole scenario. i guess answering these questions honestly will help us judge the whole scenario more rationally and less emotionally.


        • Aamir, what happened to the poor Palestinian arabs? Their own arab cousins stabbed them in the back and continue to do so. They were offered everything by Israel! Much more than any of their arab cousins would have offered them!
          Everyone should watch this:

        • Aamir
          I invite you to come to Jerusalem, and see for yourself the “Atrocities” that we are committing
          Than, we shall sit together and try to get the outline of a peace treaty that will take into consideration the following points
          1- A two State Solution , A Jewish State and a Palestinian State
          2-Mutual respect of the religious sites of all the Monotheistic Faiths- Religious Freedom in Jerusalem
          3- Economic Development (We believe that the Palestinians can become leaders in the Global Economy’ but their leadership with their religious fanaticism has always kept them backward
          4- Just compensation to 650000 Palestinians that left their homes in Israel and Just solution to 750000 Jews that had to escape Arab countries, forcing them to leave there properties estimated at several Billions of Dollars
          All the rest we shall solve including Settlements and all other issues
          Come and do it yourself, because for 64 years, your leadership – that now you call corrupt – from the Maghreb to Iran, have been cheating you

        • Aamir,

          Arad nations, 2012:

          Syria – the leader and his army slaughtering cold blooded 50-100 womens, children and men every day.

          Egypt – Has a special police force to raid gay Internet website and prosecute and arrest their members.

          Saudi Arabia – women can’t drive or vote to government.

          Toulouse, France – Arab man shoots two little kids and their teacher in the name of Alla.

          Should I continue or did I make my point clear about how the 22 Arab nations choose to run their lives in the modern world?

          Even under the Israeli ‘occupancy’ Arabs still live better in Israel than most of their other fu**ed up countries.

        • Ophir Nevo says:

          There is no any… “However”.nobody can tailor any excuse for such wrote it yourself.

        • Jeff Bander says:

          No such people as Palestinians, no such country.
          Way back on March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. Here’s what he said:

          The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.

          For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

        • carl ropper says:

          The Palestinians have attacked, without provocation, Israel since its founding. Israel has occupied the West Bank to prevent such attacks. The Palestinian government has been run by recognized terrorist organizations. Does Palestine agree to Israel’s right to exist? No. If Palestine agreed to Israel’s right to exist, there would be no occupation of the West Bank.

          • Carl!! Let us get one thing straight….. There is no occupied territory. There is however Judea and Samaria, formerly part of Jordan, captured in the six day war. King Hussain (may he rest in peace) gave a speech in his parliament in the early 70s relinquishing all claim to this land. He knew that the people living there were cancerous and decided to cut off the disease from his kingdom. Judea and Samaria was never part of ‘Palestine’. It couldn’t have been, there never was an autonomous country called Palestine, so let’s agree not to call them Palestinians but refer to them as misplaced Jordanians. It was not capturing this land that caused the problems in the region. The PLO was formed in the early 60s (before the six day war) with the sole purpose of destroying Israel. Oslo gave the misplaced Jordanians over 90% autonomy and Olmert offered them 100% autonomy, just to live in peace, but for them nothing short of the total annihilation of Israel will ever be good enough. The Muslims have changed the world for the worse. Israel is no longer the only country threatened by terrorist attacks. They are slowly taking over the world and either everyone is too naive or too stupid to acknowledge it. Political correctness has gone mad when it comes to the Arabs. They are killing there own people in Syria why is the world is keeping silent. If Israel was to retaliate to an act of terrorism against her the whole world has something to say. Golda Meir once said that the only time we will have peace in the middle east is when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.

          • mhloutsidebeltway says:

            My objection is to your use of the term “West Bank”, which is an Arab invention (aided by the Soviets) , to describe the biblical Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria, which is the cradle of Judaism and where Jews lived for thousands of years. Use of the term “West Bank” is an attempt to erase this fact as well as attempt to extend Arab control over all of Israel, which lies entirely on the western side of the Jordan River. Furthermore the League of Nations promised the entire western side of the Jordan as a home for the Jewish people, which was 22% of the entire Palestinian mandate. The British of course created an invented state called Jordan, establishing their Hashemite allies expelled from Saudi Arabia as the monarchical rulers, over a people that today claims to be 80% Palestinian. So today there is already a Palestinian state and it is called Jordan on the east bank of the Jordan. Why does the world need two Palestinian states?

      • Well said.

      • “the world stood by while 6,000,000 [Jews] were murdered”

        How dare you? The world went to war.

        • Mr. Reality says:

          Hitler went to war. Russia made a side deal until it was attacked. USA waited til it was attacked. Had nothing to do with Jews.

          • This. Helen, the Jews were absolutely not the reason the world went to war. The American Jewish community pleaded with FDR to bomb the train tracks to Auschwitz. No dice.

          • It was the flood of Jewish refugees coming to Britain which turned the gaze to Hitler. Warnings were issued which he did not heed. Britain certainly did not wait to be attacked.
            The full extent of atrocity wasn’t known until the war was over.

            It certainly not true to claim that the world stood by.

          • Helen: [redacted] are you a relative of Neville Chamberlain, the British pre-WW2 Prime Minister who thought he had saved the world with the Munich Agreement and with Appeasement? Fact is, as it was said, nobody cared about the Jews. If you care an iota about history, you may have learnt that there was a ‘Evian Conference’ at which it was discussed what to do about the Jews. Nobody held up his hands. But I grant you that, by saying ‘the atrocities were only known when the war were over’ are like the large photograph on the top floor of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, showing an American general entering a concentration camp and seeing all the dead bodies, saying: ‘We had no idea!’. What a lie!! Swiss medical doctors reported the existence of mass-killings in German concentration camps to the Red Cross as soon as they were started. But nobody wanted to listen. Just as Roosevelt did not want to listen to suggestions to bomb the railway tracks to Ausschwitz.

          • George Garin says:

            Hi Helen…I thought I’d already replied via my iPhone yesterday, but I don’t see it here, so perhaps it didn’t go through. Will try again.

            Actually, the world did pretty much just stand by, sadly, including the USA.

            Churchill was an exception and he was “gazing” at and telling the truth about Hitler long before. He was a wise man, but wasn’t being heard.

            Britain went to war cuz of an alliance with Poland and Germany had attacked Poland. Just the previous year, the deluded Chamberlain had proclaimed “peace” in our times, even though Jews were already being persecuted.

            The USA did very little for the Jews in the years leading up to WWII, despite Hitler’s clear intentions expressed in Mein Kampf, Kristallnacht in 1938, etc. Anti-semitism was widespread here. One of the most popular radio talk shows of the day (sorta the Rush Limbaugh of the 30′s) was hosted by a certain Roman Catholic priest named Fr. Coughlin, a rabid anti-semite whose popularity only waned when we went to war against one of his intellectual mentors, a certain A. Hitler. One of our nations’ icons, Lindbergh, the same. At the top of the capitalist food-chain, Henry Ford, the same. His company (along with GM and others) profited greatly from the vehicles they were making in Germany, using forced labor at time–the jewish “issue” certainly didn’t have to impede the flow of profits. Even in baseball…H. Greenberg would certainly have broken B. Ruth’s home run record in 38 were it not for the abuse he encountered because he was Jewish.

            All the signs were there and later, “we” (meaning the powers-that-be) certainly “knew” of the atrocities. Example: a very brave Polish officer actually volunteered to be interred at Auschwitz as a spy in order to get word out about the atrocities there. He survived, later did the same undercover work vs. the Soviets, who caught up with him and executed him.

            The USA went to war because Japan attacked us. Hitler, allied with Japan, declared war on us…we responded. Had nothing to do with the Jews, even though confiscations of property and violence had been occurring for years. Dachau dates back to 1933…not just Jews, of course…but all the signs were there. Well, not the “signs,” rather the reality. It wasn’t hidden.

            The world did, in fact, stand idly by, until forced to respond.

            Our leaders “knew”…..they just didn’t really tell the men and women who were traumatized by what they saw towards the end of the war.

            The full extent? Yeah…maybe, cuz who could ever even conceive of such atrocities…but, burning books, confiscating property, producing hit movies in 1940 that are rabidly anti-semitic, and the like should have been warning enough for folks that love and care.

