August 9, 2012, - 3:42 pm

US Jewish Olympian’s Tepid Quote on Slain Israeli Athletes Too Little, Too Late, NOT Brave

By Debbie Schlussel

Since yesterday’s New York Post cover article about it, many readers and friends have been sending me the story about U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast (and Jew) Aly Raisman’s statements in support of an official Olympic memorial for the slain Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics by Islamic terrorists. Plenty of mindless conservatives are calling her belated statement “brave.” Some people contacting me called it “courageous.” In fact, it is neither of these. While Raisman’s meek, lukewarm statement is nice, it is too little, too late. And frankly, at this point it is irrelevant . . . except as smart marketing for future paid speeches and appearances before Jewish groups. And all she said was that if there was a moment of silence she would have respected and supported it. That’s hardly a strong statement calling for one. It’s very tepid, in fact, not the “chutzpah” the New York Post claims. Not even close.

Where was Aly Raisman when it counted? Where was she BEFORE the Olympic Opening Ceremony, where any fitting memorial to the Israeli athletes and coaches needed to be? Why didn’t she speak up then, if it was so important to her, as she now claims? Now, with the Olympics almost over, it’s meaningless. Useless. Perhaps she felt that, if she made a statement in solidarity with those seeking a memorial to the slain Israeli Olympians, Olympic judges and officials might have taken out on her in scoring for her Olympic events. But that’s why her speaking out now isn’t brave or courageous. Courage and bravery involve doing what is right when times are tough, when there’s a risk to you for your actions. And she said nothing then, when others were crying out for the Olympic memorial in the Opening Ceremony. Now, it costs her nothing. She’s already won her gold and silver medals. She has nothing to lose. It’s not like Ahmed’s Falafel Hut was considering her for an endorsement deal. But it will enhance Raisman’s image with the group that has a lot of money to spend to hear her speak–the only group in American Judaism that still cares that she is Jewish and identifies with her for being a Jewish-American: middle-aged to older American Jews.

And to them, I say, while Aly Raisman could have ignored the Israeli athletes’ memory by choosing not to respond to a reporter’s question, she was put on the spot by a reporter and her statements now are almost as if she did blow off the question. It might have made a difference–and it certainly would have gotten more attention–had she said something when it mattered, before the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

And she was strangely silent at that time. And not just strangely silent. Deliberately silent. As deliberate as her sudden lack of reticence on the topic now. And, yet, even now, her statement isn’t exactly anything to write home about. It’s a passive response to a reporter’s question, not an active statement in support that you’d get from Muslim athletes in support of their comparatively unworthy causes.

That doesn’t get any applause or cheers from me. Just a ho-hum and sigh. And a, “is that the best you can do?!”

New York Post columnist Leonard Greene claims that Raisman “loudly shocked” observers by paying tribute to the slain Munich Eleven Israelis. But in fact, it was neither shocking nor loud. More shocking and loud is that anyone calls waiting until no one notices or cares to say something on an issue whose time–at least for this Olympic Games, the meaningful 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre–has come and gone, “brave” and “courageous.”

If this truly “needed to be said” as she claims, she should have said it two weeks ago, not two weeks too late.

More:

Aly Raisman made quite a statement yesterday by winning a gold medal and invoking the memory of the Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago in Munich.


Raisman finished first in the women’s floor exercise, but she deserves to have another medal draped around her neck for having the chutzpah to face the world and do what needed to be done and say what needed to be said.

At the same Olympic Games where bigoted organizers stubbornly refuse to honor the slain athletes with a moment of silence, 18-year-old Raisman loudly shocked observers first by winning, then by paying her own tribute to 11 sportsmen who died long before she was born. . . .

She won her event with the Hebrew folk song “Hava Nagila” playing in the background.

“Having that floor music wasn’t intentional,” an emotional but poised Raisman told reporters after her performance.

“But the fact it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me.”

Then Raisman stuck the landing.

“If there had been a moment’s silence,” the 18-year-old woman told the world, “I would have supported it and respected it.”

Huh? If that milquetoast line is the best she can do, two weeks late, who needs it? Not the ghosts of the Munich Eleven who cried out for her support long ago and didn’t get it then because it wasn’t convenient to her medal quest.

That people are raving over this weak response to a reporter’s question, just goes to show how desperate they believe our position is, that even a rotten crumb thrown their way is quickly devoured and excessively appreciated like a sumptuous steak.

Again, not brave, not courageous. And at this point, not of any use at all.

Remember Them . . .

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Remember Who Murdered Them . . .

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92 Responses

Were any of you out there gymnasts training for the Olympics?

Just a question.

As a gymnast MYSELF of almost 20 YEARS experience in all aspects of the sport: competing, coaching, judging, choreographing, etc.
I thought I’d pose this question… DO YOU PEOPLE HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A TEENAGE GYMNAST AT THE OLYMPICS? Have YOU ever trained for ANY SPORT 5-6 DAYS, ABOUT 30 HOURS A WEEK? Did YOU give up your childhood for days in the gym, breaking bones, tearing muscles, bleeding wounds (hand rips), OH YEAH! and that one other minute detail: mental pressure of knowing YOU were chosen to represent the USA for your GYMNASTIC SKILLS. and that if you failed at GYMNASTICS Were YOU fighting for

MD-Gymnast on August 15, 2012 at 2:37 am

(sorry, message got cut off)

My point is this: These gymnasts live, breathe, and eat gymnastics. The hyper-focus required for this sport (I only speak for gymnastics because I can’t speak for other sports) is astounding. Just describing the sickening, masochistic dedication is insulting to the sport. Really, only those who have been there and done that get what a mind-numbing sacrifice it is. If you go back and listen, most of those gymnasts didn’t even know what their OWN scores were on their events during the team competition! THAT is how tight their blinders are on.

It blows me away how easily some of you point the finger at this 18 year old girl, like she is somehow is “responsible” for something, yet I don’t know quite what she is responsible for. But I do know this: She is responsible for gymnastics competition. She signed up to represent the USA in gymnastics. She signed up to help get a gold metal for the team. And that’s what she did.

One last thing, Just to be sure, I’m assuming all of you self-righteous, Aly Raisman haters have made staunch attempts in your lifetime at fighting for there to be a tribute to those involved in the tragedy that happened in Munich, right? Oh, and at 18…and while flipping on a beam…as a matter of fact, you probably had your speech ready to go at 16 and held a press conference and brought the world to it’s knees with your moving and heart-felt tribute.

I only assume all of this since you are all clearly a better American than Aly.

Go ahead and take a second and think about what YOU were doing at 18. Then those without sin may cast the first stone.

MD-Gymnast on August 15, 2012 at 2:59 am

gah. Yes, I see all of the spelling and grammatical errors, e.g., metal, (medal). I apologize. I’ve been up for 17 hours and mistakes happen while typing at 2:05am. Forming coherent sentences when you’re pissed off is tricky. So again, yes, I know there are typos, sorry

MD-Gymnast on August 15, 2012 at 3:07 am

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