Saturday, September 14, 2019
Negotiations Between German Officials and Black September
The terrorists handed a communique to the police, in it they demanded the release of more than two hundred revolutionary prisoners from jails in Germany, Israel and else where. Black September spent weeks planning the assault on the Olympic Village but their original 9 a. m deadline for the release of the 200 prisoners was hopelessly optimistic. By 8. 45 a. m no progress had been made in meeting the demands of the terrorists and Olympic officials scrambled to secure a meeting with the terrorists in order to extend the deadline.A police officer Anneliese Graes who was acting as an intermediary set up a meeting between the terrorist leader Issa and a small delegation of senior German, Olympic and foreign officials. As these officials approached the building it was very clear that the terrorists were in total control of the situation. When negotiators made their way to the scene they knew nothing about the terrorists except for what they could see. Three terrorists were visible at any o ne time, Issa the leader of the group, his face blackened with shoe polish and two other gunmen who were seen pointing assault rifles from the windows of the hotel room.The Munich chief of police Schreiber said Ã¢â¬Å"on the first floor balcony was a man wearing a balaclava and pointing a sub machine-gun towards us, towards me! Ã¢â¬ (p57) The negotiators were clearly dealing with a very delicate situation and the atmosphere between the men was described as incredibly tense. It was clear to Schreiber the chief of police that these were very dangerous men that they were dealing with. Not only were there two men on the balcony pointing guns at the negotiators but the leader, Issa had a hand grenade in his hand through-out the negotiations.Schreiber described the leader, Ã¢â¬Å"Issa expressed his demands in a staccato manner and at times sounded like a fanatic or one of those people who arenÃ¢â¬â¢t completely anchored in reality or totally aware. He was very cool and very determine d, clearly fanatical in his convictionsÃ¢â¬ Eventually the negotiators managed to convince Issa that the demands were being considered in Tel Aviv and Bonn and that the Israelis and Germans needed more time to locate and free all of the prisoners.Israel immediately told the German authorities that in line with their policies they would not give in to the terrorists demands the then Prime minister for Israel Golda Meir going on record saying Ã¢â¬Å"If we should give in, then no Israeli anywhere in the world can feel that his life is safe, itÃ¢â¬â¢s blackmail of the worst kind. Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"When it became clear to me the negotiation was fruitless I said to the leader (Issa): Ã¢â¬ËYou know our recent history, what was done to the Jews by the Germans. You must understand that this makes the situation here particularly difficult. Ã¢â¬â¢ I said, Ã¢â¬Ëwhy donÃ¢â¬â¢t you let them go and take me instead. But he refused An unlimited sum of money as well as German minister Hans- Dietrich Genscher was also offered in exchange for the the lives of the Iraeli hostages. According to the Iraeli chief of police Manfred Scrieber the terrorists responded by saying, Ã¢â¬Å"It is not a question of money or substitute hostages but only of the two hundred prisonersÃ¢â¬ In the opinion of Magdi Gohary an advisor to the Arab League who negotiated with the members of Black September for the release of the hostages the terrorists really believed in the possibility of their demands being met.In GoharyÃ¢â¬â¢s opinion at the time from a political point of view the release of over 200 extremist prisoners was Ã¢â¬Å"99. 9 percent unlikelyÃ¢â¬ he says Ã¢â¬Å" I thought and still think that the Israelis would rather have let their whole athletic team be killed than let this happenÃ¢â¬ the negotiators tried to explain these things to Issa but he was very Ã¢â¬Å"sceptical and dismissiveÃ¢â¬ . Israel however, remained adamant that no deal would be struck with the terrori sts. To buy time the negotiators lied to the terrorists and told them that they were still awaiting word from Jerusalem.