MONTREAL — Canadian lawmakers on Thursday unanimously passed a motion calling for a minute of silence at the London Olympic Games to honor Israeli athletes killed at the Munich Games in 1972.
The International Olympic Committee last month scotched any possibility of a tribute to the athletes killed by Palestinian militants, but Canadian MPs said the 40th anniversary of the tragedy should be recognized.
In Ottawa, the House of Commons unanimously adopted the measure put forth by the Liberal Party to remember the "tragic terrorist events of the 1972 Munich Olympics wherein 11 Israeli athletes were murdered."
"Civil society groups and political leaders around the world have been calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the London Games," said Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who proposed the motion.
"I am delighted that the Canadian parliament is the first to unanimously support this call."
The Israeli government wrote to the IOC in April to ask that the Games begin with a moment of silence, but the IOC said while there would be some form of commemoration, it would not come during the opening ceremony.
"The IOC has regularly commemorated the 1972 tragedy and will do so once more in London at a ceremony during the Games, but there will not be a minute's silence in the opening ceremony," an IOC spokesperson told AFP.
The spokesperson said the decision had been taken by the IOC in concert with the Israeli National Olympic Committee and that it had been relayed to the Israeli government by IOC president Jacques Rogge.
As during every Summer Olympics, the Israeli Olympic committee will organize a memorial and Rogge will take part, as he did in the 2008 Games in Beijing, the spokesperson added.
The spectacular hostage-taking by Palestinian militants from the Black September organization at the Olympic Village in Munich climaxed in the killing of 11 Israelis and a German policeman as well as five militants.
The London games open on July 27 and run until August 12.
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