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On the Munich Massacre: An Essay

by Stormcloud


Munich is the story of the Israeli government’s decision to retaliate against the Palestinians that orchestrated the 1972 attack on the Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games. The film was based on Vengeance, the book written by George Jonas using Yuval Aviv, a former agent of Mossad, as a source. Following Avner, the film relays details about Operation Wrath of God, in which a team of secret agents were recruited to dispatch the eleven Palestinians suspected of involvement in the attack. The film attempts to stay as true to the actual events as possible, but because Israel has refused to release any documents on the operation, it has taken some liberties with the details.

To begin with, Munich’s characterization of the PLO is reasonably sympathetic, and it does not favor Israel’s side of the story over Palestine’s as western media is often wont to do. However, the film is very clear about what the PLO did in Munich, that is- to murder eleven Israeli athletes staying in the Olympic Village for the 1972 Olympics. It can be inferred that the PLO’s motive for the massacre was to bring attention to their people’s situation. Kicked out of their homeland and unwanted in every country, the Palestinians were, and still are, bitter that they were forcibly removed from their homeland in favor of the Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Countries all over the globe, near and far, ignored their predicament. Palestine, led by the PLO was desperate for its voice to be heard, resorting to violence to grab the world’s attention. Although we can imagine and guess what actually happened that night and the events before and after, the truth remains obscured. That being said, it is impossible for the film to accurately portray the events that occurred and the people involved, and those watching must remember the line between fact and fiction.

Next, we must consider this question asked by Avner. “Did we kill to replace the terrorist leadership or the Palestinian leadership?” This quote could be interpreted as him wondering if Israel commanded him to kill those Palestinians, not because they were terrorist leaders, but because they were Palestinian leaders. Put simply: did Israel kill them only because Palestine is their enemy? There is a fine line between the Palestinian leadership and the terrorist leadership. The PLO serves as the Palestinian government but has also been known to orchestrate attacks on Israel. Although this does not mean that the PLO is solely a terrorist organization. The PLO is also the sole voice of the Palestinian people. Their leadership does not equate terrorist leadership. I believe that the honest answer to Avner’s question is that Israel wanted both. Israel wanted to avenge its murdered athletes but also wanted to dispatch Palestinian leadership. Nonetheless, I am not Israel and am not able to say definitively what the real reason for the operation was, so do not take my interpretation as fact.

At the beginning of his mission, Avner believed he killed for peace. I do not think that this is possible. Meeting violence with more violence will only escalate the situation. Those allied with those who are killed in the misguided massacre for peace will only want revenge. Israel’s decision to retaliate against those responsible for the Munich only served to anger the Palestinian people. It did not solve a problem, and I would argue that it only perpetuated the violence. Ultimately, violence cannot be quelled by more violence.

Finally, I must address the topic of Golda Meir, the Prime Minister of Israel at the time of the 1972 massacre. Her decision was to take action against the orchestrators of the attack. If I were in her place, it would be a difficult /decision for me. On one hand, Israelis everywhere would be glad that their own were avenged. On the other hand, violence will not quell violence. I do not think I would take violent action against the Palestinians. If I were to take any action at all, I would take it to the United Nations to solve it diplomatically. I think the UN would rule in favor of Israel and would punish those responsible accordingly. In brief, there are many facets of the story of that fateful night in Munich, and I believe that we will never hear it from all sides.


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Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:30 pm
RishabhParmar wrote a review...



Hey, wow....

I appreciate you picked up this topic. Such news always remain ghost stories in eastern countries. NO body take interest what is happening in the world. I am a man of such low standard so I can't give my opinion, it is up to UN and writers like you. Well formed essay. Very very interesting plus realistic. One can get bore while reading but you have written in such a manner that everybody will take interest.

what i liked most was they way you narrated it. The way you put things in a row. It is amazing, mate!

What an ingenious piece of work.

Keep it up. Good work.

@RishabhParmar (Author of Operation Imperial and Women & Mother Earth)




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Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:58 pm
Wriskypump wrote a review...



