The purpose of this study is to analyze the 1972 Munich Massacre—the kidnapping and murdering of eleven Israeli athletes, coaches, and referees in a terror attack during the summer Olympic Games in West Germany—and its commemoration in the context of Israel’s country image. Forty-four years after the attack and after sustained pressure by the families of the victims, the State of Israel, and international politicians, the “Munich Victims” were officially commemorated by the International Olympic Committee during the 2016 summer Olympic Games. We analyzed interviews and speeches leading up to and during the Games in Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of media and archival documents. Findings of this study show that Israel used the commemorations to achieve some foreign policy goals and associate its image with the Western world. By focusing on terrorism during the Olympic Games, however, Israel’s image remains associated with a distancing and polarizing armed dispute.

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