Home' Greymouth Star : March 21st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Saturday, March 21, 2015
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and — except for e-mails — your signature. Noms
de plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
uLetters to the editor
1917 - Tsar Nicholas II and his family are
arrested by revolutionary forces in Russia.
1960 - Almost 70 people are killed and more
than 180 wounded when South African police
fire on a peaceful black demonstration against
pass laws at Sharpeville.
1963 - Alcatraz Prison in San
Francisco Bay is closed.
1965 - Martin Luther King leads
the start of a 4000-strong civil rights
march from Selma to Montgomery,
1975 - Malcolm Fraser successfully
challenges Bill Snedden for the
leadership of Australia’s Liberal Party.
1977 - India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
resigns after losing her seat in parliamentary
1979 - The Egyptian Parliament unanimously
approves a peace treaty with Israel.
1985 - Death of British actor Sir Michael
1999 -Comedian Ernie Wise, who made his
name in a legendary double act with the late
Eric Morecambe, dies aged 73.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer
(1685-1750); Florenz Ziegfeld, US theatrical
producer (1869-1932); Keith Potger, founder-
member of Australian group The
Seekers (1941-); Timothy Dalton,
British actor (1944-); Roger
Hodgson, British musician of
Supertramp fame (1950-); Gary
Oldman, British actor (1958-);
Ayrton Senna, Brazilian Formula
One racing driver (1960-1994);
Matthew Broderick, US actor (1962-); Rosie
O’Donnell, US actress and talkshow host
(1962-); Kevin Federline, US dancer and
former husband of Britney Spears (1978-).
“The heaviest baggage for a traveller is an
empty purse.” — German proverb.
“But You, O Lord, be not far off; O my
strength, come quickly to help me.”
— (Psalm 22:19).
The Greymouth sea
scouts have secured
the lease of three
sections in Packers
Quay to the south of the western end of the
footbridge. On this will be built a £4000-5000
scout den. Although it is hoped to build the
den new, the group will consider purchasing a
suitable second-hand building which may be
transferred to the site.
To help finance the project, the scouts will
undertake several fundraising schemes, most
novel of which is the sale of kindling wood.
The scouts will collect driftwood, boxes and
other light wood which will be cut into
kindling and sold before winter.
No finality on a site for the Kotuku Surf
Life Saving Club’s pavilion has been reached.
A report to the Grey County Council from
the Karoro County Town Committee stated
that the most desirable site was at the north-
western corner of the portion of the Karoro
Domain formerly used as a bowling green.
However, as this area was at present under
lease to the Greymouth Roller Skating Club,
finality could not be reached until such times
as it was known that the latter club could in
fact honour their obligations under the lease.
The death occurred suddenly this morning of
Mr Michael Joseph Keeney, of Monro Street,
Cobden. Mr Keeney was born in Greymouth
and educated in Wellington at the Marist
Brothers’ College. He followed the dairy
farming industry for more than 40 years in
Cobden where his late parents were pioneer
Mr Keeney is sur vived by his wife Dorothy,
four sons, Michael, James, Francis and Joseph;
and two daughters, Ellen and Mary.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Midway through the election
campaign Israel’s leading
satirical television show, Eretz
Nehederet, came up with a
new take on the man who
has dominated the country’s
politics for the past 20 years.
Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, it
suggested, was cursed as a child
to be Israel’s prime minister for
eternity. His only chance to break the spell
was to become its worst-ever leader.
Well, if that was his strategy, he has
failed again. Despite having run a
government that delivered too few jobs,
stagnant wages, a rapidly rising cost of
living, and a full-blown housing crisis
— it now costs the average Israeli 148
months’ salary to buy a home, compared
to 66 months for the average American
— Israelis voted him back into power in
Tuesday ’s election.
Only a week ago, he was running behind
in the polls, but a massive last-minute
scare campaign turned it around. On
polling day, Netanyahu even put a video
clip on his Facebook page in which he
warned that “the rule of the right is in
danger. The (Israeli) Arabs are moving in
droves to the polling stations. Left-wing
organisations are bringing them there in
buses.” And who was paying for those
buses? “American money,” explained Bibi’s
Israel’s voting system of strict
proportional representation has never
given a single party a majority of the
Knesset ’s 120 seats in any election in the
State’s 67-year history. Netanyahu’s Likud
Party won 30 seats, while its nearest rival,
the centre-left Zionist Union, got only 24.
But that gives Likud the first chance to
form a coalition with the required 61 seats,
and there are enough smaller right-wing
parties to make up the numbers.
