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Olympic Massacre And The Effects Of Relations

2299 words - 10 pages

The Olympics, an international affair, is a time when the entire world gets together and temporarily forgets past conflicts to enjoy seventeen days of competition. When Munich in West Germany hosted the Olympics in 1972, it started out like any other, with hundreds of athletes and a memorable opening ceremony. The events proceeded without any difficulty until the sixteenth day of the games. At a time when all strife was put on hold, no one would have thought that there would be such a catastrophic circumstance as the Olympic Massacre. As the world watched, the Palestinians and Israelis struggled to get what they desired through elaborate plans and arduous negotiations. The fragile relations ...view middle of the document...

Several other attacks were ascribed to Black September, but the most complex scheme was the Olympic Massacre.
The Olympic Massacre, which turned out to be a huge international event, was the brainchild of Muhammad “Abu” Daoud. Abu Daoud was first introduced to the public eye when he was in charge of Al Fatah’s central intelligence operation in the Jordanian capital, Amman. During the time he became a member of Fatah’s executive unit, the Revolutionary Council, he developed the plan for the Olympic Massacre. In February of 1973, he tried to carry out an unsuccessful plan against King Hussein, who had driven Palestinians out of Jordan two and a half years earlier after the Jordanian Civil War. Whilst traveling in France under a false name, he was sentenced to death by the police; Daoud got out of his sentence by giving up information on his organization to Jordanian intelligence. During Abu Daoud’s visit to a Warsaw hotel coffee shop on July 27, 1981, he was shot 13 times by who he claimed was a Palestinian double agent but survived and tried to chase down the shooter before collapsing at the front entrance. In 1999, he admitted his role in the massacre in his autobiography, Memoirs of a Palestinian Terrorist. He claimed that the athletes were never meant to be harmed and blamed the deaths on the German police and the stubbornness of the Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir. On December 27, 2005, Daoud publicly announced that he had no regrets about his involvement in the Munich Massacre. Eventually, he died of kidney failure at the age of 73.
The complexity and difficulty that wasn’t part of the plan that Abu Daoud and Black September devised made the Olympic Massacre an even bigger event.
The first step of the plan (kidnapping the Israeli team from their rooms) was to be done quickly and without disturbances in order to be successful. On September 5, 1972, at 4:30 AM, five Palestinians wearing track sweat suits with athletic bags hopped the fence to the Munich Olympic Village and headed to the building that housed the Israeli athletes’ rooms. No one thought to stop them as athletes hopped the fence surrounding the quarters frequently. The security wasn’t tight that year as well because the West Germans had been trying to prove that the games that they hosted would be safe and without conflict. They were met by three more men outside the units occupied by the Israeli team and together entered two rooms. As the Palestinians slowly opened the door to the first room, the Israeli wrestling referee, Yossef Gutfreund, heard the terrorists attempt to enter and saw the masked men with guns. He shouted a warning to the Israeli team and tried to keep the Palestinians from forcing the door open by throwing himself against the door. One coach, Tuvia Sokolovsky, and race-walker Dr. Shal Ladany successfully escaped while four athletes, two team doctors and delegation head Shmuel Lalkin managed to hide. In a matter of minutes, the Palestinians had kidnapped ten...

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