Newsletter : 9fax1118.txt
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>JN Nov. 18, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 215
Elvis, Rabin, Hitler in Running for Time "Man of the Century"
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
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
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
"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
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
Israel Won't Increase Millennium Security
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 -
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