            Hitler certainly never hid his intentions. We just couldn’t believe people could be like that. And, most of us didn’t really care about the Jews….sadly.

            Am thrilled with these young folks and their grasp of history. I was in Munich in 1972 as a 21 year old…it seems like yesterday.


          • otto gilbert says:

            Why not the “beloved” russki’ s bombed the railroad tracks of auschwitz? Why always put the blame on americans? The closest american base where in bari italy,about 2000 miles from poland… whenever,they where not more than 100-200 miles???? Love the red murderers forever,and hate the capitalist evel americans.

          • The world most definately stood by and did nothing for the millions of Jews who lost their lives in Europe.
            Before Churchill, Chamberlain made an appeasement pact with Hitler. Churchill was voted in
            when England realized that they too were threatened by Hitler’s advancement.

        • Diane Curtis says:

          The world did not go to war bcause 6 million civilians were murdered, because a madman wanted world power and would stop at nothing. One is too much.

        • They did not go to war right away. Hitler was in Europe in 1939 spreading his Nazi campaign. This is where and when it all started. Look it up. President Roosevelt did not want to get involved. The only reason he did is because of Pearl Harbor. Between 1939 and Dec. 7th, 1941 millions had already died at the hands of the Nazi’s

        • Robin Gross says:

          Helen, the world, including our own State Dept., did indeed stand by and did nothing to help the European Jews who were trying to escape. Please do not try to rewrite world history.

        • Hi Helen,
          It’s true that without the involvement of the allied troops, and especially Russia and Britain, whose men paved the road to victory with their blood, Germany would have annihilated all the Jews in Europe. But that does not mean that any of these nations’ motivation to declare war on Germany had anything to do with the Jews. They went to war for a variety of political and economic reasons, but even during the war they did nothing to help the Jews, and no strategic moves were made with that motive in mind. Hell, EVEN THE RED CROSS REFUSED TO HELP JEWS, and claimed that aiding the Jews would undermind Switzerland’s neutral position in the war and alienate Germany(!!!), and thus prevent them from helping other POWs. Their apology after the fact is completely useless.

          I’m sure your comment stems from lack of knowledge and so I recommend you educate yourself – read up on British and US foreign policy circa 1939, and during the war years. You can find plainly written proof documented in official papers.

        • Jeff Bander says:

          No to save Jews. America went to war because of Pearl Harbor . Dont give America credit for some righteous act they did not do. FDR and Kenedy have blood on their hands, they were happy to not let boats full of Jews have a safe place to escape to and with now where to go to be burned in ovens.

        • carl ropper says:

          Wrong. Western Europe was over-run. That is why the world went to war.

        • Please bear in mind that England and later America (1941) didn’t go to war against Nazi Germany because of the Jews. Nobobody cared about the Jews. To be truthful they were all glad what hitler was doing against european including some North African Jewry as well. The British used to tell the Jews in England well before world war two, why don’t you Jews go back to your home in Palestine, now they say get out of Palestine you have no right to be there. So where do all those Jew-hating scum want the Jews to go, I will tell you! those Jew-hating scum the world over and especially the Arab-Muslims many of whom not only supported Adolf Hitler but in many cases even fought for him against the allies, they would have all bee happy if Hitler would have been able to carry out his work in annihilating every last vestage of world-Jewry.

      • I totally agree with Frank and all those who wish to honor those athletes who were murdered because they were Jewish. Honorable peoples of all faiths are honorable, but that does not change history. What happened 40 years ago at the Olympics and what happened throughout the years of the Holocaust can never be denied and should never be forgotten. As for those Arabs who wish to herald in a new era and have a meaningful dialogue that leads to a peaceful solution with the Israelis as well as with their fellow Arabs, they certainly know how to have such a message be heard and what actions need to be taken to make that a reality. I hope to live to see the day when civilized people do make that a happen!

        • There will never be any peace so long as the Arab world uses as it’s uniting factor their hate for
          Israel instead of dealing with their own real problems. Note as soon as they took focus off of
          blaming Israel what has been happening for two years. This has always been looming out there but
          blame Israel and avoid your own problems – now the truth is starting to come out.

          • Golda Meir said that The arabs would have had peace long ago if they loved their children more than they hate the Jews. Look up history. The Arabs were offered many times parts of Israel but they wanted all of it. Like- is America ever goona give back California, Louisiana, or Texas? Not likely. Land for peace has never worked

      • Carole63 says:

        That`s so true!

  2. Peter Freeman says:

    Very moving solidarity! Rogge cerrainly has a lot of explaining to do.

    • Well said Peter. In some reports that I’ve read on this subject, Mr Rogge explained his rejections (of the one-minute-memorial) as forestalling a walk-out threat of the Arabic members of the IOC. SO WHAT; LET THERE BE A WALK-OUT! But let’s face the facts: we are dealing with just JEWISH ATHLETES. Athletes that represent the most reviled nation and people in today’s world. But why does it have to be so?? Becouse the perpetrators, or suporters of these, and other attrosities, say it is OK to do that in the name of Allah. Am I missing here something? Didn’t some mullah said, sometime ago, that there is no reference in the Quran to killing for the sake of killing? And let’s face it, that’s what the killings were: the 9/11, 7/7 and many more around the world, in the name of Allah. Why, in the name of God, do we have to see anti-aircraft missiles at the Olympic Games??? These events were supposed to mean brotherhood and cooperation in the spirit of sport among the athletes from all over the world. If that isn’t so, we might as well cancell the next and subsequent Games. There’s no point of such gatherings under the barrel of a gun. The Games had lost its meaning! I hope I am wrong!

  3. John Hames says:

    The IOC certainly can be idiotic, and often are, but I think on balance they made the right decision over this.

    The 11 murdered Israelis are not forgotten, or dishonoured. The memories of 1972 are as clear in my head now as they were when I watched, horrified, as the murders were committed.

    This was a terrible injury to Israel, of course – but also a terrible injury to the Olympic movement. I believe the Olympics – with all their many imperfections – are a force for good in the world, and that as far as possible they should be above politics.

    Black September dishonoured the Olympics and the ideals for which they (optimistically, of course) stand. It is difficult to forgive that. They knew exactly what they were doing. But even at the time I thought it was correct to continue the games in Munich, because you have to show these bastards that they cannot win.

    I support anyone who wishes to commemorate the murdered Israelis in any way, but I ask, Why London? Why now? Why insist on making it part of the Olympics opening ceremony? It has not happened before, as far as I know. I don’t think the IOC should be accused of dishonouring the dead because they don’t want to introduce a special silence. I can understand their reasons, and I don’t think they are necessarily bad reasons.

    It would be ludicrous to say (as I have heard one or two hard-boiled commentators say) that calls for a silence were also an attempt to hijack the Olympics for political reasons– there is not the slightest hint of a moral equivalence here — but they are maybe a tad opportunistic.

    I was thinking of the 11 (I know all their names) when the Israeli team appeared. Orchestrated remembering if anything gets in the way of genuine personal response to such tragedies.

    • No one ever mentions the 300 peacefully-protesting students shot and bayoneted to death, their bodies then burned, in Mexico in 1968. My father reported it for the Sunday Times but found apathy and disinterest among the athletes he spoke to and most of the media. It didn’t suit anyone’s interests, least of all the vile Mexican government’s, to have their nice little sporting display disrupted.

      You’re wrong, John. There should have been a commemoration this year. It’s 40 years. That’s sufficient reason for me. And what exactly are Olympic ideals? Steroid-fuelled monsters cheating their way to victory or community bonding torch-bearing ceremonies instituted by the Nazis in 1936 (sic).

      • Mark, thankyou for bringing this terrible incident to attention. Yes, it does seem that this should’ve been commemorated this year.

      • John Hames says:

        Well, I did acknowledge the imperfections of the Olympics, Mark! But I think your description is rather a caricature. What the Olympics does do is inspire millions of kids all over the world to get off their arses and strive for something, and pit their learned skills, discipline and courage against others in peace and a spirit of reasonable friendship. That is the ideal, though it has to be admitted that any sport at the top level turns into a blinkered monster, obsessed with itself, and tainted by nationalism and commercialism.

