Is it too late?
You would have to be an Australian to appreciate how shrill that sounds.
Australia has never boycotted the Olympic Games let alone one in London. There have been Australians winning medals at every one. Even in 1980 when the US President implored us to boycott the Moscow Olympics over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan we let the team go if they wanted to so long as they did not appear under Australian emblems or anthem.. Many stayed home but most went. That is easy to understand.They appeared under the IOC flag in the opening ceremony if they appeared at all. Fine.
Sport is one of the things that define us as a people. It is one of the things that defines all peoples. It is something that defines us as people. Isn't that the whole point of the Olympic ideal? Is there some other point?
A few days ago the Lebanese judo team was scheduled to train in the same facility as the Israeli team. They demanded that a screen be placed between them so that they did not have to see the Jews working out.
The IOC complied.
The families of the Israeli team who were murdered by Nazi insurgents* (maybe it's past time we starting calling these people what they are) asked for a moment of silence in their memory at the opening ceremony.
The IOC refused.
What is going on here? As an Australian I would like to know.
Here is a man who has an opinion that should be heard. This is who he is in his own words:
"The threat of the IOC coming after me does not scare me anymore. When you have no more dignity, you have nothing to lose. So, members of the IOC -- my name is Guri Weinberg and I am the son of Moshe Weinberg, the wrestling coach murdered at the 1972 Olympics. And I am not going away."
And here is a sample of what he has to say:
"In 1996, I, along with other Munich orphans and three of the widows, were invited for the first time to the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Before the Opening Ceremony, we met with Alex Gilady. Gilady has been a member of the IOC's Radio and Television Commission since 1984 and has been the senior vice president of NBC Sports since 1996.
"I have known Mr. Gilady since I was a kid; in fact, I grew up with his daughter. He had been supportive in the past regarding our plea for a moment of silence during the Opening Ceremonies, so we arrived with high hopes. Gilady informed us that a moment of silence was not possible because if the IOC had a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes, they would also have to do the same for the Palestinians who died at the Olympics in 1972.
"My mother said, "But no Palestinian athletes died."
"Gilady responded, "Well, there were Palestinians who died at the 1972 Olympics."
"I heard one of the widows say to Gilady, "Are you equating the murder of my husband to the terrorists that killed him?
"Then Ilana Romano burst out with a cry that has haunted me to this day. She screamed at Gilady, "How DARE you! You KNOW what they did to my husband! They let him lay there for hours, dying slowly, and then finished him off by castrating him and shoving it in his mouth, ALEX!"
"I looked at Gilady's face as he sat there, stone cold with no emotion. This man knew these athletes personally. This man led the Israeli media delegation at the 1972 Olympics and saw this atrocity first hand. This man saw my father's dead, naked body thrown out front of the Olympic Village for all the world to see.
"Without a hint of empathy, Gilady excused himself from our meeting. "
I wouldn't be going away either.
See what else he has to say here.
OK. Pulling the team out now might be a little over the top. But surely as Australians we must see there is something stinking and rotten going on in the world and that it has always been close to the core of the IOC.. Nor should there be any surprise it has now reached London. You only have to note who was the Labour candidate to run the city at the last election.
At what point are we going to say enough is enough?
Torturing and murdering athletes and coaches in front of the whole world is not enough? An athlete who is killed in a tragic training accident is enough but this is not? Why?
You know why. It is because of who they were.
Slinking off to some side show at Guildhall or somewhere from which the Jew haters could exclude themselves is moral cowardice of the worst kind and we all know it and It makes no difference at all if the families were there.
Consider the IOC.. They could not honour the memory of the victims of this unspeakably ugly crime before the whole world in the same way that it was committed because there were too many people and countries that would find even the suggestion contemptible.
They prefer screens.
As a Jew* (never forget by the way it is they who define the Jews and they are known to be liberal with the definition. If Rupert Murdoch can be a Jew so can anybody), apart from the usual disgust you would hope all people feel I guess there is some relief that there are still signs of empathy. As an Australian I'm not sure what I feel. I'm glad our Parliament stood in respect but at what point is enough enough?
In our lifetimes in certain regions of the US a man could be dragged by a mob and brutally murdered in public because of an allegation against him. They kept the photographs. You can find them in an instant if you want to. Sometimes they didn't even bother wearing their hoods. Unlike Munich.
Australians need not get smug about this as we all know. Not by any means. We know what this is. It does not get uglier. We all have reason to be embarrassed by it.. We all have a reason to stand against it.
At what point is enough, enough? Here's a modest proposal.
Until the IOC is reformed and this racist shit is eliminated and in particular until there is proper respect for the families of the murdered athletes and coaches of the Munich massacre Australian athletes should not compete under the Australian flag. They can compete if they must but under the IOC flag or no flag at all.
Are we brave enough? Would it help?
Probably not. Probably not as well but it might.
The point is to make the bigots boycott the ceremony and show themselves for what they are in front of the whole world. Let them explain themselves. Why aren't they there. Put them under the spotlight. Sometimes it helps if only to clear some more minds of the delusion this has anything to do with the welfare of the Palestinian people.
Here is an opportunity to show the world that murdering people in front of the world because of who they are is un-Australian and not only do we want no part of it but we want no part of an international body that equivocates on this.
Even if they run the Olympic Games. Especially if they run the Olympic Games.
This immediately raises the United Nations but let's be serious for a moment and do something in the pursuit of peace, doesn't cost anything and is thoroughly Australian as well and leave the UN out of it..The UN and peace have no right to be in the same sentence other than this one anyway.. So let's talk sport. I think we will find there are many who speak the language.
It's too late for London but is it too late to send a message to the IOC for next time?
Australians prefer their sport direct, fresh, raw and unpolluted by cheating, corruption, drugs and racism. It is unacceptable to refuse to honour the murdered athletes and coaches of 1980 and to stand in sympathy with their families solely because of their nationality, race or religion. Politics are unavoidable but this introduces something foul that defiles any decent concept of the Olympic spirit. It is something that we choose not to have our flag associated with.
If the IOC can not or will not deliver untainted sport then it is time to sack the IOC in the interest of sport.
For certain there are many people around the world who feel the same. What if this were to become global with others urging their countries refuse symbolic association with something that so plainly disgraces and debases sport. A global campaign to clean out the IOC or face boycott-lite as a minimum. You know. A little like Methodist BDS except not morally depraved.
Australians know the history. The IOC should be reminded of its.. Reform. Or else.
Hat tip: Eleanor
Cross posted: Geoffff's Joint Bar Grill
Did you know that in 1908 and 1912 New Zealanders and Australians competed in the same team and were called Australasians ?
Yuk. That's appalling.
I suppose that was one way of getting them used to the idea of Gallipoli.