free web tracker soliloquies: yokohama and munich


so・lil・o・quy/- n. [C,U] a speech in a play in which a character talks to himself or herself, so that the audience know the character's thoughts.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

yokohama and munich

It was raining throughout the day today. Rainy days are quite annoying with that many people on campus...that sort of population density makes me really difficult to get to places I must go. The deadline for my English assignment is closing in with lack of help from the members of my group. So far, I have sacrificed my Civil Law class to do my best to create the foundation necessary for my group to commence the necessary debate on Friday. I continuously typed in words throughout the class with a laptop I usually don't bring along with me to school.

After class, I was again alone in the media center with my laptop, continuing my research and typing. I had around 7-10 browser windows open simultaneously, rapidly citing information off my resources. To be honest, I really wanted a group assignment in my class since I had been envying someone about her participation in one, but a week long deadline in a testing week is way too inadequate to create papers with an acceptable quality. I think I was able to complete the background section of the assignment today, but the upcoming part, the proposals are probably much more difficult to make unless I adopt some fictional elements into it.

Anyway, I met my friend from high school after school in Yokohama today despite the situation I am currently placed in. It's been 4 months since our last meeting and I think I was able to talk enough about various subjects within our 2 hour long stay at a restaurant. Even though our last interval had been a bit long, I am looking forward to the upcoming show that's supposed to take place on the 29th. I had seen it last year in the midst of despair, but I would like be an audience with a lot more happiness this year.

Pasted below is the material I composed today, regarding the Munich Olympics massacre. Waddaya think??

Original Terrorism Debate: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Beyond Its Borders

Munich Olympic Massacre, 1972: An Unforgettable Tragedy at a Ceremony of Peace

Ever since the beginning of 20th century, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has gone though countless confrontations of all sorts, often following an act of revenge by both sides. This long and complex history ultimately leads to chaos we still see today from the worsening of the Israeli-Palestinian relations resulting from Hamas majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council with its radical rhetoric and the recent air raids of the Palestinian governmental complexes in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Air Forces, following Hamas’ provocative proclamations.
In a way similar to the recent events listed above, we usually see this issue taking place in the Middle East where we image Palestinian activists bombing tactical locations in and outside the Israeli territory with car bombs or suicide bombers, but there had once been a notorious massacre outside the region involving the same two regimes. Ironically, this massacre took place in an event we usually interpret as a “Ceremony of Peace” and where participating countries and regions place an effort to exclude political tensions to the utmost.

1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany were to be the biggest and most expensive sporting event ever held in the history of mankind, but while it had these honorable records, it also placed a milestone in the history of the Olympic Games since the event has been used for the first time as a “political theater” to push through demands of a single group. Some people may know this event from a film called “Munich” which was created by a Jewish-American film producer, Steven Spielberg in 2005. After its defeat in the World War II, Germany needed an opportunity to present a new, democratic figure of itself to the international community and had actively campaigned to show Munich’s superiority over other candidate cities. As a result, they had successfully won the bid to host the Game of the XX Olympiad from the 26th of August to the 11th of September in 1972. At this point, no one had the slightest idea for a possibility of an occurrence of such tragedy in an event the West Germans had placed their utmost effort to host. Along with the already complicated Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the location where the massacre took place emphasized the complexity with the existence of Germany’s own intricate history with the Jews in Nazis Germany that collapsed only 27 years prior to the Games.

The Black September was an extremist Palestinian guerilla group which had close ties with Yasser Arafat’s then military-oriented faction of the PLO, the Fatah. Although the extent of Fatah’s control over the organization remains controversial, it is most probable that the Fatah utilized the Black September just enough for it to be able to commence such an operation in a distant location. The Fatah, with an acronym of the phrase Harakat al-Tahrir al Filistini (Palestine Liberation Movement when translated) for its name, was founded in 1957 by members of the Palestinian Diaspora. The most notable of them was Yasser Arafat who led the organization for it to become the dominant force in Palestinian politics and had an estimated membership of over 11,000 people by the late 1980s.

Institutional nature of the Black September remains a mystery from lack of resources; however, based on some speculations, the Fatah utilized the organization during the period of 1971 – 1974. The Black September takes its name from a conflict of a same name that took place in September, 1970 where King Hussein of Jordan, who was fed up with the amount of terrorists within the Palestinian refugees, forced the Fatah out of Jordan to seize his kingdom with a loss of 4,000 Palestinian fighters, meaning that its original objective was a conduction of a resistance movement against the Jordanian and Israeli governments. Unlike today, the Fatah movement had no place other than the Arab states outside Palestine to operate and this expulsion made it difficult for them launch terror operations against Israel. Although they had conducted 9 major terrorist attacks from its formation to the massacre, their lack of resources made it more and more difficult to set Israeli targets and this situation led to an alternative plan of the “Munich Operation”, proposed by the Fatah leadership.

It was approximately 4:30 on September 5th, 1972 when 8 Arab terrorists of the Black September calling themselves the fedayeen (“fighters for the faith”), wearing track suits began executing their plan to capture the Israeli athletes residing in the Olympic Village, following the orders for the “Munich Operation”. As the athletes slept, the gunmen with their duffel bags filled with Kalashnikov assault rifles and grenades scaled over the fence into the compound, where the terrorists used stolen passkeys to enter the apartments used by the Israeli team, located at 31 Connollystrasse.

Yossef Gutfreund, a wrestling referee of the team quickly noticed the unnatural atmosphere of the situation and his rapid notification allowed one roommate, weightlifting coach Tuvia Sokolovsky, escape out of a window. Nonetheless, the Arab terrorists’ successful entrance immediately made 5 Israeli athletes hostage: track coach Amitzur Shapira, fencing master Andrei Spitzer, rifle coach Kehat Shorr, weightlifting judge Yacov Springer and Yossef Gutfreund. The first casualty of the intrusion was Moshe Weinberger, a wrestling coach. His struggle with the intruders during the terrorists’ search of the complex for additional hostages resulted in his death from multiple gunshots to his head. By 5:00, the Black September had already killed 2 Israeli athletes and captured 9 others, while 2 had successfully escaped.

Right after their operations, the Black September stated their responsibility for their actions in the Olympic Village and made their initial demands against the Israeli and West German governments. In their demands, they mentioned an immediate release and a safe transport of 234 Arabs held in Israel with a deadline and a complete typewritten list of the prisoners. This list also included Ulrike Meinhof and Andreas Baader who were the founders and the leaders of the infamous Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang and were then imprisoned in Frankfurt. The deadline set by the terrorists was 9:00 and if their demands were not met by then, they announced that they would begin their execution of the hostages, one by one for an each hour passed. Their seriousness was proven by their action where they threw Moshe Weinberger’s body outside the apartment window.

That morning, the West German chancellor Willy Brandt assembled a crisis team to discuss the available options they had.


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