London – Next Sunday at 11am, next to the Olympic village in east London, a sign commemorating 40 years since the murder of 11 members of the Israeli Olympic delegation at the Munich Games is set to be unveiled.
Surprisingly, Israel's ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub, will not be attending.
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Taub's plan to send two diplomatic officials in his place has angered both the organizers of the event and representatives of the victims' families, such as Yossef Romano, the nephew and namesake of weightlifter Yossef Romano.
"I don't understand the decision," Romano, who works as a television cameraman in London and plans to attend the event, said. "The Israeli government has been pressuring the IOC unsuccessfully to mark the killings, and now that money has been raised to put up a commemorative sign, the ambassador isn't coming?"
Yossef Romano, nephew of one of the murdered athletes (Photo: Modi Kreitman)
Linda Ann Kelly, a member of the London City Council, explained that Taub would not be participating in the unveiling due to tensions within the Jewish community, which is responsible for erecting the memorial.
"It's embarrassing," she said. "In my opinion, the ambassador gave into a Jewish organization that doesn't want us to hold the ceremony. It appears that he feels there will be too much media. I'd like to know what the Israeli public thinks about this."
The Israeli Embassy denied claims about tension in the community and said: "The embassy is holding a series of events in memory of the Munich victims, including an official ceremony that will take place in central London on August 6 and that many senior British officials are expected to attend."
"Unfortunately, due to reasons beyond his control, the ambassador could not personally attend the Hackney event. However, he has instructed two senior diplomats to represent Israel in his place."