        I agree that the Mexico horror has been pretty successfully swept under the carpet. You could add things like the “resettlement” (resonant word, that) of thousands of people to get the Beijing stadium complex built, and so on. But these are the actions of corrupt and brutal governments, not of the Olympic movement, which is a soft target, as we saw in the infantile tit-for-tat boycottings of the Moscow and Losa Angeles games for political reasons, if reason is the word.

        (By the way, I hope it’s not intrusive if I say how much I enjoyed your father’s writings over the years, even if I often suspected that the urbanity of his analyses was wasted on almost all the football community!)

        • My problem here, John, is that it’s just such repressive governments (in common with all governments who hold these games, I guess) that are using the Olympics to try to promote a positive image of themselves. You can’t separate the Olympic movement from the body that’s promoting it.

          Thanks for the thumbs up on Glanville senior! He’s now frequently referred to by that lazy epithet ‘legend’, but there’s a solid foundation for that. As you suggest, he never took prisoners with his football writing but what’s happened is that the audience, now so much more middle-class (much to the detriment of the game in my opinion) is used to a higher-flown writing style and although my dad, a phenomenal natural writer (I’m speaking here with reverse ‘naches’!) will never be equalled, the likes of Patrick Barclay and Simon Barnes are now at the vanguard of a movement where educated, good-quality writing is the norm.

      • Speak my mind says:

        Thanks for mentioning Mexico. I had completely forgotten.

        • I too remember the murder of the Mexican students in 1968, which was hushed up just like the Turks who murdered 1,500,000 Armenians in 1915

      • james ehrlich says:

        Yes, it is very important to remember the Mexico massacre before the Olympics—the government pretended it never happened and nobody reporting on the Olympics made a big deal of that terrible part of history.

      • The Olympic ideals are those of looking forward rather than back, competition within cooperation, and global unity.

        • sure, looking forward, and having optimism about the future are wonderful……however, there is an old saying….’those who forget the past, are doomed to repeat it in the future.’
          that is why these types of things need to be remembered.
          and, don’t forget one thing…..there are people out there who deny some of the horrors that have happened in the past. that is why things need to be remembered.

          • Well said Stew! Concize and to the point. Allowing the moment of silence would have made a statement that such actions are not acceptable in the Olympic, by the IOC (if indeed it was true – denying it states loudly the opposite!). The Olympics value is not in people winning competitions (not always appropriately) but by demonstrating high humanitarian values of comradery, fairness…. being a “mench”! Once upon a time the word “sport” was synonymous to: honesty, etc.

            What kind of an argument it is, John Hames, that it was never done before – even if it wasn’t, there is the first time for everything. If we always would have done only what was done before we would have still been in CAVES! What matters is doing the right thing. It happened in the Olympics, it contaminated the Olympic and it’s values(?) so The OLYMPICS IS THE RIGHT PLACE TO REMEMBER AND PROTEST.

            The Boston Globe once dedicated it’s first page to xxx claiming that the Hollocast never existed, it a figment of sick Jewish imagination! Let’s just forget and ignore it… Stew is right, in personal life and in global, it’s important to remember the past and learn from it in order to avoid repetition of past mistake in hope of doing better in the future. Forgetting the past is like wasting a part of life. The “ostrich approach” DOES NOT WORK

    • The only reason it’s gotten so much press right now is because it’s the 40th anniversary.

      The families of the Munich 11 and their supporters have been asking the IOC for this moment of silence every single Olympics since 1972. Every. Single. One.

    • There were exactly two moments of silence and 1 extended commemoration for the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attack. Why was the opening ceremony appropriate for these commemorations but not the 40th anniversary of an event that actually took place at an Olympic event?

      • With the Games taking place in London, I’m sure that London had much more leverage over the IOC to do something like this. Had the Games taken place in Israel (although, they never would because the IOC is made up of a bunch of anti-Semites), I’m sure Israel would have done the moment of silence.

        • In my experience, most people who are not jewish have some degree of anti semetism, even if they wont admit it.

          • penny fletcher says:

            No, Marty, they don’t. I am not Jewish. When I moved to a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood many years ago, I discovered the richness of the Judaic tradition and the people, and wondered why this was not more widely known and acknowledged. I love my Jewish friends, and owe them a debt of gratitude for enlightening me on many issues, not just those pertaining to Jews and Israel. Anti-semiticism is, unspeakably, on the rise, in living memory of what happened in WWII. The Jews are God’s Chosen People. He will not abandon them. L’Chaim!

      • Everyone knows the the UK dislikes Israel. No member of the Royal Family has ever set foot in Israel and the Queen’s own uncle, King Edward VIII was a huge supporter of Hilter and the Nazi party as well has very Anti-Semitic. Secretly I’m sure many more of the royals are anti-semetic.

        • as is most of the world…….

        • Justin Philips says:

          Anke as an Israeli AND a Brit I must correct you. The Duke of Edinburgh attented his late Mother’s Internment in the Mount of Olives Russian Church. Prince Charles was at Yitchak Rabin’s funeral.Please get your facts right as you do your cause no credit by this type of slander.

          • Anke

            Please don’t judge us Brits by our Press or public figures. There are many of us – Jews and non-Jews alike – standing up for Israel in terms of advocacy and activism. We just don’t make it into the news I’m afraid! But we are here.

        • That is so untrue. When the prince married they received a Hebrew Crest from members of the British Parliament! There was a ceremony not to long ago at the Palace recognizing the contribution of the Jewish people. Look it up on the internet!

    • WELL SAID!!!!!
      There were exactly two moments of silence and 1 extended commemoration for the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attack. Why was the opening ceremony appropriate for these commemorations but not the 40th anniversary of an event that actually took place at an Olympic event?

      • Because if Americans, Italians, British or French athletes were massacred there would have been a minute silence from the very first anniversary. Jewish blood is unfortunately cheap and will always be. Especially when the world succumbs to Arab pressure.

    • BIG RICK says:

      They never had it before because the IOC Idiots will not allow it. They are basically Anti-semetic in their beliefs starting with Avery Brundage and every IOC president since.

      • Well stated. Not only anti semitism but fear of stirring up some terrorist or terrorists to resent and
        respond violently at the games which of course would make GB and the IOC look anti Arab and
        lord forbid pro Israel. It was London and other parts of GB that removed the Holocaust from school books for fear of offending the Arab world that so strongly exists in GB.

    • Deb Felsenthal says:

      John: This is not a random time to be asking for a moment of silence. The families of those murdered have been trying for years. Please read this article, which explains the situation well:

    • Paul Sheaf says:

      In reply to John Hames,

      It is not just now that the victims families are seeking a minutes silence they have been trying for the past 40 years, I can only speculate but I think the worlds Jewish communities up until the past 6 years or so have had a policy of keeping things very low key to try and stop the terrorists getting air time, this policy obviously didn’t work and the enemies of The state of Israel and Jews received undeserved sympathy and support.

      Now we are being more vocal the tables are slowly turning but we have 35 years of mistakes to undo. Our enemies lies will eventually catch up with them, we just need to keep shouting until we are heard.

    • Justin Philips says:

      John-the Palestine Authority described the move to have a Minute’s Silence as racist. I support a Palestinian State but the PA does it best to persuade me I am wrong. The truth of the IOC is that they feared certain States would dishonour the memory of our murdered athletes so like the cowards they are they said no.Do not forget please that avery brundage a out-and-out anti semite ruled the IOC in 1972.

    • In 1998 there was a tribute to a Geogian Luge Olympian killed during practice and also in 2002 a commemoration of victims of 9/11. Certainly the victims on the 1972 Munich terrorist massacre deserved an acknowldgment from the IOC and it’s President. I guess Israeli and Jewish lives do not measure up to the standard of these so called apolitical oraganizations. The commentators on Al Jezeehra even stated that the Israelis don’t deserve to be there. At the time of the massacre all nations were asked to lower their flags for the duration of the games 10 Arab sates protested and their flags were raised back up and left that way. The IOC said nothing.

    • I am in my upper 40s. I was a child 40 years ago when this tragedy occurred, so I never knew. And I I never learned about it in school. You ask, “Why London? Why now?” Because there is a whole generation of us who never knew about it, and like so many things that pertain to Israel and the Jewish people, we often don’t hear about things, and these are things we need to know, and things that need to be remembered.

