Munich Commemoration

'Security' row over Munich tribute at 2012 'Security' row over Munich tribute at 2012

By Leon Symons

Allegations that a police trainer has labelled a proposed commemoration of the Munich Olympics massacre at the 2012 London Olympics "a security threat" have been vehemently denied.

An Islamic scholar, hired by Scotland Yard to train police on interfaith issues, had warned that a commemoration ceremony "could become a national security threat if it was not managed properly and was perceived by Muslims to be ‘hijacking' the Games", The Times reported this week.

The scholar, Sheikh Michael Mumisa, was addressing senior officers from the Yard's Transport Operations Command Unit during a two-day training course on faith and interfaith, held last month at the Woolf Institute for the Study of Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim Relations in Cambridge. The course was the first of its kind held by the Institute.

Its executive director, Edward Kessler, said: "Sheikh Mumisa's words have been twisted in a way that is not accurate. I know what was said because I was there throughout the course. We were very unhappy with what appeared because it did not reflect the course that the officers took.

"We are not experts in terrorism, we are experts in faith and interfaith and that's what they were here to learn. It was a very positive programme which dealt with subjects including antisemitism and Islamophobia.

"The possibility of a ceremony to commemorate the Munich Olympics massacre was mentioned as being key to the Jewish community. But it was discussed in terms of one type of commemoration being wholly appropriate and another being wholly inappropriate. The police would have to deal with the situation on the ground and the point was that they should be aware of the sensitivities of each faith community. It was certainly not talked of as a ‘national security threat' or the Games being ‘hijacked'."

Sheikh Mumisa was not at the Institute and could not be contacted for a comment. Eleven Israeli athletes were killed by the Palestinian Black September group at the 1972 Munich Games. The 2012 Games will mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.

Alex Goldberg, chief executive of the London Jewish Forum, said that any commemoration would be "up to the families of those who died, with the Israel Olympic Association and, ultimately, the International Olympic Committee to decide what it will be".



Source URL: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/7497/security-row-over-munich-tribute-2012

2012 Tribute to Munich Victims

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by Justin Cohen

Lord Janner is spearheading efforts to secure a minute's silence during the London Olympics in memory of the eight Israeli athletes killed during the Munich Games 40 years earlier.
The Labour peer, who sits of the Jewish Committee for the London Games, is hoping the tribute will take place during the opening or closing ceremony. It will be down to the International Olympic Committee to decide whether to take on the proposals.

"We will do our best to make sure that the memory of the victims of the Munich massacre are remembered in an appropriate way at the Games," said Lord Janner. "We hope that this will be marked in one of the olympic ceremonies as well as by the community and City of London."


The proposals are being supported by the JCLG, which also comprises the London Jewish Forum, Maccabi GB and UJIA. LJF chief executive Alex Goldberg said: "This will take a concerted international effort from politicians and sports associations, from both our community and outside of it."


It has previously been confirmed that a host city event will be held in memory of the victims. Two or three venues are currently being considered to host the ceremony, including Bevis Marks.


Meanwhile, 2012 organisers have asked the Jewish community to take a leading role in welcoming ceremonies for the Israeli Olympic and Paralympic teams in the Olympic village. JCLG hopes the event will see hundreds of young British Jews joining members of the Israeli team and IOC members.


Goldberg said: "This will be one of the main set piece events for Jewish youth in London. We are developing a programme to ensure that the entire community becomes involved through hospilitality events, sports programme, schools programme and volunteering opportunities before and during the Games."