Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Un-Olympic Spirit

The Olympic Spirit is in full swing in London.  Unless you're Israel.  In the mother of all international events, aimed at unity and world peace, hatred of Israel is the recognized exception.  The London Games opened with the International Olympic Committee's refusal to include a memorial, or to even recognize with a moment of silence, the 40th anniversary of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered in the Munich Olympics by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September, despite having moments of silence for victims of war and the 2005 London terror attacks (which NBC failed to air).  Why? Apparently, the IOC was loathe to offend the Palestinians or their supporters in the Arab world.  To which I would ask, why would they be offended?  Unless... they viewed the murder of Israelis as a noble endeavor.  Olympic officials continued the insult by erecting a makeshift curtain to placate the Lebanese Judo teams' refusal to practice alongside the Israeli team just a day before the games began.

Not to be outdone, the British Broadcasting Corporation refused to list Jerusalem as the capital Israel on its website.  Among 205 countries profiled on the BBC's Olympic website, only Israel was listed without a capital.  However, the BBC made sure to list East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, even though the Palestinian Territory is not a recognized nation.  It took an angry letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the BCC to address the discrepancy... sort of.  The website now lists Jerusalem as the "seat of government," adding "though most foreign embassies are in Tel Aviv," (which is more definitive than the White House).  East Jerusalem is now listed as the "intended" seat of government for Palestine.

The behavior of the IOC and others in the international community amounts to, at best, cowardice and hypocrisy.  At worst, bigotry.  Their tacit acceptance of open anti-semitism on the part of many in the Arab world and Iran is disturbing, as is their skulking, paternalistic fear of offending anyone but Israel.  It's unimaginable that the IOC or the British government would tolerate the treatment of any other country or ethnic group in this way.

Cue John Williams' Oympic Fanfare.

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