    • What if , eg. Iran refuses to participate against israelis? Will they be told to go home, or would that upset the Arabs?
      Why was the Lebanese team allowed to ask for a barrier between them and Israel during training?
      But what if Israelis said that they will not participate against Iraniabs? Would they be sent home?
      The Olympics is supposed to be sport, notpolitical.
      One other matter.
      Is the Olympics amateur or professional? I note that some great athletes have been awarded huge money prizes.
      Are those who are against the one minmute silence, aware of the bestly murder of the Israeli athletese?

      The one Israel had just come out of his shower. He was shot at point blank range, castrated, and his testicles placed in his mouth.

      Unfortunately, those who are not interested, should think. “What if it was my husband or team?”

  4. Why not now? Why not at the Olympics? Good for the Italians!!

  5. Please take some time out to read this interesting info about London Olympics 2012.

  6. It’s a nice, if misguided gesture. His grandmother’s husband – a Holocaust and Auschwitz survivor, would probably have been horrified that a TATTOO was the method that Fabien used to express his solidarity.

    • How else is a swimmer supposed to make such a statement? Magic marker?

    • I respectfully disagree. It reminds me of my cousin’s son who shaved his head before his mother lost her hair to chemo. This is a tribute he made freely that will be with him always.

      • That is exactly the point. It will be with him forever. The point is not to forget. This nation vowed to never forget. This week the memory was not granted by the IOC. I think his grandmother will be proud.

      • Kay, respectfully, the two are not the same thing. The camp tattoos were a sign of dehumanizing; the inmates of these camps – Jews, Romany, Communists and many more “undesirable” groups – were intentionally reduced to slavery, starvation, torture and worked to death. Those tattoos were a sign that these people were less than human, they were just numbers. I grew up in a town where most of the seniors *were* survivors, and trust me, I never met one who didn’t shudder at the sight of any tattoo – even a cute heart-on-your-ankle.

        Living, walking, breathing, intelligent human beings reduced these inmates to the status of cattle, being permanently branded. So not the same thing as the temporary shaving of your head to mimic the temporary symptom of a disease’s treatment.

        • He had to do what he thought was right and, even though the tattoo may horrify many, I am certain that that was not his intention. I believe he meant it in the best way possible, and that it was done n the highest regard.

      • I also think it was made do never forget, I am so proud of it, who else on earth can live without Israelis??? his grandmother will be very proud. I will stand the Israeli’s Flag, proud of it. What jealously!!!

    • I understand what you are saying, Reena.

    • I, as well, see what you’re saying and agree with you, Reena.
      For those who don’t understand why this would be seen as displeasing, not only is it against Jewish Law to get a tattoo, but to a Holocaust survivor, especially from Auschwitz, where a tattoo was forced upon their forearm, it does seem like something he might frown upon.
      However, the fact that he made a gesture of solidarity with the Jewish/Israeli Olympians killed in the terrorist attack at the Munich Games 40 years ago, is symbolic and, in a way, uplifting. I believe it’s the sentiment, and heart he put into it, that counts.

      • Jewish Law regarding tattoos do not, I believe, apply to a person not Jewish according to Halacha, ie, Jewish Law, although it is a sensitive thing to those forced to have them in the Holocaust. They, non- Jews are obligated only for the 7 Mitzvas Bna Noach.

      • That is a lot of BS, nowhere in the bible or the Talmud does it say you can not have a tattoo. I have one on my arm for my dead daughter, and she was buried in a Orthodox cemetery. What about all the Jewish people with numbers on their arms from the Nazis, should they not be buried in a Jewish cemetery?

        • Moshe Kress says:

          Well, Big Rick… have you actually read the “bible” or the Talmud? You can start with Leviticus 19:28: “you shall not etch a tattoo on yourselves” (and obviously on each other as well as the context is about behaviors that are forbidden). I can’t recall of the top of my memory the citations but am pretty sure it’s discussed and ruled upon in the Talmud as well. YOU have a tattoo, but your daughter is buried in an orthodox cemetery. Your tat should prevent (or endorse) her burial? Did SHE have tats? Likely not. But even so, cemeteries (and Synagogues) are run by folks who have their own levels of acceptance of Jewish law. The halacha (Jewish Law) is clear. No tats. Did those camp survivors go out and get tattoos? No. You may recall they were rounded up like animals or worse, and were forcibly branded with tattoos. Does that keep them out of properly orthodox cemeteries? Of course not, THEY didn’t violate the law. We could have a disucssion about when and why the law is allowed to be broken, but Ii think it may be beyond this forum. By the way, in ALL sincerity, I am sorry for the loss of your daughter. No parent should have to bury a child.

          Our swimmer, he is not Jewish, it is safe to presume he meant well by the gesture and was not intending to be anything other than supportive. We gonna quibble about grammar and survivor reactions to gentile tattoos? Really? C’mon folks, the olympics are about power, money and politics. Yes there are amazing athletics as well and those who give their all for much of their lives to get there. But they are just meat for the machine.

        • Actually, Big Rick, I believe there is a verse somewhere in the OT that talks about now marking yourself for the dead. Not that I personally believe that applies to us today. Really, most people today just do tattoos as a “fashion” statement. But for those who get tattoos to have a personal meaning, such as yourself and the swimmer, I think this should be the reason for people to get tattoos.

      • As a jew with a tattoo, I find the comments understandable, but still all the more abbhorent. It is against “jewish law” for a jew to get a tattoo. It says no where that this athlete is jewish. So that is first off. It is also 2012, jewish law also speaks of stoning. I think that we, as jews (and people) need to be a little bit more accepting of individual’s means of expression. The law is that we must leave the world the way we came into it, however jewish law contradicts itself in the matter with circumcision. As a religion that preaches acceptance, we should accept people and welcome their individuality. That is, after all, one of the most important aspects of Judaism. His statement with this tattoo is extremely heartfelt, uplifting and moving and there should be no criticism for his actions.

    • It is not against Jewish law for a nonJewish person to get a tattoo if that’s what they want. I think it’s a beautiful gesture.

      And while on the subject, although not related to the Olympic matter at hand, to dispel a common misconception, a tattoo does NOT disqualify a Jewish person from burial in a Jewish cemetery. That is an old wives’ tale.

    • I think the sentiment is beautiful …..not the tattoo!

    • I doubt that very much. My mother and her friends were all Holocaust survivors and I think they would have shed tears of happiness.

  7. With the greatest possible respect for the British fallen heroes of The Great War and the victims of Arab terrorists of July 7th, how can Rogge possibly claim that these commemorations are appropriate while maintaining that the one honoring the 11 murdered Israelis at the hands of the Palestinians, is not? As tragic as the former two are, they occurred OUTSIDE the context of the Olympics. The Israelis were ATHLETES at the OLYMPICS. The crimes against them happened at and due to the opportunity which the games provided.

    Just what is wrong with that man?

    • theotherbob says:

      Reena, probably not. Married to a Gentile, Max would have been very comfortable around Gentiles. Tats would have been as common to him as facial hair or glasses. I doubt they’d have been of any particular concern to him. As the boy isn’t Jewish, I don’t see why the old man would have had a problem. As tats go, I find Hebraic calligraphy tasteful and aestheticly pleasing. As a Jew I refrain from getting one (or six) myself, but I certainly have no no problem with Gentiles having them. My only objections are on aesthetic grounds. (So many people with tats have really lousy taste.)

      • Reena and Tzila, it is against Jewish law for Jews only. He is not Jewish. His grandmother was married to a Jew, but from what I see, she herself was not Jewish.

  8. And once again, reason why one shouldn’t get a tattoo in a language one is not familiar with.

    The correct way it SHOULD be is בלעדיהם, אני כלום which explains why he’s not that comma hanging off the word at the end.

    • Devo, I was just about to write the same thing. The artist got it backwards!

    • No! it is completely correct in hebrew. The american coma rule is not an international one.

    • Actually, both ways are correct:
      אני כלום בלעדיהם – I am nothing without them
      בלעדיהם, אני כלום – Without them, I am nothing

      • Lola and Dror, I did not understand why he has a comma at the end of his tattoo. Devo suggests that “בלעדיהם” and the comma should have been on top of “אני כלום”. That would make sense. Maybe he can have a laser remove the comma.

