Last week, on the 45th anniversary of the massacre in Munich of eleven Israeli Olympians by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September, the German president, together with his Israeli counterpart, unveiled a monument to the Israeli athletes. A nice gesture, writes Liel Leibovitz, but one that is rendered “meaningless and offensive” by the lack of acknowledgment of Germany’s own behavior at the time:
Nowhere on the new memorial does it say that the Germans were tipped off about the pending attack three weeks before it happened by a credible source in Beirut, but failed to do anything.
Nowhere is it recorded that, as Der Spiegel uncovered five years ago, German officials met with Black September’s Abu Youssef, the attack’s mastermind, just months after the massacre in order to “create a new basis of trust,” agreed to upgrade the group’s status from terrorist organization to resistance group, and allowed the PLO to send a colleague of the Munich murderers as its emissary to Bonn. . . .
Nowhere does it indicate that, as we’ve learned from the testimony of Tzvi Zamir, the head of the Mossad at the time of the attack, the German authorities made no effort whatsoever to save the lives not only of the Israelis but of their own police officers as well. . . .
These are not minor gripes. They indicate a systemic pattern of neglect before, during, and after the attacks, putting innocents at risk and appeasing the perpetrators. It’s a pattern that ought to trouble anyone, but should resonate particularly in Germany. If the Germans want to pay meaningful tributes to those Jews slaughtered, yet again, under the watchful eye of their government, let them begin by acknowledging these failures, and by taking concrete steps to assure they never happen again. Anything less is just a meaningless pile of rocks.