Frank Staine-Pyne Review: Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel’s Deadly response
The Munich Massacre represents one of the most dreadful terrorist acts carried out by the PLO against unknowing civilians in the history of an international event. During this tragedy 11 Israeli Olympians were kidnapped by the PLO and held for several days before eventually murdered. This book reviews the acts of retribution taken by Golda Meir and her successors on behalf of the Israeli people. To achieve retribution Golda Meir levied her Mossad with the utmost power to kill at will under the most secretive measures for justice. Meir defined these acts as justified under the following principles: deterrence, prevention, or revenge. As Meir’s chief, Shabtai Shavit, the head of Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, the Mossad,
authorized killing the final of the PLO actors responsible for the Munich Massacre. This became part of the process know as “closing the circle” which started a three decade mission of revenge. Closing the circle required the effective use of intelligence gathering while effectively infiltrating Paris, France with Mossad agents without being detected. The assassination of the final PLO actor, Bseiso, represented the prominence of Israel’s intelligence and Sayeret Matkal to carryout missions throughout the world.
Prior to Munich Massacre Israel had been in a constant height of escalation as defensive intelligence was not working. During this period from 1971-1972 the Black September terrorist organization was constantly plotting, engaging and killing Israelis. As the tension of these events unfolded the Israeli Defense Force and PM were intent on taking measures to protect its citizens at all cost. Unfortunately, though this plan could not protect its Olympic athletes as Germany’s security grossly underestimated its measures taken in preparation for the Munich Olympics. The book describes that despite intelligence and security gathering by Israeli operatives Germany refused to take security measures that would require using military or police forces with guns. The German’s perspective was that the Munich Olympics was its first step toward regaining global acceptance as a peaceful member and any measures taken that displayed soldiers with guns would undermined this effort. Hence, they took every measure in a passive stance avoiding any aspect of due diligence with respect to security and intelligence gathering. Despite the insistence by Israel’s Olympic Delegation Shmuel Lalkin to implement security measures that would protect Israeli athletes the Germans strenuously opposed all suggestions. The events that followed during the capture and killing of the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches directly resulted from Germany’s lack of security measures. Additionally; Germany’s inexplicable response to the deaths and the botched hostage rescue by its forces were further shamed after blaming Israel’s history...