Munich Olympics Massacre: Mossad Assassinations Afterward Were Not Simply Revenge, Some Got Away

By Dan Raviv

 The German news magazine Der Spiegel — inspired by the Summer Olympic games getting close to their start in London next month — looks back at an iconic terrorist crime 40 years ago in Germany.  The magazine reveals that the Palestinian terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in September 1972 had logistical help from a prominent neo-Nazi.
munich massacre, 1972 olympics, spies against armageddon, mossadThe neo-Nazi, Willi Pohl, is said to have helped Black September (actually PLO) terrorists in West Germany without knowing what they were planning.  Pohl’s Wikipedia listing in German says he moved to Beirut, Lebanon, where a neo-Nazi apparently could feel comfortable living among sharply anti-Israel militants; and he is known for writing crime novels under pseudonyms.
 Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, and many published accounts said Israeli government assassins then waged a revenge campaign against any Arab connected with the crime.  True, there were assassinations by the Mossad.  In Spies Against Armageddon, to be published July 9, Yossi Melman and I write that it was “more than vengeance.”  The head of the Mossad at the time, Zvi Zamir, tells how targets were chosen — and this was a campaign meant to step-up the war against PLO terrorism in Europe, because European governments were not doing enough.  When terrorists were caught and imprisoned in most European countries, authorities would release the Palestinians from captivity — sometimes because the PLO hijacked a passenger airliner and demanded their release.
The frustration felt by Prime Minister Golda Meir and the Mossad is clear now, and ex-Mossad chief Zamir also harbors resentment toward the Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg.  Spielberg’s movie, Munich, suggested that one Mossad hit squad ranged across Europe on vengeance missions that, in the end, were pointless.  And Zamir found it offensive that the movie — and the book upon which it was based (Vengeance, by George Jonas) — portrayed Israeli assassins who suffered pangs of conscience and were haunted by conflicted feelings.  The ex-spymaster says that is nonsense.
Meantime, Israel has been rebuffed in its request that the London Olympics paused for a moment of silence, in memory of the 11 slain athletes from 40 years ago.  A House of Representatives committee in Washington has publicly endorsed the call for a moment of silence.
June 17, 2012

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