Home' Greymouth Star : November 6th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, November 6, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1429 - Henry VI is crowned king of England,
seven years after acceding to the throne at the
age of eight months.
1860 - Abraham Lincoln is elected president
of the United States.
1893 - Death of Russian composer
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky.
1917 - In World War One, third
battle of Ypres ends after five
months when Australians and
Canadians take Passchendaele. The
advance was just 8km at a cost of at
least 240,000 men.
1928 - Jacob Schick obtains a patent for his
“shaving implement ”, the first electric razor.
1932 - In German elections, the Nazis lose 34
seats and two million votes but still remain the
largest party in the Reichstag with 196 seats.
1942 - Tidal wave kills 10,000 people in
1971 - World Synod of Catholic Bishops ends
stormy meeting at Vatican, deeply divided on
question of whether married men may become
1974 - Soviet Union calls for Palestinian
statehood as part of any Middle East settlement.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Adolphe Sax, Belgian inventor of the
saxophone (1814-1894); James A Naismith,
Canadian credited with inventing
basketball (1861-1939); James Jones,
US novelist (1921-1977); Stonewall
Jackson, US country singer
(1932-); Sally Field, US actress
(1946-); Glenn Frey, founding
member of The Eagles (1948-);
Maria Shriver, US news correspondent (1955-);
Kelly Rutherford, US actress (1968-); Ethan
Hawke, US actor (1970-).
“A diplomatic peace is not yet the real peace.
It is an essential step in the peace process
leading towards a real peace” — Yitzhak Rabin,
Israeli Prime Minister (1922-1995).
“ To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus
said, ‘If you hold to My teaching, you are really
My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and
the truth will set you free’.” — John 8:31-32.
Moonlight would like
to attend the Moonlight centennial celebrations
on April 2,3,4 of next year. Unfortunately, Mrs
A M Moonlight, though hale and hearty, thinks
the trip might be too much for her, so she is
going to send all or some of her family of six to
Mrs Moonlight was formerly Miss A M
Haines and spent her schooldays at Ahaura.
Now living in Auckland, she wrote to the
Moonlight centennial committee to “make
personal contact ”.
George Fairweather Moonlight had one son,
and this was the man Mrs Moonlight married.
She said that, apart from Moonlight, the pioneer
prospector-explorer took a major part in thre
founding of Murchison.
Five Moonlight men, apart from Pat Christie
and Bill Liddell, have started growing beards.
A £5 penalty has been imposed on any man
who does not have a beard at the time of
the celebrations. Following an appeal, the
committee is giving judicial consideration to
allowing both Mr Liddell and Mr Christie in
to the beard-growing contest, even though they
started growing theirs two months before the
starting date (November 1).
After last night ’s successful bonfire at
Inangahua Junction the Reefton Rotary Club
will stage another one tonight at Ikamatua. It
will be lit at 8 o’clock on Prendergast ’s paddock
next to the Ikamatua school.
The president of the club, Mr Bevan Wealleans
said that next year the Rotarians would continue
their policy of producing a big bonfire and
fireworks display for country children.
uFood for thought
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New Zealand’s participation in the war
against Islamic State will undoubtedly
prompt angry criticism from the left.
This country boasts a pacifist tradition
extending back at least 100 years, to World
War One and the persecution (among
many others) of the conscientious objector,
Less honourable, perhaps, and certainly
less grounded in the pacifists’ profound
ethical objection to the taking of human
life, is the far left’s historical opposition
to “imperialist wars”. Significantly,
their protests against these conflicts
were generally organised on behalf of
“the victims of capitalist aggression” —
whose victories in such “wars of national
liberation” were eagerly anticipated. These
were the unabashed revolutionaries, who,
in anti-Vietnam war demonstrations,
chanted: “One side right, one side wrong.
Victory to the Viet-Cong!”
Somewhere in the “middle” of the left
stand those who are willing to accept that
in some circumstances (World War Two
being the most cited example) the taking
up of arms is not only an urgent, but also
a profoundly moral, necessity. This idea of
the “just war” goes all the way back to St
Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas, whose
arguments are still drawn on by members
of the UN Security Council whenever
decisions have to be made about whether
or not to authorise the use of military
The greatest anti-war movement of
the last century was undoubtedly the
international movement against the US
involvement in Vietnam. All three of the
great anti-war traditions: the Christian
prohibition against waging “unjust war”;
the revolutionary socialists’ objection
to “imperialist war”; and the pacifists’
uncompromising opposition to the taking
of human life; were intermingled in the
global “mobilisations” against the Vietnam
What elevated the anti-war struggle in
the United States to a cultural watershed,
however, wasn’t opposition to US
imperialism, or even the appalling loss of
life, although both of these considerations
played a part. No, what really transformed
the anti-war protests into a genuine
mass movement was conscription.
Over whelmingly, the young men sent
to fight and die in south-east Asia were
draftees — conscripts whose “number”
had, quite literally, come up.
One of the few ways to avoid the draft
was to enrol in a course of university study.