Hey let me just jump right in this! This is highly polished writing: i can tell you've gone through several editing drafts with this because it is so super-clean. The first thing I would point out that could be reworked is how, in the second to last paragraph, you repeat in three different ways what MLK jr. said: "Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." Second thing is that in the final paragraph you put "difficult /decision for me" - and I'm thinking that's probably a typo - and then two sentences later you repeat violence will not bury violence for the fourth time, as if you need to stretch the amount of words in your essay because you don't have much more real observations or conclusions left to state.

Now although I can do my own research, I feel like I would've liked to know a little bit more details about the actual incident straight from you. Like you, I am also stunned that Israel's prime minister calls for an eye for an eye in response: for what kind of example is that for a nation's leader to be doing? Revenge is what keeps war alive; to kill it enough people have to sit on their hands and say I will not put my hand into the same diabolical wash-bucket.

Besides your practically flawless English in this, I only dock you for restating over your own voice in the ending, really. I did want to know more about the film, and events and facts (cause there had to be a couple of undisputed facts right?) about the travesty that occurred in 1972. Definitely a stirring article.




Stormcloud says...


Thanks for your comment on my highly polished writing. To be honest, I only went through a rough draft and then edited it myself and ran it through an online grammar checker to get my final draft. I didn't intentionally quote MLK jr. but sometimes we do things we think are original but aren't; that's probably what I did. This was for a class, and I had to answer certain questions in my paragraphs, so I was less able to choose what to address in my essay.

I didn't realize that I restated myself so often. Thank you for pointing that out. *ends on an awkward note* Thanks again!



Wriskypump says...


oh, hehe, you're one of them natural do-it-right-the-first-timers when it comes to grammar and fluidity eh? if we all could be so blessed ;) I enjoyed reviewing it, *High Five* (pcheeehhchch) *it echoes down through the grand scales of time*8*.>>.



Stormcloud says...


More like, I'm an edit as you go, slow writer. Haha *high fives*



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Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:17 am
Gooseluck wrote a review...



Heya, Cloud! I can't remember which folder you wanted me to review, so I'm going to embarrass you by reviewing everything you've written, just because. To the review!

Munich is the story of the Israeli government’s decision to retaliate against the Palestinians that orchestrated the 1972 attack on the Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games. The film was based on Vengeance, the book written by George Jonas using Yuval Aviv, a former agent of Mossad, as a source. Following Avner, the film relays details about Operation Wrath of God, in which a team of secret agents were recruited to dispatch the eleven Palestinians suspected of involvement in the attack. The film attempts to stay as true to the actual events as possible, but because Israel has refused to release any documents on the operation, it has taken some liberties with the details.


Well, besides NCIS there's something here I rarely ever see- Mossad. Anyway, overall this seems to be a decent enough introductory paragraph- accept the first sentence. You want your first sentence to be catchy, to grab the readers attention. This first sentence just kind of lulled on, if that makes any sense? I would suggest fixing that, or that could just be my 3:11 AM brain. Anyway, onward.

To begin with, Munich’s characterization of the PLO is reasonably sympathetic, and it does not favor Israel’s side of the story over Palestine’s as western media is often wont to do. However, the film is very clear about what the PLO did in Munich, that is- to murder eleven Israeli athletes staying in the Olympic Village for the 1972 Olympics. It can be inferred that the PLO’s motive for the massacre was to bring attention to their people’s situation. Kicked out of their homeland and unwanted in every country, the Palestinians were, and still are, bitter that they were forcibly removed from their homeland in favor of the Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Countries all over the globe, near and far, ignored their predicament. Palestine, led by the PLO was desperate for its voice to be heard, resorting to violence to grab the world’s attention. Although we can imagine and guess what actually happened that night and the events before and after, the truth remains obscured. That being said, it is impossible for the film to accurately portray the events that occurred and the people involved, and those watching must remember the line between fact and fiction.


Erg, that introduction phrase. This is your first point, and I understand why you're using,"to begin with," but it just seems so odd being used outside of a power point/lecture, if that makes any sense. Anyway, onward.

