Three decades after the Munich Olympics hostage crisis, Abou Daoud, who planned the kidnapping of the Israeli athletes, tells LARA MARLOWE his version of the events portrayed in Steven Spielberg's controversial new film.
This, I think, is the best part of it:-
Abu Daoud claims the Israeli athletes were military reservists and hence "legitimate targets", while Palestinians killed in revenge by Mossad were innocent. The first two hit squad victims, Wael Zwaiter and Mahmoud Hamshari, were the representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Rome and Paris.
Ah, the legitimacy of it all. Morality at its finest.
And how did they come to plan the operation:
THE CARNAGE ON the tarmac at Munich's Furstenfeldbrück airport at dawn on September 6th, 1972, was in total contrast to the sunny afternoon some six weeks earlier when Abu Daoud, Abu Iyad and his assistant Fakri al-Omari (who would later die with him) sat at an outdoor café on the Piazza della Rotonda in central Rome. They were enraged by a newspaper article saying the International Olympic Committee had refused a Palestinian request to send a delegation to the Munich Olympics.
"So, since they won't let the Palestinians participate in the Games, why don't we enter the Olympics in our own way?" Fakri asked.
"What would we do there?" Abu Iyad asked.
"We'd seize Israeli athletes," Fakri replied.
From Rome, Abu Daoud flew to Munich on the first of several reconnaissance missions. Claiming to be Brazilian, he and the two lead Palestinian gunmen approached an Israeli woman outside the athletes' quarters, six days before the attack.
"I dream of visiting Israel," Abu Daoud told her. "My friends also dream of a vacation in Israel. We'd like some brochures about your country. Perhaps you could give us some little Israeli flags, for our children?"
The athletes were out training or in competition, so the young woman gave the three Palestinians a guided tour of their quarters. "She tried to make me look at her as a woman; at the time, I was rather handsome," Abu Daoud laughs.
One of the Mossad agents in Spielberg's film is lured to his death by an attractive Dutch prostitute. In real life, an Israeli woman unwittingly assisted in the killing of her colleagues because she fell for Abu Daoud's "Brazilian" charm and good looks.