It is only when one grasps the importance
of “deferment ” that the crucial role played
by university students in the American
anti-war movement makes any historical
sense. As the number of American soldiers
in Vietnam began to escalate, those
whose ser vice had been deferred felt an
increasingly urgent obligation to bring
the conscripts home. Young working-
class Whites, Blacks and Hispanics were
literally dying in their place — and for
no good reason. The US was not battling
Hitler in Vietnam, it was napalming and
carpet-bombing peasants whose only
crime was an iron-clad determination to
America’s experience in Vietnam
brought home to its leaders the huge
risks entailed in fighting what came to be
seen, increasingly, as an unjust war with
conscripted citizens. If a government ’s
intention is to use its military resources for
any other purpose than national defence
against an imminent and existential threat,
then it is best that the soldiers, sailors and
air personnel so used are professionals —
A professional standing army, precisely
because it is not composed of the voters’
conscripted sons and daughters, may be
deployed in relative political safety for
any number of purposes (many of them,
these days, decidedly dark). The usual left-
wing suspects will complain — but with
considerably less effect than during the
war in Vietnam.
Professional soldiers look for ward to
war. Fighting for their country is exactly
what they signed-up to do. Should they
fall in battle, their families, their comrades
and their country’s leaders will mourn
and honour them, but at the back of
everybody’s mind will be the thought:
“They knew this might happen, but they
weren’t deterred. They died doing the job
they ’d always wanted. ”
Try making an anti-war movement out
True pacifists are few and far between.
Anti-imperialists almost always have a dog
in the fight. And unjust wars, providing
the “enemy ” is rendered sufficiently
terrifying, and providing the participating
military forces are made up of highly-
trained professionals just itching to get
amongst it, are unlikely to cause the
governments that wage them very much in
the way of serious political bother.
Few New Zealanders will march in the
streets for Islamic State.
Chris Trotter is an independent,
left-wing political commentator.
War with Islamic State justified?
Academy award winning actress
Angelina Jolie is “open” to pursuing
a life in politics, diplomacy or
public ser vice, she told Vanity Fair
Jolie, who won a best supporting
actress Oscar award for her role
in Girl, Interrupted, has already
turned her hand to directing. Her
latest film behind the camera,
Unbroken, about Olympic runner,
World War Two airman and
prisoner of war Louis Zamperini,
is set to open on December 25.
The wife of actor Brad Pitt and
a special envoy to the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees said
that her work as a humanitarian
has made her conscious of the fact
that politics have to be considered
as an option.
“ Because if you really want to
make an extreme change, then
you have a responsibility,” she told
the magazine in an excerpt from
an inter view published on-line
“ But I honestly don’t know in
what role I would be more useful
— I am conscious of what I do for
a living, and that (could) make it
less possible. ”
Asked if she sees herself in
politics, diplomacy or public
ser vice, she replied: “I am open.”
When the conversation turned
to her film, Jolie, 39, broke down
in tears as she told the magazine
about her friendship with
Zamperini. She showed the former
Olympic athlete and war hero an
early cut of the movie before he
died in July at the age of 97 after a
40-day bout of pneumonia.
“It was an extremely moving
experience, to watch someone
watching their own life,” Jolie said
The film is based on the best-
selling book Unbroken by author
Laura Hillenbrand about the life
of Zamperini. He spent 47 days in
a life raft after his plane crashed
into the Pacific and two years as a
prisoner of war under the Japanese.
Jolie said she and Zamperini
talked about his faith and that
after a life of fighting, he said his
death would bring him peace.
The actress also disclosed her
feelings about marriage after her
surprise August wedding to Pitt
at their French estate Chateau
“It does feel different,” she said.
“ It feels nice.”
The mother of six also revealed
that her children wrote the couple’s
“They did not expect us never to
fight, but they made us promise to
always say, ‘Sorry,’ if we do. So they
said, ‘Do you?’ and we said, ‘We
do!’” — Reuters
Jolie considers life in politics
Seeds of war
or months, the streets of
mainly Arab east Jerusalem,
in the shadow of the Old
City but where tourists
seldom venture, have been
ablaze, with daily clashes
between armed Israeli police and
Palestinians throwing rocks and Molotov
The roots of the unrest are many. From
the killing in July of a Palestinian teenager
by Jewish extremists — apparently in
revenge for the killing of three Israeli
teenagers by Palestinians — to increased
settlement building in east Jerusalem,
the war in Gaza and a push by
ultra-nationalist Jews to be allowed to
pray at one of Islam’s holiest sites.
The seething anger was brought to the
fore again last week, when a Palestinian
man rammed his vehicle into pedestrians
and Israeli border police on a road
straddling east and west Jerusalem, killing
one person and wounding a dozen. The
attacker was shot dead by police.
The result is the greatest period of unrest
the city has experienced since the second
Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, began in
2000, a five-year period of conflict that
left about 3000 Palestinians and 1000
While the upheaval has largely been
confined to half a dozen neighbourhoods
in the hills and valleys to the south and
east of the Old City, Palestinians say anger
in their community now probably exceeds
that of 14 years ago. And there are clear
signs of the unrest spreading.