I would change this sentence-"However, the film is very clear about what the PLO did in Munich, that is- to murder eleven Israeli athletes staying in the Olympic Village for the 1972 Olympics," into two, if I were you. Something like,"However, the film is very clear about what the PLO did in Munich. That is- murdering eleven Israeli athletes staying in the Olympic Village for the 1972 Olympics." Also change,"to murder," to,"murdering," considering you're talking past and present perfect tense, if that makes any sense. Anyway, onward.

Meh, I'll stop nitpicking there.

Anyway, overall I think you have a decent(yet very short) essay, that could use some basic touch up work.

I think that's all I have on this one, and I hope it helped.

Keep on doing what you're doing, and keep on keeping on.

Your friend, Matt




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Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:01 am
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KAL wrote a review...



Hey there fellow Glow Cloud member!

So this sounds really interesting! I wish I had the same class as you so I could have watched this movie! I've always wanted to learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so thank you for posting this!

To start off, this seems really well-written! Even though this is answering multiple questions, each paragraph flows really well to the next. The structure is nice and simple, and I like how you put the information in order: good background to the situation, then you added in more aspects of the movie.

The only typo I see is in the last paragraph, where you put "/decision" accidentally. A couple of suggestions I have are to reword the very last sentence, maybe consolidating the ideas a little, into "many facets leading up to that night in Munich, and will most likely, be forever shrouded in mystery." I like the original line, but I think you could also combine "of the story of that fateful night" to make it less redundant.

I'm sorry if this wasn't too helpful, but this doesn't really have many mistakes. Your ideas are well-formed and introduced, and your transitions did a good job at moving the reader through your different points. Overall, great job on this! Good luck with future writing!




Stormcloud says...


Thanks for the review! Middle Eastern History is super interesting (and it certainly helps that my teacher is amazing). I would definitely recommend watching Munich, it's a very well done film.



KAL says...


You're welcome! A good teacher is always an added bonus. I'll try to see if I can find it somewhere!



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Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:08 pm
Mea wrote a review...



Hey StormCycle! I saw this hanging out in the Green Room and thought I'd come review it.

Honestly, I don't know the exact requirements of the assignment, but I'd guess you did pretty well - what you say makes sense and relates well to the piece.

I saw you mentioned in your description that you thought this might not be very coherent since you had to answer specific questions in each paragraph. You're kind of right - this doesn't feel like it flows together very smoothly. I doubt think it would dock you many points from the assignment, but you could still try to make it a stronger piece of writing just for the sake of perfectionism. :P

I think the best way to combat that would be to form a thesis that can encompass all of the questions you were told to answer. I don't know exactly what those questions are, but I think taking the idea from your last line, that there are so many sides of the story of that night in Munich, would actually work pretty well as the center-point of the whole piece. Take that, and start by talking about, say, the Israeli's point of view, then the Palestinians/PLO's and the characters involved in the movie. You'll probably wind up with a longer analysis than you really need to answer the question, but it will help make this feel more coherent and bring more of your insights into the piece.

The PLO serves as the Palestinian government but has also been known to orchestrate attacks on Israel. Although this does not mean that the PLO is solely a terrorist organization.

These two sentences should be one sentence - the second is a fragment on its own.

At the beginning of his mission, Avner believed he killed for peace. I do not think that this is possible.

I think this is the other thing you could structure your piece around, and it would probably wind up being the more interesting of the two options. Right now, you state your opinion, but you lack much to back it up. You have a firm opinion, but what is your argument that Israel's decision only perpetuated the violence? Even assuming the person has watched the movie or is familiar with the situation, you should still back these claims up. While it's well and good to say violence only begets violence, what about when when you have to fight back or be killed? I'm not trying to misrepresent your position or change your opinion - it's just a quick rebuttal I could think of, and that's because you don't elaborate a lot on your position or why you hold it.

And that's all I've got! I realize this is probably too late to help with your assignment, but maybe you can apply this advice to future papers. xD Overall, it was an interesting essay and an interesting perspective - I want to see this film now.




Stormcloud says...


It's a great film, but I recommend watching it with the subtitles on if you do end up watching it. There are some hard to understand accents in the film.




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