Bibi is back for up to five more years,
which would make him the longest-
ser ving prime minister in Israeli history.
But turning the tide had a price, and Israel
has not yet begun to pay it.
Netanyahu won mainly by cannibalising
the vote of the parties to Likud’s right,
but that strategy required him to say some
things out loud that he had previously
conveyed to his hard-right admirers only
by nods and winks. The most dramatic
shift came just one day before the election,
when he finally said plainly that he would
never allow the creation of a Palestinian
“I think that anyone who moves to
establish a Palestinian state and evacuate
(Israeli-occupied Palestinian) territory
gives territory away to radical Islamist
attacks against Israel,” he said. Does that
mean that a Palestinian state would not be
permitted if he were re-elected, asked the
inter viewer. “Indeed,” Netanyahu replied.
This will come as a vast surprise to
practically nobody. Netanyahu’s entire
political career has been dedicated to
sabotaging the 1993 Oslo Accords
(which envisaged Israeli and Palestinian
states living side-by-side in peace) and
planting so many Jewish settlers on the
Israeli-occupied territories that a separate
Palestinian state becomes physically
He largely destroyed the Oslo agreement
in his first term as prime minister in
1996-99 (the creation of a Palestinian
state was scheduled for 1998). Almost
10% of Israel’s Jews now live in the
occupied Palestinian territories (east
Jerusalem and the West Bank) that would
make up a Palestinian state. But to keep
his American allies and his European
supporters happy, he never actually said he
would not allow an independent Palestine.
Netanyahu finally spoke the truth on
Monday because that is what the settlers
and their supporters wanted to hear,
and he needed those votes in order to
sur vive politically. But it destroyed the
myth, useful to the United States and
the European Union, that there is some
sur viving “peace process” that must be
protected by keeping the Israelis happy.
The “peace process” is dead, dead, dead.
Has been for years. There is no “two-state
solution” on the table.
This makes it a lot harder for the US
to veto resolutions critical of Israel at
the United Nations, as it has done 51
times since 1972. Without the cover of
peace talks, these vetoes become votes for
perpetual Israeli rule over the Palestinian
people. It will accelerate the broader
erosion of the old pro-Israel reflexes of
people in Europe and the US who needed
the reassurance that some day, somehow,
there would be a just peace settlement.
Netanyahu made matters considerably
worse during the campaign by openly
showing his contempt for President
Barack Obama. His panic-mongering
speech to the US Congress, painting
Obama’s quest for a nuclear deal with
Iran as a naive surrender to Iran’s alleged
desire for nuclear weapons, was an
unprecedented foreign inter vention in the
US political process. It will not be forgiven
or forgotten by Obama.
His election promise to speed up Jewish
settlement in the Palestinian territories
(which is illegal under international law)
was another nail in the coffin of peace
negotiations. Still, it did help to get
Netanyahu re-elected, and for him that is
all that counts.
He still truly believes that only he
understands the real and existential
dangers facing Israel, and has the will to
do something about them. Except that all
he ever really does is kick those dangers
down the road a bit. Unable to believe
that a peaceful settlement is possible or
even desirable, he condemns his country
to perpetual conflict and growing isolation.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
Israel condemned to perpetual conf lict
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Every now and then in life, we get
challenged about an attitude, an action or
our example for others.
Agreeing to change or even admitting
something needs to change is at times
frustrating and hard.
A number of years ago as a youth pastor,
I was challenged by my senior leader about
the glass of wine I was about to partake of
with my Air New Zealand meal.
We were on our way to the Philippines
with a group of young people. He said “I
want you to think about the example you
are setting to these kids; what you do in
moderation they will do in excess.”
Now I had a problem, I was free to drink
but had to consider others. Being a leader
has its bad points!
After a few days processing this, I decided
to give up drinking alcohol — from this
People ask me when I am out “Don’t you
drink”? My standard answer is — Only
when I am thirsty!” But not alcohol.
I knew I was truly free because I could
make that choice to just stop.
If you belong to God, you will get
challenged from time to time. We are all
Some think it’s all about giving things up,
but it ’s not really, it is more about letting go.
Then you know you are truly free.
Everything is permissible (allowable
and lawful) for me; but not all things are
helpful (good for me to do, expedient and
profitable when considered with other
things). Everything is lawful for me, but I
will not become the slave of anything or be
brought under its power. — (1 Corinthians
6:12 - Amplified Bible).
Pastor Steve Fox
Greymouth New Life Church.