        • The way the sentence is written is grammatically correct, the coma is on the right spot, however the sentence is not finished.

    • the comma might well be a stylized period. europeans do that sometimes.

  9. “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?”
    That’s why. Kudos to Bob Costas, the Italians, and this French swimmer–even if the Hebrew isn’t exactly correct.

  10. Geoffrey Cantor says:

    The Head of the IOC is an ASS.

  11. Ryan Sullivan says:

    I wonder why he does not protest Pal children killed by Israel?

    • because there is no such a thing!! the opposite yes!

    • art vandalay says:

      Maybe he doesn’t protest that because there is no state-sponsored killing of children, unlike the Pal cause or their arab sympathizers who lob rockets into civilian population.

    • theotherbob says:

      Ryan, or, the thousands of Iraqi & Afghani children killed by US & UK bombs & shells since 1991. Did you have any friends or relatives in the US military who took part in those war crimes?

    • I wonder why he does not protest the Palestinian suicide bombers killed because their religious leaders encourage and martyr such misguided acts

  12. I just got this sent to me by a friend and I am stunned!! I totally love this guy and from now on I am a supporter of the French swimming team. The entire IOC is corrupt and always has been. That they refuse to memorize the 11 Israelis doesn’t surprise, unfortunately we live in a very anti-Israel and often anti-semitic world.

  13. See link. Here is a glimpse into the IOC. I still cannot believe how someone from the IOC spoke with some of the surviving family members of the Munich 11. I am still at a loss for words.

  14. J M Restivo Braz says:

    Viva Italia – Vive la France

  15. If I ever got a tattoo– THIS WOULD BE THE ONE!!!

  16. aaron jacobson says:

    I like how it says his grandmothers jewish husband instead of saying his jewish grandfather

    • Probably it means that he wasn’t his grandfather. In the same way that my father’s wife, whom he married when I was already grown, and whom I very much like, is still my father’s wife, and not my mother.

    • nilla stien says:

      its probably because its not his grandfather. could very well be his grandmothers second or third marriage t

    • Aaron, Probably was a Step-Grandfather. Who knows.

    • That’s ALL you got out of this article Aaron? Seriously??

  17. The International Olympic committee is a cowardly group that has disgraced itself for 40 years in not remembering the most significant event in Olympic history. Before the games began a”spontaneous” gesture in front of 100 executive board members, officials and dignitaries was an insult to the memory of the slain athletes when it refused to honor them in front of their fellow athletes during the opening ceremony when it would be meaningful to those athletes who were not born during that tragedy. Those that were murdered were not executives, dignitaries or officials but ordinary men who had a dream just as those who stood in the field in the opening ceremonies have their dreams. A dream denied in the most vicious and horrible way. Shame on the IOC and their apologists

    • The IOC continues their craven cowardice when they give in to Arab demands such as putting barriers between their athletes and Israeli athletes. They should be told no and if they refuse to participate, so be it. Let their hatred be seen by the world and let them reap the consequences.

  18. Randy F. says:

    the team from Palestine and the other Arab countries should hold a special ceremony celebrating their assault on the Israeli Olympic team. The Olympic massacre was the most successful of their many massacres in the 1970s that established the Palestinian cause. There are many independence movements around the world, notably the Kurds, Sikhs, in Spain, Puerto Rico, etc. The reason the Palestinian movement is the best known is because of the Olympic massacre and similar assaults. It’s not based on history, because Jordan also “occupies” historic Palestine and over 60% of Jordan’s population is Palestinian.

    • Hoorah for Randy!! And what was the “Palestnian couse”? And why, in the name of God, do these murderers, and other like them, have to be refered to as “martyrs”?! They are not “martyrs””, they are just, plain and simple, murderers, killers, call them what you like, but not “martyrs”!

  19. Lorraine Baskin says:

    The opening ceremonies in 1996 included mention of the Bosnian War, and in 2002 a moment of silence was observed for the 9/11 victims. The IOC’s excuses are lame and anti-Semitic. Here is an excellent article putting things in perspective and giving quite a bit of the history:

  20. The tragedy of what happened in Munich to the Israelie team should always be remembered.
    A minutes silence this year would have been very appropriate. Bravo Italian team!

  21. This is for Big Rick, who wrote that nowhere in the Torah or Talmud does it say a tattoo is forbidden:
    Big Rick should read Leviticus Ch 19, verse 28 which clearly states “A gash for the dead do not make in your flesh and tattoo markings do not make upon yourselves. I am God”. You need it any clearer than this ?

    Indeed this prohibition, like almost all of the 613 Commandments, applies only to Jews.

    I applaud the actions by the Italian team and the French swimmer and agree with the various observations re-commemorating the peole killed in london’s subway and on a bus and not the Israelis.
    I never heard about the 300 people in Mexico. I was living in Canada at the time but worked such hours in remote areas that I could not watch TV or read papers.

  22. Let live. Let love. The man has a reason for getting it tattooed on HIS body. So that reason is the only one that should matter. If it is to raise question, he has done so. Bless him for his abilities physically and in heart. To mark your body in memory of those you love or what you are passionate for is truly a sacrafice.

  23. You all realize he was celebrating and not making a statement. While a nice gesture to his step-grandfather, I doubt it has anything to do with Munich. It wasn’t meant as a protest. He lifted his arms because he won a race. If it were a bunny that’s what the world would have seen.

  24. Vicki Lichtenstein-Burt says:

    yeah, advancement in society, thru better bodies, but not that they don’t work themselves to undaunted limits, but it’s not thru natural nutrition & all that unbelievable hard work month after month year after year, Moms & Dads making family sacrifices & the coaches etc., to achieve these accomplishments. Even with the drugs, it still takes guts , hard work & sacrifice.
    But for the sports hungry public they want more, faster more.
    What has this got to do with betterment of humanity? It comes down to thrill seeking commercialism
    & we all know this or you’re just in plain denial. That simple.
    CAn’t acknowledge this anniversary??? Good, now we got more attention on the point. Thanks for being in denial on everything. But now it’s memorialized thru out the entire Olympic Competition. NOw we can remember the Mexicans treated the same as in the Holocaust, now more know the truth of that.
    Hey, denial is very effective to get our points accomplished.

  25. While I love the thought of this French Olympian, I cannot imagine that a tattoo is ever justified. Considering that since the Holocaust, Jews have ALWAYS frowned upon voluntarily tattooing oneself since the Germans forced tattoos upon millions of innocent people. I am 44 yrs old, and the proliferation and widespread acceptance of inking is disgusting and sad. I would want that young people respect their bodies and the wishes of the adults that have suggested they do not get a permanent reminder of a temporary interest. Bad choices made by seemingly smart people that display their low sense of self respect. Honor the dead by good deeds, not by self depracation.

    • MW – Don’t project your values on others or hide behind statements like ‘Jews have ALWAYS frowned upon voluntarily tattooing oneself’. Do you speak for all Jews? If so, I apologize, I just missed the announcement that you were our anointed savior and spokesperson.

      If you don’t want a tattoo – don’t get one. I know many Jews with tattoos – does it make them less of a Jew? That would be preposterous to even suggest. Do they have a low sense of self respect? How dare you judge people that you do not know. Live and let live.

      The irony behind your judging others over something as individualized and personal as choosing to get a a tattoo makes you no different from any other ignorant person who preoccupies themselves with the judging of others rather than the living of their own life.

      And, how dare you take something as powerful as this statement – which was made in the face of the IOC’s cowardice to do nothing – and use it as an opportunity to attack tens of thousands (maybe millions) who have made the decision to get tattoos themselves.

  26. Carissa Carrera says:

    I just want to say that I am very impressed with all of these comments. Very intelligent and very respectful of other people’s opinions. Not something I see often on the Internet these days. I enjoyed reading each one.

