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>Israel Faxx
>JN Nov. 18, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 215

Elvis, Rabin, Hitler in Running for Time "Man of the Century"

By IsraelWire

Adolf Hitler is in third place for "Man of the Century" in a public poll on the Internet site of the weekly newsmagazine Time. The Time site allows web surfers to vote multiple times for their choice, allowing Hitler, who was Time's Man of the Year in 1938, to reach such a high position in the poll. There is now concern that Hitler's attainment of such a high vote will encourage neo-Nazi groups. Ahead of Hitler in the poll are Elvis Presley in first place and former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in second place.

Clinton, Barak Discuss Peace

By Deborah Tate (VOA-Istanbul)

President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak have reviewed the status of the Middle East peace process at a meeting in Istanbul. The two leaders are in the Turkish city to attend a summit of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe.

During his half-hour meeting with Barak, Clinton asked about the delay of an Israeli troop pullout from the West Bank, which was scheduled Monday.

The delay was prompted by a dispute over the territory to be handed over to the Palestinians, who say the land they were offered is too sparsely populated and does not connect their scattered enclaves.

National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, briefing reporters on the meeting, said the Israeli leader expressed hope that the matter would be resolved soon. Berger noted envoy Dennis Ross is in the region and is working with the parties on the issue.

The Israelis and Palestinians are committed to working out a framework peace agreement by February, and a final settlement by next September that will resolve such difficult issues as borders, refugees, and the status of Jerusalem.

Despite the delay in the Israeli troop withdrawal, Berger says both sides are approaching the issues before them with a sense of urgency.

"In one sense, there is not much time between now and February 15th, when the framework agreement is to be reached. In another sense, there is a long way to travel between the two parties, but I think they understand that and recognize that."

Berger says Clinton and Barak also discussed prospects for resuming Israeli-Syrian talks, which have been stalled since February 1996. He says the United States continues to be in contact with both sides toward that end, but said he had no progress to report.

Vatican Confirms Papal Visit

By VOA's Meredith Buel (Jerusalem), Sabrina Castelfranco (Rome)

Israeli and Palestinian officials are reacting enthusiastically to news that Pope John Paul will visit the Holy Land during millennial celebrations next year.

Pope John Paul will be traveling to the Holy Land in the last 10-days of March. The announcement was made by a top Vatican official during a news conference about the papal schedule for celebrations in the year 2000, to mark the start of the third Christian millennium.

Although no exact details were given of his visit, the pope is expected to make his pilgrimage to sites in Israel and in self-rule areas of the Palestinian Authority.

Christian churches in the Holy Land will close for two-days this month to protest plans to build a mosque near the main Christian church in Nazareth, the town of Jesus' boyhood. Christians and Muslims in Nazareth have been arguing over who owns a plot of land near the Basilica of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be on the site where the angel Gabriel first spoke to Mary of the birth of Jesus.

Israeli Public Security Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami says Israel is "thrilled by the news, both as a nation and as a government." Ben-Ami says the visit, the first by a pope to the Holy Land since 1964, "will signal the message of the millennium - that is, interfaith reconciliation and peace."

Nabil Kasis, the Palestinian official heading the Bethlehem 2000 project, says every Palestinian is looking forward to the pope's visit.

Israel Won't Increase Millennium Security

By IsraelWire

According to Tourism Minister Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who spoke to reporters in London, Israel will not be providing any special security measures during the millennium despite fears of doomsday cults igniting violence in Israel.

Millions of pilgrims are expected to make their way to Christian holy sites during the year to mark Christianity's third millennium. Israel has already deported about 60 Christians suspected of plotting violent acts at the turn of the century.

"Cultists believe the Messiah is going to arrive they say they know exactly where," Lipkin-Shahak, told Reuters in an interview. "It's not all over the world. They are coming to one single place - Jerusalem."

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