Statement on Canada's Support for a Minute of Silence at the 2012 Olympics

TORONTO, June 12, 2012 /CNW/ - This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics, at which 11 members of the Israeli national team were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. Despite requests from the state of Israel and others in the global community, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has so far refused to allow a minute of silence in honour of the victims of Munich at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Games.

In recent weeks, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs has engaged with key officials in Canada's federal government, as well as leading members of the opposition, to urge Canada to call on the IOC to reverse its decision. As a result of these efforts, the Centre is pleased to announce that an official letter expressing disappointment on behalf of Canada has been sent to the IOC by Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird and Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal. A parallel Liberal Party parliamentary initiative to have a motion in the House, led by MP Irwin Cotler, speaks to the cross-party consensus from which Canada's stance has emerged.

In response, David Koschitzky, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, issued the following statement:

"We applaud the Government and members of the opposition for this principled initiative. In calling on the IOC to reverse its shameful decision to refuse to honour those slain at Munich, Canada once again stands out as a moral leader on the world stage.

"As Jewish Canadians recall the horrors of the Munich Games, at which 11 innocent men were targeted simply because they represented the Jewish state, we are grateful that Canada has joined this growing international campaign. There is still time for the IOC to do the right thing, and we are hopeful it will finally heed the calls issued by Canada, Israel, and others around the world."

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is a non-partisan organization that serves as the Canadian Jewish community's official spokesperson to government and media.

To read the letter from Minister Baird and Minister Gosal to the International Olympic Committee, click here.

SOURCE Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

For further information:

Steve McDonald
Associate Director, Communications
416-953-4417
smcdonald@cija.ca

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