Immediately following Culture Minister Raleb Majadele’s presentation of the book to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister Ruhama Avraham-Balila (Kadima) said that “something unheard of occurred. It is impossible that a book commemorating Israel’s 60th anniversary was published without mentioning the massacre of the 11 fallen athletes at Munich.
“We cannot ignore such an influential incident. I am demanding Minister Majadele to recall all the dispersed books and to ensure that a chapter dealing with the murder of the Israeli sportsmen killed in the Olympics is added.”
The adorned book mainly covers the athletes and teams that most stood out in the last decade, but a short chapter is dedicated to the history of Israel’s Sports Department.
Ministers present at the meeting said that Majadele stood up and with a shaky voice said, “Mr. Prime Minister, Mrs. Minister Avraham, I apologize. I will check what happened, and work towards fixing the mistake. Anyone who knows me, knows that everywhere I make a speech, I mention the massacre. I apologize in the face of the families of the 11 fallen men who know how dear they are to me.”
Avraham noted that the book’ introduction contains a sentence written by the Head of the Sports Department Dr. Uri Sheffer regarding the Munich murders, but in her opinion, it’s just not enough. Ministers participating in the governmental meeting were shocked by the fact that the murders were unmentioned in the book.
One of the ministers said, “Multiple, splendid pages were included, displaying the winnings of Bnei Sakhnin in the 2003-2004 State Cup, but the murders at Munich are only mentioned in a two-liner in the introduction, without a chapter? It is unbelievable that this book was created by an Israeli governmental office.”
Majadele’s Media Consultant Dotan Olivier said in response that “the minister usually refers to the fallen Munich athletes at every event in which he participates. The families were invited to an event at the Wingate sports institute two weeks ago and he spoke about them there as well. This is a saddening mishap and we will work on fixing it.”
Olivier also said, “The book summarizes sports in the last decade despite the title displaying 60 years to Israeli sports.”