I couldn’t find the story online, but a friend sent me the text of a Jerusalem Post report about the reprehensible decision by Greek Olympic officials not to list Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city on the official website for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The entry opposite the heading “capital” is marked with an asterisk figure (*) instead. The footnote, at the bottom of the webpage, reads: * Please visit the official United Nations website for further information regarding the capital of Israel. The comment provides a web link to a United Nations fact file on Israel, which also doesn’t list the Jewish State as having a Capital, but instead writes: “The position of the United Nations on the question of Jerusalem is contained in General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947.”
Previously, the website had Jerusalem down as the capital of “Palestine,” while Israel’s capital slot was left empty. Following complaints lodged by [member of the Knesset] Arye Eldad with the Greek Embassy and Foreign Ministry, Israel’s capital was entered as “Tel Aviv”, leaving the Palestinian slot blank. At this point, the Greek Foreign Ministry approached the organizers of the Olympics, reaching a compromise by which both the Israeli and Palestinian capitals would be omitted from the register.
This “compromise” is absurd. As Eldad notes, “Palestine is not a state, and therefore has no capital. Israel, on the other hand, is a state, and has a capital which the Greeks are refusing to recognize.” The Greeks, of course, have a well-earned reputation for anti-semitism. For that reason, perhaps, a Foreign Ministry official suggested that there be some kind of commemoration, perhaps a moment of silence, during the games of the 11 Israelis killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics. But that idea has so far been refused by the organizers of the Games. The sad sub-text to this story is that the anti-semitism of the Olympic organizers seems to exceed that of the Greeks.
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