To its credit, the opening night of the Olympics honoured those who lost their lives in terrorist attacks in Britain in a moving video tribute to those killed in the bombings of the London Tube and buses in 2005.
The moment did not harm the celebratory spirit of the Olympics, rather, it reinforced the values the Olympics celebrate: the peaceful coming together of individuals from diverse nationalities in sport competition on the basis of equality.
As Xan Brooks wrote in the Guardian about the video tribute and silence, "The Olympics pay tribute to the war dead and the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London. This is a hushed, respectful, gently moving interlude; a pause for breath amid the frantic festivities."
It reminded us that beyond the spectacle, the images of Daniel Craig and blazing Olympic rings and all the beautiful razzle dazzle rested a quiet, dignified, moral principle: the games are predicated on peaceful competition, without the specter of violence, discrimination, and threat which the Olympic Committee and host nation do their best to ensure so that athletes can compete in confidence of their safety.
So it was tragic that in this context the Olympics Committee had neither the heart nor conscience to finally acknowledge in a substantive public way at a major Olympics event the memory of the Israeli athletes murdered in the Munich massacre of 1972.
It was callous and an act of cruelty towards their surviving team members, spouses, and family members, and an act of stunning disregard for the (purported) values of the Olympics and its commitment to honour all Olympics players equally, whatever their nationality and origin.
David Cameron unfortunately chose not to stand in solidarity with the memory of the Israeli victims and forthrightly acknowledge the legacy of pain and loss that followed in the wake of the Munich Massacre.
He insisted - as the head of the IOC insisted - that it was more proper to commemorate their deaths at smaller commemorations, where the atmosphere would be more somber and focused on memorialisation rather than celebration. Jacques Rogge stated, "The Opening Ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident."
But clearly it was, and appropriately so, to remember the attacks on London public transport in 2005 and remember the individuals who lost their lives as a result.
The IOC and Cameron clearly underestimated the moral and emotional maturity of British citizens and of viewers of the opening ceremony, whatever their nationality. They condescendingly implied that they wouldn't be able to stomach the dignity and somberness of a tribute to innocent individuals who lost their lives in an act of terror and mass murder. Of course, they were wrong, as respectful silence was maintained for victims of terrorism in Britain depicted on videoscreens.
The real reasons for why the Olympics Committee have always found weasel words and lame excuses as to why the victims of the Munich Massacre should not be commemorated in a substantive public way at a major Olympic event have to do with politics, money, and the pernicious cowardice of submitting to the preferences of nations who would rather not honour the memory of the murdered Israeli athletes and who likely believe that their murder was legitimate.
Of course the IOC cannot admit this publicly - but the Olympics for all its idealism is an exercise in real-politics and a cacophony of national egos and competing values, relationships, and obligations. The end result is that moral principle has little role to play in the implementation of the Olympics.
The values that won at the opening night were discriminatory ones. They discriminated on the basis of nationality and they contrasted sharply with the diversity, openness, tolerance, and welcome that London offers individuals and communities of every nationality, faith, ethnicity, and background which Johnson and Cameron rightly celebrate.
It was saddening and distressing to watch members of the Jewish and Israeli communities have their own lonely commemorations out of necessity - because had they not done so in a public way the Olympics Committee would have satisfied itself with its small and semi-private memorials, designed expressly not to be communicated to the very masses who come together physically and via the media to enjoy the Olympics.
This injustice will eventually be corrected. Perhaps at the next Olympics or the following, or even later.
But the endless delaying and obfuscation, the dilatory and evasive exclamations - all hollow out the message and promise of the Olympics as a moment in time and a changing place every four years where all peoples come together on the basis of equality, and all individuals and peoples are respected on that basis.
That such a small act of memorialization - the solidarity of silence - was refused to commemorate the victims of the Munich massacre speaks volumes for how very far the Olympics Committee must travel to act in accordance with its own ideals.