B’nai B’rith International is appalled that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) elected Thomas Bach to serve as the organization’s president for an eight-year term. Until reportedly resigning on Sept. 16, Bach served as president of Ghorfa—the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry—an organization that boycotts Israeli businesses and makes sure products do not contain anything originating in the Jewish state.
Notwithstanding his resignation from Ghorfa, Bach’s association with anti-Israel discrimination is inconsistent with Olympic ideals and further undercuts the standing of an organization that is too often embroiled in scandal and controversy. B’nai B’rith calls for Bach’s immediate resignation and hopes a suitable replacement will take his place.
One serious recent controversy that plagued the IOC arose during the 2012 London Olympics, in which Bach’s predecessor, Jacques Rogge, denied requests for a moment of silence to remember the 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and referees murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Bach supported the IOC’s refusal to incorporate the moment of silence into the opening ceremony.
B’nai B’rith was a staunch supporter of the moment of silence and at the time called the decision “unacceptable and discriminatory.”