Murder of Israeli Olympic athletes to be commemorated at London 2012

June 22, 2009 at 3:38 pm 2 comments

by Tony Grew

A member of the House of Lords has said he is delighted that the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics will be remembered at the Games in London in 2012.

Lord Janner told the House:

“The Jewish Committee for the London Games is delighted that Mayor Boris Johnson has pledged to mark this tragedy at the 2012 Games, and the committee is very grateful that the noble Lord (Lord Coe) has agreed to this being done.”

The athletes were taken hostage at the Olympic village in Munich in 1972 and later murdered by Black September, a militant group with ties to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah Palestinian terrorist group.

Lord Janner was speaking during a debate on the 2012 Olympics initiated by Lord Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

Lord Coe told peers that January was the halfway point from winning the bid to the Olympic opening ceremony.

“We are on track to deliver a compact Games with swift and safe transport and we are building new permanent structures only where there is a long-term and sustainable legacy,” he said.

“All our venues in the Olympic park are on, or even ahead of, schedule and being delivered within the public sector budget set by the Government three years ago.

“Let me give noble Lords an insight into the scale of these operations.

“They include: athlete services, accommodation, catering and transport for 10,500 Olympians, 4,000 Paralympians and 15,000 officials and coaches; venue operations such as security and waste removal at 40 venues;

“Spectator services and ticketing for 9 million people who will come to watch the Games; press and broadcast operations, ranging from results services to internet platforms for the 20,000 accredited journalists; workforce services to recruit, train and clothe thousands of staff and up to 70,000 volunteers;

“A Cultural Olympiad and education programme enabling thousands of community organisations, schools and local authority colleges to be inspired by and engaged in the Games; and our creative teams are working hard to choreograph ceremonies that reflect the best of the United Kingdom.”

Lord Jopling asked why Lord Coe had not mentioned security problems at the Games.

“Is it not a fact that the vicious people around the world who plan terrorist attacks must regard the London Olympics as one of the prime future potential targets?” he asked.

“Why has he not said anything about those preparations?”

Lord Coe said security is discussed regularly by the Olympic board and there is an Olympic Security Directorate under the direction of the Home Secretary.

Lord Corbett of Castle Vale said there are ongoing arguments among the national bodies about two sports: shooting and the equestrian events.

“There is serious concern among those bodies about the venues chosen for those events,” he said.

“Shooting at Woolwich and the equestrian events at Greenwich may provide fantastic televisual locations but both have serious safety issues and little or no perceivable construction or sporting legacies—something stressed in our bid.

“Shooting around its national home at Bisley and equestrian events at, for example, Badminton, would have left far better legacies and provided better facilities for competitors and spectators, arguably at lesser cost.”

Making her maiden speech, Baroness Campbell of Loughborough, the chair of UK Sport, praised Lord Coe.

“I am sure that his outstanding leadership from those early days in Singapore will continue to deliver a very successful Games in London in three years’ time,” she said.

“When we achieved our finest results for 100 years in Beijing—fourth in the Olympics and second in the Paralympics Games—it was heralded as a great success.

“The Olympics and Paralympics arena is a theatre of dreams.

“It is a place where ordinary people battle against all sorts of odds and, through hard work and perseverance, achieve their dreams.

“It is their journey, not the medal, which inspires us all. UK Sport is building a world-class system that will give us great pride as we see our athletes achieve in 2012.

“I hope that beyond 2012 we begin to appreciate that our elite sportsmen and women are not just about national pride but about setting an example for every young person in this country to achieve their personal best, whatever their circumstances and however difficult their journey.”

Lord St John of Bletso was concened with legacy.

“London 2012 will certainly provide 16 days of outstanding sport, yet the Olympics will be judged in London as an unqualified success only if the event leaves a clear and measurable legacy for this great city,” he said.

“Part of the legacy will clearly be the physical infrastructure, but an important element of it should be created in the hearts and minds of Londoners who are exposed to the benefits of sport and healthy living.”

Health was also an issue raised by Baroness Gould of Potternewton.

“As chair of the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV, my concern is that there is adequate sexual health provision,” she told the House.

“Evidence from the Sydney Games shows us to expect a big increase in demand for sexual health services with a corresponding increase in sexually related diseases, mainly among casual workers, making it important that prevention and health promotion services are in place now.

“There is clear evidence from other Games of a correlation between major sporting events and an increase in human trafficking.

“Britain is a Mecca for the low-risk, high-profit industry of human trafficking which centres upon London.

“The Olympics is expected to have a major impact on the sex industry across London and the south-east, if not further afield.”


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2 Comments Add your own

  • […] to this entry on i spy strangers, a blog that follows the doings of Great Britain’s Parliament, A member of the House of Lords […]

  • 2. Flexible New Deal  |  September 9, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Very nice thought but why does the Government take this approach with foreign people (we are equal I am not getting at that point of not being British) but wouldn’t do the same if they were British?


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