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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why are London's Jews skittish about a Munich Olympics plaque?

From TheJC:
A plaque is to be unveiled in London before the start of the Olympics in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Games 40 years ago.

The memorial is the initiative of two campaigners: Linda Kelly, a Conservative Jewish councillor in Hackney – one of the designated Olympic boroughs – and Martin Sugarman, chairman of the Hackney Anglo-Israel Friendship Association.

"We thought it was a travesty that none of the Olympic cities since Munich, as far as we know, had erected a plaque to commemorate the event," Mr Sugarman said.

He said that after lobbying, without success, the London Jewish Forum and other groups to take up the idea, he and Councillor Kelly decided to pursue it themselves.

"We found someone with a building who is willing to donate a plaque there," Mr Sugarman said.

The location is in Hackney but is otherwise being kept under wraps until shortly before the unveiling on July 22, the Sunday before the start of the Olympics. "We were told by the appropriate authorities we shouldn't reveal it before," he said.

The bolded sentence bothered me, so I contacted Mr. Sugarman and asked him about why the location is being kept a secret. He said that his group was keeping it under wraps, because in the UK it is obvious that such a plaque - memorializing Jews who were butchered by Palestinian Arab terrorists - would inevitably attract people who would try to disrupt the unveiling. He has an elaborate system to tell people about the ceremony at the last minute to avoid  the ceremony itself being targeted

In fact, he noted, that a Holocaust memorial in Hyde Park has been vandalized several times, and something like that is to be expected with anything that can be construed as sympathetic to Israelis or Jews. The Jews in Great Britain simply clean up the damage and move on. It is normal. He fully expects that this Munich Olympics memorial will be targeted as well in coming weeks and months, until the haters get bored.

It was astonishing to me to see how even dedicated pro-Israel and Jewish activists in England simply accept that this is the way it is. Their synagogues are fortresses and their memorials are targets.

That's life for Jews and Zionists in the bastion of liberalism and tolerance known as Great Britain.