Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Iran Sees "Zion" In 2012 London Olympic Logo, Plans To Boycott Games

Iran's National Olympic Committee is threatening to boycott the 2012 Olympics in London and is urging other Muslim states to join them because they see the word "Zion" in the official logo of the games.

As Danna Harman writes in Haaretz,
The secretary general of Iran's National Olympic Committee said Iran sent a letter to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge. The letter claims the 2012 logo spells out "Zion," a biblical term widely recognized to refer to the city of Jerusalem.
In comments carried by the official IRNA news agency Monday, secretary general Bahram Afsharzadeh said the letter urges other Muslim states to oppose the "racist logo."
"There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the games, especially Iran which abides by commitment to the values and principles," the letter said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel's destruction and questioned historical accounts of the Holocaust. Iranian athletes have refused to compete against Israelis.
The London logo shows the numbers "2012" in four jagged figures and until now has been criticized only for its design. The IOC said it received the letter and joined London organizers in rejecting Iran's complaint.
"Our response is as follows: The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else," the IOC said.
The London organizers said the design was launched in 2007 after testing and consultation.
"We are surprised that this complaint has been made now," the committee said.

This latest flap isn't the first involving an unexpected and unwanted reminder for Iran of the Jewish state.  Only last December Iranians discovered that, decades earlier, Israeli engineers constructing the Iran Air terminal at Tehran's airport had placed a large Star of David at the center of its roof.  Here is one of the TV news reports about that finding.

We can't help but wonder if these Jewish symbols, both real and imagined, have anything to do with the fact that we are just three weeks away from celebrating the holiday of Purim, commemorating the victory of beleaguered Jews over Haman and his followers in Persia (now Iran) in the year 356 B.C.E.

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