Last week, an Israeli-American activist
who has led a campaign for Jews to be
allowed to pray at the city’s holiest site —
known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary
and to Jews as Temple Mount — was shot
and wounded as he left a conference in
the predominantly Jewish western side of
The suspect in the attack, Palestinian
Moataz Hijazi, was shot dead by Israeli
police within hours, following an exchange
of gunfire in Abu Tor, a Palestinian district
just a few hundred yards from where the
activist, Yehuda Glick, had spoken.
The week before, a Palestinian from
Silwan, a district abutting the Old City
where Jewish settlers have been growing
in numbers, rammed his car into a crowd
waiting at a light-railway stop, killing a
three-month-old Israeli-American child
and a woman from Ecuador.
The streets of Abu Tor, which locals
call al-Thuri, were quickly aflame after
Hijazi’s killing, with young men and boys
throwing rocks at Israeli police, lighting
fires, blocking the roads and promising
revenge. Israeli forces responded with stun
grenades and tear gas, while helicopters
hovered overhead. Clashes went on into
“Let them arrest us, let them shoot us,
it doesn’t matter,” Hamada Abu Omar,
21, one of those involved in the fighting,
said while wearing a black-and-white
chequered scarf, the type made famous
by former Palestinian President Yasser
“At least we can frustrate them, slow
them down and show them we will never
give up,” he said.
For Sayid Samer, 54, who was born
in the Old City, runs his grandfather’s
souvenir shop there and has watched the
ebb and flow of tension over decades,
Jerusalem is dangerously on edge.
“It ’s more terrible now than it was in
2000, much worse,” he says, pursing his
lips in concern as a group of Israeli police
passed his store in the Muslim Q uarter.
“It ’s like a war now.”
If there is a low-level war under way,
its driving force has become the ancient
marble-and-stone compound that houses
the Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest
site, and the seventh century Dome of the
Rock, the gold-plated shrine from where
the Prophet Mohammad is said to have
ascended to heaven.
Since Israel captured east Jerusalem from
Jordan during the 1967 Middle East war
and annexed it in a move not recognised
internationally, Jews have been allowed to
visit the site that they revere as Temple
Mount, but are forbidden to pray there.
That is a source of frustration to
many since the site is the holiest place
in Judaism, where two ancient Jewish
temples once stood, the second destroyed
by the Romans in 70 AD.
In recent months, a campaign for the
prayer ban to be overturned, led by Yehuda
Glick and other settler activists, has
gathered momentum, raising alarm among
Palestinians and Muslims further afield
who fear that the Islamic oversight of
the compound that has existed since the
crusades is threatened.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
insists the status quo will not change, but
his reassurances have done little to calm
ner ves or religious sensitivities.
While the anger on the streets may be
akin to the last Intifada or even the first,
which began in 1987 and lasted until the
Oslo peace accords in 1993, the ability of
Palestinians to strike at Israel has become
From aerial sur veillance balloons to
the high concrete wall that separates the
Israeli-occupied West Bank from east
Jerusalem, Israel has invested heavily
in security measures and intelligence
gathering since the early 2000s, making it
extremely difficult for a mass uprising to
In Abu Tor, older Palestinian men
who remember the earlier Intifadas are
doubtful about prospects for another one
focused on Jerusalem.
Ibrahim Hijazi, the father of the man
suspected of having shot Glick, expressed
anger at Israel’s occupation and the fight
over al-Aqsa as visitors came to mourn his
son’s death, but also a sense of resignation.
“ We live in madness. This is supposed
to be a holy city, but every year under
occupation we lose more land, we’re
humiliated and now with al-Aqsa we’re on
the brink of a religious war,” he said, his
eyes red and his face unshaven.
While no one underestimates the
frustration felt by Palestinians in east
Jerusalem, few believe at this stage that
an uprising to equal those that have gone
before is possible.
At the same time, Israel knows
sentiment is shifting. The mayor of
Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, has demanded that
Netanyahu bolster security in and around
east Jerusalem, with up to 1000 more
police on the streets. The Israeli cabinet
this week approved draft legislation that
would make throwing stones at vehicles a
crime punishable by up to 20 years in jail,
a decision seen as an effort to quell unrest
in East Jerusalem and parts of the West
Condemned by the United States and
European Union, Netanyahu has pushed
ahead with settlement building in east
Jerusalem, which opponents say heightens
tensions, is illegal under international law
and makes it even harder to negotiate a
two-state solution to the conflict.
Palestinians see their neighbourhoods
changing as a result of the settlement
drive. Silwan, where about 40,000
Palestinians live, now has about 500
Jewish settlers in it, with nine new
buildings bought by wealthy pro-settler
groups in the past two months with the
aim of making the area more Jewish.
On the ground in Silwan, Abu Tor and
other neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem,
that is fuelling anger and hatred that
Palestinians are struggling to contain.
A new uprising may not look like the
last ones, but the prospect of extended
violence is increasing by the day.
“There are no leaders and no weapons,”
said Ammar, a young Palestinian watching
street clashes with two friends.
“God willing, we’ll take this oppression
and send it crashing on their own heads. ”
A Palestinian protester throws back a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during clashes following an anti-Israel demonstration
over the recent entr y restrictions to the al-Aqsa mosque, at the Qalandia checkpoint.
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