Munich Olympics Tribute: Canada's Government Gives Unanimous Support Amid International Spat

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MUNICH OLYMPICS TRIBUTE CANADA
The federal government has unanimously supported an international movement to honour the 11 Israelis slain at the 1972 Munich Olympics. (AP) | AP

OTTAWA - The federal government has unanimously supported an international movement to honour the 11 Israelis slain at the 1972 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee has refused requests to hold a special tribute at the London Olympic opening ceremonies, 40 years after the Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian gunmen at the Munich Games.

A motion in the House of Commons by Liberal MP Irwin Cotler to support the initiative for a special tribute was adopted unanimously Wednesday.

The IOC's refusal to honour the athletes with a moment of silence has left Israeli officials fuming.

It has also led to a growing global campaign to convince the Olympic governing body to reverse its decision.

Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird asked IOC president Jacques Rogge to reconsider his position in a letter sent last week.

"The terrorist attack targeted not only Israel, but the spirit and goals of the Olympic movement," they wrote. "Given the impact of this tragedy, on the Olympic community as a whole and the world, it should be marked publicly as part of the official ceremony of the games, not just by the Israeli delegation."

In the second week of the Munich Games, eight members of the Black September militant group penetrated the laxly secured Olympic village and took Israeli team members hostage. A day later, all 11 were dead.

German police killed five of the eight assassins during a failed rescue attempt and Israeli agents tracked down and killed the others. The Games were briefly suspended.

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