  27. yes, a moments’ memorial to their memory would have been appropriate. The IOC were spineless about it. I am glad the security in London is better than it was in Germany 40 years ago. In fact the IOC’s fears about the Arab countries boycotting the games if they had been a moments’ silence was entirely misplaced as there is no risk that the delegation from Palestine would have done anything to imperil seeing their flag fluttering in London. Ironically one of the athletes in the Palestinian mission is actually a holder of an Israeli ID card. To his credit Boris organised a touching ceremony and memorial in the Olympic park. My sincere thanks to those whose efforts have been tireless in protecting this Olympiad’s deputation from Israel. Unfortunately the Islamist extremists interpret their scriptures such that they see a religious righteousness to go on the attack against and kill those who are not of their faith. It has not made the news but since the Olympics started there have been eleven missiles shot from Gaza into Israel. Unfortunately they never seem to learn

  28. John Hames says:

    I thank the people who have courteously engaged with the points I tried to make, but it’s depressing to see the discussion degenerate so quickly into the usual tit-for-tat squabbling. I am not religious, and at my advanced age it’s unlikely I’ll be getting a tattoo any time soon, so I really couldn’t care less what any Bronze Age texts dictate on the subject. This young swimmer seems OK to me. It is not so much a matter of not forgetting the horrors of the past — we have to recognise that each generation remembers in its own way, and we cannot dictate their responses. On the wider matter of the Olympics, I’m sorry to see Moshe Kress saying “the olympics are about power, money and politics. Yes there are amazing athletics as well and those who give their all for much of their lives to get there. But they are just meat for the machine.” I feel that is getting it completely the wrong way round. Certainly governments and businesses and other pressure groups always seek to piggy-back on the Olympics, but one has to see past that: it is the unaffected optimism and dedication of “the youth of the world” that the Olympic movement celebrates. The rest is just noise. Allan calls Munich “the most significant event in Olympic history”. I think that’s making the same mistake as Moshe Kress: the Munich massacre was NOT part of Olympic history. It was as far from everything the Olympics stands for as you could get. It was a cynical and brutal publicity stunt. On the even wider matter of Middle East politics, if I could be granted a single wish, it would be for it to be possible to venture a criticism of anything about Israel without being accused of anti-semitism. This is so frustrating. I was brought up in the 1950s in a home where no hint of racism of any kind would have been tolerated — but you don’t have to take me as an example. Just talk to kids in their teens and twenties: race appears to mean nothing to them. It simply isn’t on the radar. I would guess pretty confidently that nearly all fair-minded people in the west just want to see peace and good behaviour by both or all sides. But it seems that Israel never ever does anything wrong (that even appears in one of the posts above). This makes reasonable debate impossible.

    • John, well said!

    • Belle Rita says:

      My take on the criticism of Israel (which I understand is not the point of this article and the responses) is that there is no country in the world that is not deserving of criticism, but Israel seems to get a lot of it. I do think it is because it is a Jewish state and there is still lots of anti-Semetism in the world.

      Also, something else that I always say is that we don’t live there. I live in Massachusetts and if we had a terrorist attack in New Bedford one day, Springfield the next, Oxford the next, etc., you’d better believe that we’d be more than a little skittish and we would live our lives differently than we do now.

      • John Hames says:

        I think that is a good point, Belle Rita. We shouldn’t rush to judgement when we are not ourselves confronted with the situation. I just find it offensive that there is an *assumption* that any criticism must be motivated by anti-semitism. Not least because it’s not something one can prove one’s innocence of, but also because it makes it possible to dismiss any criticism, however valid, as racially-biased. In general I am anti-thuggery and anti-bullying, whoever does it! This doesn’t mean I am ignorant of history, or blind to it, but surely there has to come a time when everyone starts to look forward rather than backward? On the other hand, it is only fairly recently that I have realised just how comparatively few Jews there really are in the world (probably because I have spent most of my life as a musician in daily contact with more Jewish people than you can shake a stick at!), and that many of their actions and attitudes are genuinely prompted by fear — in the case of Israel, the fear of annihilation. (Again.) It may be dense of me, but that had never occurred to me.

        • Belle Rita says:

          I tried to do the math re: how many Jews there would be if Hitler hadn’t killed six million of us. At the end of “Schindler’s List” they said that the 1500 Jews that he saved had 40,000 descendants. I came up with 250 million, but my math could be off. Still not a lot when you consider the world has billions of people, but still…

          I have always lived in the U.S., none of my family was killed in the Holocaust, and while I don’t think that there are Jew haters behind every bush, there is a realization that anti-Semetism is still very much with us. I used to watch Washington Journal on C-Span when I had that kind of cable service, and it seemed that no matter what the subject matter was, by the 3rd or 4th call, there was an anti-Israel comment. Do you ever hear the same kind of criticism about Uganda, or Venezuela, etc.? Nope.

          There unfortunately is a long history of folks trying to kill us off. We may be paranoid, but with good reason. :)

          • Paranoia is the delusional belief there is a threat.
            If the threat is real, it is not paranoia.

    • The Munich massacre happened to Olympic athletes who travelled to Munich for the Olympics, and happened at the Olympic village. It is the only such massacre ever at the Olympics. Ergo it is part of Olympic history although probably the darkest event. It is also part of Palestinian history as it was one of several such massacres in the 1970s that put the Palestinian cause on the map. It is part of terror history because it showed that NO event is immune from terror.

    • While I agree that the Olympics SHOULD be about the “unaffected optimism and dedication of ‘the youth of the world’”, the organization which runs the Olympics (i.e. the IOC) hides behind this facade while carrying out their pursuit of “power, money and politics”. The underpinning of the organization is unfortunately not about the “ideal” but about the “real”. Like a government which concurrently shows the populace what they WANT to see while at the same time carrying out (less than savory) tasks incumbent upon most governments of the world, the IOC is no different. Those of us who want to see the utopian ideals on display (myself included) celebrate the Olympics for just that. However, one should not be blinded to the reality, where even in this Olympics the IOC granted certain athletes who did not wish to practice near the Israeli athletes permission to move to a different area for practice. In an IDEAL Olympic world, these athletes should have been sent home if the do not wish to be near the Israeli athletes; that did NOT happen. Like it or not, the murders at the Munich games ARE very much a part of Olympic history. The human and ideal response would be to honor the memories of those athletes who attempted to put the real world behind them and live for the moment in the utopian ideal, but were swiftly and heinously removed from that dream. An IOC which would pride itself in “lack of politics” and “camaraderie” of all humans would recognize that the minute of silence is about honoring the ideal which was embraced by the Israeli athletes in Munich, while not doing so would be only further testament to claims that the IOC embraces world politics. Clearly, they chose the latter.

      Finally, just a comment about Israel as a country, please review the recent history (1900′s) to see why true peace in the Middle East is not possible with the current players. Balfour already attempted the 2-state solution (1917-1922); it failed. Why should it succeed now? The underlying goal of Israel’s neighbors is to wipe it off the planet. Anything short of that would be a failure. That is why if Israel laid down it’s arms, it would cease to exist. While if it’s neighbors laid down their arms, we would truly have peace. All land “taken” by Israel in the wars since its creation were during conflicts initiated by other parties, NOT by Israel. Israel acted only in its defense and in doing so gained territory. Why should it then be OBLIGATED to return this land?!? It has attempted to return some land in good faith for peace, but so far rockets continue to fall within its borders (CNN, BBC, and other international news agencies do not air these stories; see Israeli news outlets to find out the facts on the ground). Again, one should not be fooled by appearances and “news stories”. The facts (in their entirety) speak for themselves.

      Sorry to throw more politics into the discussion, but I feel it is important to know ALL the facts before drawing any conclusions and making any (unbiased) comments.

      • myrna marinoff says:

        YORUM—–amazing coverage of IOC today — and the disturbingly reaction or no reaction to the importance of Honoring the 11 Israeli athletes murdered in Munich. Important info not known about the athletes who would not practise near Israeli’s and were allowed to change their excersise area. Horrifying how this was allowed . Y our reminding us of present and past history—factual. Amazing —Thank you this brought so much emotions to the forfront tears,anger, pride and much more. So proud of Italy and France’s Fabien Gilot. What an amazing job. thank you, again Myrna Marinoff

  29. Francesca Raphaely says:

    I’m confused. Why is this a story?

    Is because it’s in a funny language?
    Or is it because the Holocaust is important to this guy when it was only his grandmother’s husband who was Jewish?
    Is it because he’s representing his country while paying respect to a non-Christian religion?
    And why is the Olympic committee stunned? Is it because he’s French not Israeli?