True freedom means you can let go
n 1857, bushy-whiskered
Emperor Franz Joseph
proclaimed that his rapidly
growing imperial capital Vienna
needed a radical makeover
wealth, might and technological prowess.
This year, the centrepiece of the
mammoth urban engineering project
that ensued — the resplendent, 5km
‘Ringstrasse’ boulevard ringing old
Vienna — turns 150.
With its dizzying mix of palaces,
museums and public buildings in a
chocolate box of different styles, the
‘Ring’ is the “most beautiful boulevard in
the world”, the tourist board says.
The Austrian capital is marking this
with special exhibitions, showing
how this street beloved of tourist and
architecture aficionados — including
Hitler — has played a central role in the
city ’s happiest and darkest days.
Following Franz Joseph’s decree, the city
walls that had kept out two marauding
Turkish armies — but not Napoleon
— were torn down, opening up the
Inspired by Baron Haussmann’s
renovation of Paris and by Ludwig I’s
transformation of his Bavarian capital
Munich, Vienna summoned the finest
architects of the day — Gottfried
Semper, Theophil Hansen and Heinrich
The theme chosen was ‘historicism’,
giving the designers free rein to give it all
they had with designs inspired by bygone
epochs in architecture — and with no
expense spared either financially, or in
So what sprang up were the soaring
‘F lemish-Gothic’ city hall, a ‘neo-
Renaissance’ university, a ‘neo-Romantic’
opera house and the ‘neo-Classical’
parliament, a Hellenist ’s dream complete
with ripped Greek heroes and an
imposing Diana statue.
Others include the hallowed
Burgtheater, the mighty Natural History
Museum and its twin the Museum of
Art History, the Neue Burg extension to
the Hofburg palace and the Votivkirche
church — all in different styles, but still
“ It is fantastic, like a museum of
architecture,” said Rainald Franz,
art and architecture historian at the
Museum of Applied Arts, giving AFP
a neck-cranking tour on a public tram
conveniently going round most of the
“The aim was to say to the world this is
an international metropolis.”
Indeed, the Ringstrasse became the
main stage for Vienna’s golden era,
the boulevard’s glittering cafes a haven
for the intellectual elite of the day like
composer Gustav Mahler, the father of
psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud or artist
And filling the gaps between the public
buildings were plush palaces erected by
a new, confident and ostentatious class
of Viennese grown rich from the vast
empire’s rapid industrialisation, many of
These included for example the
Ephrussis, the banking family made
famous by Edmund de Waal’s bestselling
2010 family memoir The Hare with
Amber Eyes. Their former home still
stands today — inhabited by Casinos
Austria and next to a McDonald ’s.
But according to Gabriele Kohlbauer-
Fritz, curator of an upcoming exhibition
— Ringstrasse: A Jewish Boulevard — at
Vienna’s Jewish Museum, this splendour
was a facade, and not just for the city’s
“On the one hand there was this
wonderful Ringstrasse but at the same
time the masses had to fight to survive,
both Jews and non-Jews,” she says.
Most of the bricks for the Ringstrasse’s
buildings were made in vast factories
where workers, most of them Czech,
would work in horrendous conditions for
15 hours a day, seven days a week, paid in
company tokens, not money.
People living in ‘catastrophic’ conditions,
and the lower middle classes left behind
by the Industrial Revolution, became
‘ highly receptive’ to anti-Semitism,
sowing the seeds for the rise of the Nazis
and the Holocaust, Kohlbauer-Fritz said.
The man behind that genocide first
visited Vienna in around 1906 as a
teenager, and was blown away by the
“For hours and hours I could stand in
wonderment ... The whole Ringstrasse
had a magic effect upon me, as if it were
a scene from the Thousand and One
Nights,” Hitler later recalled in Mein
He later lived in Vienna between 1908
and 1913, during which time he failed to
get into the Academy of Fine Arts, stayed
in a homeless shelter and sold respectable
paintings of the many buildings on the
And when the failed artist returned
in triumph on March 12, 1938 as Nazi
dictator, he knew the best place to make
a triumphant entrance and announce the
‘annexation’ of his native country into the
Reich — the Ringstrasse and the balcony
of the Neue Burg palace.
The same night, with the streets of
Vienna ringing with shouts of “Heil
Hitler!”, recounts de Waal in The Hare
with Amber Eyes, the first brownshirts
barge into and ransack the Ephrussi
Palace. It was a foretaste of the tragedy to
come. — AFP
Ringstrasse turns 150
Parliament Buildings and the Ringsrasse about 1900.
Links Archive March 20th 2015 March 23rd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page