Munich 1972 Olympics Massacre - Assignment Example

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The incident happened on the 5th of September 1972 when the Palestinian terrorist group called black September entered the Olympic village and attacked the Israeli players and made them hostages. They…
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Running Head: MUNICH 1972 OLPYMPICS MASSACRE Munich 1972 Olympics massacre This paper aims to discuss the massacre at the 1972 Olympics held at Germany. The incident happened on the 5th of September 1972 when the Palestinian terrorist group called black September entered the Olympic village and attacked the Israeli players and made them hostages. They then demand the freedom of prisoners in the prisons of Israel and Germany. When the demands seemed too difficult to be fulfilled, the terrorists asked for two planes to escape to Cairo with the hostages. The Germans raided the terrorists at the airport and captured three of them and killed the rest, but all the hostages were also killed. The furious Israel took immediate and severe action against this and launched the operation wrath of god, which included aerial bombing and precision assassination of selected targets. The operation was successful, but it faced criticism for using violence to tackle terrorism.    
Munich 1972 Olympics massacre
The 20th Olympics games were held in Munich, Germany. The pressure was high in these games as this was the first international event to be held in Germany after 1936. The Israeli players were especially nervous as most of the players’ family members were killed in the Holocaust, or they were the survivors of the Holocaust. The start to the Olympics went good until 5th September 1972, when eight members of a Palestinian terrorist group called black September entered the Olympics village. They went straight to the 31 Connolystrasse where the Israeli players were sleeping. They took nine players from apartment 1 and apartment 3 as hostages. Some tried to fight back, and two of them were killed on the spot. The news began to spread out, and the police was informed. The terrorists demanded the release of 234 prisoners from Israeli prison and two prisoners from German prison. The authorities tried to convince the terrorists to lower their demands but all they succeeded to do was to extend the deadline. There was a deadlock between both parties and the terrorists understood very well, that their demands will not be met and therefore, they asked for two planes to fly to Cairo, Egypt with the hostages. The authorities agreed, but the Germans knew that they could not let the terrorists fly out of Germany, so they decided to attack the apartment where the hostages were kept but their plan was somehow leaked to the terrorists. The Germans then decided to face the terrorists at the airport and after a fierce contest; the Germans could slay five terrorists and captured three of them but all the hostages were killed. This made the Germans and the Israel furious. Many Israeli people wanted to avenge the death of their loved ones. "Somebody has to pay a price, because it cannot be that people can terrorize other people and kill them. And there is no price to be paid.” (Widow of one of the players killed in Munich) (CBS News, 2009).
The Israeli prime minister then came up with a retaliation operation known as the wrath of god. While addressing the parliament she said, “Wherever a plot is being woven, wherever people are planning to murder Jews and Israelis –that is where we need to strike.” (Golda Meir) (Mapes, 2009). This operation also included another operation called the spring of youth who consisted of aerial bombing on certain targets. The first strikes were on Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. The Arabs were perplexed by the attack, but the Israeli general overseer of operations justified it as “We had no choice. We had to make them stop, and there was no other way; we are not very proud about it. However, it was a question of sheer necessity. We went back to the old biblical rule with an eye for an eye.” (General Aharon) (Citizendia, n.d.). This was followed by precision assassinations of selected targets of the black September organization like Ali Hassan salameh.
The operation wrath of god gave a shock to Arab world and the rest of the world, as no one was expecting this from Israel. The operation was beneficial to the Israel as the lives of those players were worth justice. The precision of the bombing also favored the Israel as they only eliminated the terrorist targets that were a part of the Munich massacre, and they took special care about it. Shortly before the operation, the leader of one of the units said, “we’re going on a very unusual operation, a civilian target in the heart of a city. The targets will have guards. They also might be armed, themselves. Civilians live all around them, and we have to be extremely careful not to harm them.” (Muki betser) (Jewish Virtual Library, 1973). In addition to that, this was the only option left for Israel as if they would not have done it; they would have faced more trouble as they were surrounded by Arab countries.
The operation, however, didn’t stop the terrorism completely, and it is always criticized for the unnecessary bombing because the attack didn’t guarantee the prevention of terrorism in Olympics or Israel. It just killed some of the numerous terrorist masterminds and instigated the others as they started planning for revenge. The operation also faced criticism for using violence to tackle terrorism and not negotiating with the Arabs.  
CBS News. (2009). An Eye for An Eye. Retrieved from
Mapes, B. (2009). Eye for an Eye: Israels Swift and Devastating Response to the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympic Games. Retrieved from
Citizendia. (n.d.). Munich Massacre. Retrieved from,8a7ec522
Jewish Virtual Library. (1973). Operating Spring of Youth. Retrieved from Read More
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