    Why don’t we all talk about the Holocaust more? It was something done to European Jews by other Europeans, and it was a catastrophe for humanity. Yes it led to the creation of the state of Israel, and there’s a troubled history which follows from that, but there are plenty of Jews today who still choose to be European not Israeli, and plenty of Europeans who are not Jewish who might choose to remember the Holocaust.

    If we’re really going to bang on about this story, please show me some more tattooes and some more biceps.

    • You’re confused. If you do not think it’s a story then the rest of your post does not make sense. Also, where in the article does it say the Olympic Committee is stunned?

      BTW the state of Israel was on its way to creation long before the Holocaust. The Balfour Delcaration by England was 30 years before Holocaust. Jews have been kicked out of European countries since the Spanish inquisition of 1492.

    • Itzakh G'Filltfisch says:


      Is because politics and sports do not – and should not – ever mix, just like cultural events and politics shouldn’t.

      I find the disruption of Israeli artists’ performances in Britain deplorable and inexcusable. The murder of athletes engaged in innocent activities in the name of politics was a despicable crime.

      The Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics was a disgusting spectacle by the African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, and now the tattoo by Fabien Gliot is no better. I sympathize with the views of these athletes, but I do not approve of the venue and manner in which they choose to express their views.

      The swastikas and the very fact that the Olympics were held in Berlin in 1936 was abhorrent,, the boycotts of the games in Moscow was a ridiculous spectacle, just like the return salute at the Los Angeles Olympics. When the IOC decides that it’s OK to hold Olympic Games in countries run by oppressive dictatorships, which use the games for propaganda purposes, like nazi Germany, communist USSR and communist China did, then that is bad enough. Having athletes running around and making political statements during sports events is unacceptable. Same goes for performing artists during concerts, shows or exhibits (it’s fine if the art in and of itself is political – that is another matter).

      Athletes have every right to exercise free speech, but let them do that as private citizens in neutral venues, not when they are acting representatives of their countries or their sport/(art). For this obvious reason, it was also completely wrong to ban the Greek jumper who tweeted racist remarks before the games. I in no way condone her statements, but she has the right to free speech so long as it is not deemed outside democratically instituted bias laws. Nobody forces people to follow anyone’s tweets, and publishing them in a newspaper, while potentially personally embarrassing for the athlete, is nothing that should result in official punishment when not expressed during participation at sports events or about fellow competitors, specifically.

      I cannot admire anyone who chooses to make political statements at events that should, by their very nature be apolitical. The IOC is perfectly right in refusing to submit to the pressure to politicize the games in any way, and should rather seek ways to avoid handing the games to countries run by dictatorships..

      We have enough corrupt and biased politics in our daily lives as it is. There should be times and places which offer us a holiday from politically inspired acts and statements of all kinds. To most, me included, the Israeli athletes murdered in 1972 were innocent victims of a heinous act. To others, those who murdered them were freedom fighters protesting the illegal seizure of their land. So long as the IOC allows the Olympic Games to be held in countries run by dictatorial regimes, it should try to stay out of further controversies as much as possible, or the games will go to hell. There are Arab country members and athletes at the games, just as there are Israelis and their supporters. There is no way either side would agree about a memorial to the 1972 events as things stand today.

      I hope that by 2022 the world will be a sane enough place for such a memorial to take place wherever the games are held. I won’t hold my hopes up too high, though. Maybe by 2122….

  30. Somente a lamentar.
    Aqui no Rio de Janeiro, sede dos próximos jogos Olímpicos nos deparamos perplexos ao constatar a existência de pessoas medíocres no Comité Olímpico tomarem decisões contrárias ao mundo democrático e livre, principalmente o Mundo que respeita e ama os ideais Olímpicos e dignifica a vida humana.
    A lastimar e protestar.

  31. Bruce Tuchman says:

    The IOC should have recognized the Israeli athletes brutally murdered at 1972 Munich Olympics.
    They should never have bowed to Arab or any pressure. That was a disgrace. End of story.

    • I agree with Bruce ! The IOC should have recognized the Israeli athletes brutally murdered at 1972 Munich Olympics. Shame on IOC!

      Itzakh, you should be more sensitive towards the family of the 11 victims, at least recognize their pain, if any.

  32. MORT KUFF says:

    Olympic gold was cheapend with the admission of professional athletes to the games.

    And now apparently, the international Olympics committees are comprised of the compromised.
    They have taken this event that was conceived as a test of individual athleticism and
    sadly, corrupted it beyond any semblence of its original purpose.

    Today’s Olympics have become a cruel farce perpetrated on the purely amateur athletes
    around the world.

    Boynton Beach, FL

    • John Hames says:

      Mort, if only strictly amateur athletes were allowed to compete in the Games, we’d be back to the situation that existed when the Olympics were first revived — sport at the highest level would be open only to those who had the money to finance their training and competition. In 1900 that meant basically English and European gentry and the richer Americans, and it led to criminal injustices like the appalling treatment of that great athlete Jim Thorpe. I don’t believe anyone seriously thinks that would be a good thing. Surely we want all young people to have the chance to improve their bodies, their minds, their characters and their lives — and earn the admiration of the rest of us — regardless of their wealth, or lack thereof? I’m not personally particularly keen on sports like tennis and golf being included in the Olympics, but as a general rule inclusion is probably preferable to exclusion. I’m not so sure that the IOC is quite so bad as some are suggesting. Considering they have to somehow keep the often conflicting interests of 200+ nations in balance, they seem to do a pretty good job. That the Games go ahead at all probably confirms this. Sometimes realpolitik requires you to do distasteful things. In the case of the “sportspeople” wanting to train away from Israeli athletes, I’m not sure what I would have done (assuming I wanted the Games to go ahead without prompting mass walkouts). Probably accede to their demands, while making it clear to them in private exactly what I thought of them, in words of one syllable.

  33. I am so proud that the Italian team staged a tribute — so very proud to be of Italian heritage right now. We always did suffer less than most countries from the European Disease, and I hope we continue to do so. The past 800 years of European history have demonstrated nothing so conclusively as the terrible dangers of Jew-hatred.

  34. I salute all the atheletes who have made an effort to keep the memory of ’72 alive.

    Never again, not Munich. not auschwitz, not the pogroms…… never Again!

    ב”ה .

  35. I think they should go back in history, see who was murdered at the Olympucs and each summer and winter Olympics have a moment of silence for everyone.

    • When else was there ever an instance of any Olympic athlete murdered at Olympics, even an individual, let alone most of a country’s team out of hatred of their group, as in this this actual incident of jihadist pious barbarity? When?

  36. Alec Saul says:

    I say thank you to the IOC for the publicity they have given to the memory of the murdered Israel Munich athletes. They have succeeded in keeping their memory alive, they have also succeeded in destroying the arab gangsters. If political gain has been successful it has certainly been for the Israeli athletes.

    Because of all this their memory will be commemorated for a long long time to come.

    All strength to the french swimmer who displayed true sportsmanship by raising his arm in respect of the Israeli Munich athletes

  37. Francesca Raphaely says:

    Yes to all this about commemorating victims of terror and building solidarity, but what has any of it to do with the fact that this guy remembers and loves his grandfather?

    I don’t think that, when this courageous survivor of the Holocaust nurtured his grandson’s dreams and inspired him with his strength, he was doing it as a political commentary. Nor do I think this swimmer is making a political statement about Israeli/ Arab relations when he honours that memory. In a way, we are doing violence to that old man and to this precious relationship by making it politically symbolic, just as any group can idolise or demonise any other group, and turn them from individuals into political symbols.

    Surely if we say anything to this swimmer it should be: I’m sure if your granddad, who was no doubt an amazing bloke, could see you now he would be very proud, and thank you for challenging our prejudices about nationhood and belonging. Go France!

    Fabien, merci pour votre expression de solidarite avec les tues du Shoah, qui a confonde nos delusions au question de patrimonie. Je m’en doubte que votre Pappi etait un homme extraordinaire qui, si il pourrait vous voir aujourd’hui, serait tres fier. Allez les blues!

    • John Hames says:

      Thank you for bringing us back to the point, Francesca! I do agree with your second paragraph. It is quite scary how quickly, how almost automatically, some people will seize on anything they can use, or misuse, in support of their political views, however inappropriately. It is this opportunism that I was referring to in my original post. It certainly creates more heat than light. I’m sure the truth is out there somewhere, and it’s worth trying to get at it, even if it is always more boring than the biased rhetoric. To the contributor above who said “see Israeli news outlets to find out the facts”, I would only say . . . well, I don’t think there’s anything I *can* say!

