A U.S. House of Representatives panel is urging the International Olympic Committee to pay tribute to 11 Israeli team members killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games. The measure asks for a moment of silence at this year's games and all future Olympics.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the non-binding resolution by voice vote.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the killings. Last month, the IOC rejected Israel's request for a minute of silence at the start of this summer's games in London, saying it had paid tribute to the victims before.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the committee, said the IOC's refusals were indefensible. She said she recently wrote to IOC President Jacques Rogge urging him to reconsider.
Committee members Rep. Eliot Engel and his colleague Rep. Nita Lowey have also urged the IOC to honor the victims with a moment of silence during the Olympic opening ceremony on July 27.
"It doesn't matter whether it's Israelis, Americans or athletes of any other country who were killed. Athletes participating in the Olympics were murdered and the IOC does nothing about it. Forty years later it's time for them to have a minute of silence," Engel said on Thursday.
On September 5, 1972, eight Palestinian gunmen slipped into the Olympic village and killed two athletes. They took nine other Israeli athletes and officials hostage, demanding the release of 234 prisoners held in Israel and two in Germany.
All of the hostages were killed during a bungled rescue mission at an airport tarmac when a firefight ensued between the Palestinian gunmen and the German police. Five gunmen and a German policeman were also killed.
"They should embrace it, run with it and put the world on notice that we all condemn terrorism and the very purpose of Olympic battles is to show a solidarity in the world and that solidarity was breached by murderers in Munich in 1972," Engel said.