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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

September 07, 2002

Munich Massacre Settlement

The relatives of those murdered at Munich in 1972 have agreed to a settlement of a lawsuit against the German government.
Thirty years after the massacre of 11 Israelis by Palestinian gunmen at the Olympic Games, Germany announced Friday that relatives had accepted $2.98 million in compensation - far less than the $29 million they demanded and without an apology.

Speaking to reporters at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Sept. 5, 1972, massacre, Interior Minister Otto Schily rejected suggestions German police made mistakes that contributed to the carnage.

``Even in Israel, hostage-takings and attacks are not prevented,'' Schily said. He said the compensation was a humanitarian gesture from the German government, the state of Bavaria and city of Munich.

The Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah meant the families of the slain Israeli team members didn't attend the ceremony at the military air base near Munich, where the drama came to a bloody end.
Although readers are free to draw their own conclusions, the settlement amount, which comes to less than $10,000 per year per victim, the lack of an apology when "incompetence and perfidy of the German government" both during and after the hostage stand-off and massacre aided the terrorists, and the circumstances of the announcement, when taken together, appear to me to be another slap in the face to the victims and their families.