      • Francesca Raphaely says:

        ‘More heat than light…’
        Absolutely John!

      • I never said the facts only come from Israeli news outlets. I only said that the facts you are being spoon-fed by the mainstream Western media is biased against Israel. They choose to report only on stories which person to their bias, while ignoring they stories. All I suggested was that in addition to listening to the mainstream news, make it a point to listen to Israeli news. Only then can one begin to see the entire picture. I am sad and disappointed that people pass judgement after hearing only one side of the story. I would definitely not want such a person as a judge or juror. Consider ALL the facts before formulating an opinion, if you wish that opinion to be unbiased and based on truth.

  38. yeah for people who are still human beings

  39. This was a deliberate attack on Olympic athletes during the games. If that doesn’t constitute Olympic history I don’t know what does. Heck, they should mention it during the opening ceremonies of all summer games!

  40. The only good thing to come out of the Olympics in the last 50 years was when John Carlos and Tommie Smith gave the “salute”. The Olympics are nothing more than another way for Corporate greed and government corruption to rear It’s head.

  41. I’m glad to see there are people here of conscience who care about what happened in 1972. It’s good to see certain issues put into perspective. There are people in positions of power in the US as well as the UK who are anti-semitic / racist. I don’t let the conservative element in the US fool me into believing they are so sympathetic with Jews and Israel. Yes, there was the Nazi element of the Olympics back in the 1930′s. Now is 2012. What are we going to do with regards to antisemitism / racism. Are we going to stick our heads in the sand? Are we going to ignore it? Or, are we going to have the courage to address it and to make sure to fight it. We can’t do anything what happened in the past. We can learn from it and take action. If not. we are doomed to repeat history. Do we want to allow the positive ideals of the olympics to be destroyed? Can’t we come together and fight bigotry, racism, antisemitism? We can than compete in sports based on the talent and skills of what the athletes from all over the world have brought to showcase their talent. Good luck to them all.

  42. gene scher says:

    what can you expect from one of the most hypocritical and anti semitic organizations around. they are only rivaled by the umited nations when it comes to hypocricy. Remember arab oil and influence always come in handy. morality and integrity do noy.

  43. Itzakh G'Filltfisch says:

    How lovely! Now sports fall under the ministry of blog culture just like sports are administered by cultural ministries in a number of other countries in the world.

    This is an eclatant example of how culture gets watered down (no pun intended) by getting thrown under the heap of mentally non-refined activities in which humans engage.

    The story, while poignant, belongs in a news blog, not a supposed culture blog. Or is Mr. Lebrecht looking to follow Ted Turner?

  44. Orietta L'Abbate says:

    There should be a minute of silence for all those killed while peacefully contributing to a world of sport, regardless of sides and the blame-game. The Olympics is not a forum for politics but one for peaceful human advancement and achievement. This is what the IOC does not get.Instead of taking sides, unite all under the compassion and respect flag…where is it?

  45. Bravo Fabien Gilot and all honour to the Italian team!

    Their gestures were noble, appropriate and brave, a testimony to the original Olympic ideals of spiritual and intellectual as well as physical excellence.

  46. Someone in the press needs to press the IOC for permitting the barriers; as a comment above noted, it just proves the hatred. Could you imagine the same concession for whites/blacks? (As one example.) Of course not; it would be flogged in the press and denounced all over, as well it should be. Why is this demonstration of intolerance and hatred tolerated?

    The IOC needs to grow a set and say “no” – we don’t condone that sort of hate-based practice, and here are the rules; either compete under them or leave…your choice.

    Sometimes I am really embarrassed to be half Belgian, between the EU and the IOC.

  47. Treasa Ni Cheannabháin says:

    What happened at the Munich Olympics in 1972 was horrible there is no doubt & must be condemned. However many people posting here refer to history & advising others to ‘know’ their history. Well the Olympics Committe were absolutely right NOT to give a minute silence for this atrocity. Why?? Because what the Israelis did as revenge was an even worse atrocity! See & read this history that seems to be continuing to this day! The Israelis killed hundreds of Palestinians in Lebanon & throughout the world in revenge! Horrific! Israel has not learned any lessons & continue to arrest & imprison innocent Palestinians in ‘their’ own country Palestine. When Israel stops their hatred of Palestinians & give them their freedom & human rights then perhaps the world will have some respect for Israel!

  48. Through all this conversation – which I have appreciated for the civility and information presented – I have seen much talk of Jews, politics, Olympic muddleheaded leadership, wars and rumors of war, but very little about the force which is behind the scenes. There seems to be a huge fear of riling up the Arabs. Therefore, lets all agree to put the blame somewhere else. Can’t get those boys upset, you know.

    To me the Arab problem looks like the elephant in the living room.

  49. We the Jews around the world stand by FABIEN who commemorated the death of 11 Israelis Athelets who were heinously murdered by Palestinains terrorists and stupidly by the German troups in the Munich Olimpic of 1972. The whole world watched in horror! We say thank you to Fabien and we thank and say bravo to ITALY for not hesitating to stand for Israel and to commerorate the 11 murdered Athelets Jews in 1972 Munich Olimpic. More than million spectators watched you Italy and we thank you!! Too bad IOC could not do the same, at least as a humanitarian gesture.

  50. We love you Fabien, we love you Italy!!!!!!!

  51. It’s laborious to search out knowledgeable people on this topic, however you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  52. Lori Reisman says:

    We Jews didn’t need a moment of silence for those Israeli Olympians killed in Munich…We were able to come out loud and clear with a brilliant Hava Nagila performed by Aly Raisman for an Olympic Gold Medal…take THAT Olympic committee…now THAT was a full blown tribute to those who came before her and were taken so tragically! We sang loud and she danced for them brilliantly..Thank you Aly:)

  53. Bravo, there are still people in the world that care and remember, since the Olympic group won’t. Shame on them.

  54. dennis egan says:

    The International Sports Organizations need to stop kowtowing to the Arab nations. If they do not want stay apolitical and follow the spirit of the fair play and healthy competitiveness then let them go and more importantly stop holding events in their countries.
    Qatar would not fly the Israeli flag during the Asian Games there (so they did not fly any national flags). UAR recently denied entry to an Israeli pro tennis player which should have resulted in the cancellation of any future pro tennis event there but that didn`t happen.
    Money talks however and these International Sports Organizations are obviously for sale (and their leaders lack both an understanding of their fundamental mission and any integrity).

  55. Murfmensch says:

    Some athletes make nice gestures and no one here seems to care. They just start throwing around accusations we’ve heard before.

    Arabs get blamed where they don’t have a lot of influence, like the IOC. The most likely reason there was no moment of silence is simpler. In England, moments of silence cannot be held at soccer matches because some idiot always yells something awful. Instead, they have a round of applause, which always feels weird.

    This is more likely to influence matters than Arab power or Royal anti-semitism.

    But you just want to notch your belts.

  56. Joel Reinleib says:

    We are supposed to be the most intelligent species on the planet, but history will tell you that many of us are real barbarians who care nothing about human life, and are only interested in their own gratification, no matter how evil it is. When will we realize that Politics and Religion only serve to separate people.

  57. Murfmunch….You must be living in another England… We frequently have minute silences. I did think you were gonna say something sensible there. Well done, Fabien and any other athletes who supported the silence. Let us stop squabbling about the exact histories of the past and move forward. We are the children of God.. metaphorically or not. We all need to learn how to get on together. To do that at this time means drastic changes and help to minority parts of the Muslim world and apropriate education within their states….that does not refer to all muslims and arabs. If you do not understand that, your opinion is as warped as a fanatic.

    All you commentors sound bitter and ready for a fight. The terrible events of the early 1940s was not the fault of the whole of the rest of the world. For all the terrible things the Nazis did, the 6000000 Jews was one awful factor of many. More than double lost their lives for freedom.

    Study John Lennon, he has the answer…. if only it were possible. It doesn’t help Jews to move on when we are asked to remember every persecution event in our history annually… even happy events like Chanukah.

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