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Thursday's horoscope (5/29) for Ariel Sharon, born 2/27/1928. 7:49 a.m., Kfar Milal, Palestine: Dear Ariel, liberate yourself! Whatever it is that is holding you back at the moment, tell yourself that it is probably a problem of your own devising. The big question is: why are you getting in your own way? The planets are on your side, and if you let them, they will help you see through the roadblocks in your life.

Bush Will Lobby Mideast 'Road Map' to Peace

By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)

The White House announced that President Bush would make a major foray into personal Middle East diplomacy on June 4. Bush, after his trip to Europe starting later this week, will meet with Arab leaders in Egypt and then see the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers in Aqaba, Jordan to try to advance the so-called international "road map" to peace.

Bush has met Middle East leaders at the White House, but the upcoming talks in Egypt and Jordan will be his first effort at diplomacy in the region in support of the "road map" that was presented to Israel and the Palestinians a month ago. After leaving a big-power summit in Evian, France next week, Bush will meet Arab leaders Tuesday at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. He is to go to the Jordanian port town of Aqaba the following day to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

Disputes have stalled a planned meeting between Sharon and his Palestinian counterpart this week. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the three-way meeting in Aqaba would be held, "conditions permitting", though he said U.S. officials fully expect it to take place. He said the administration is focused on making progress on the "road map," a joint diplomatic effort of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations, aimed at a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict by the end of 2005.

The Sharm el-Sheikh summit is expected to include leaders of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, and possibly others, though a list of participants has not been released. In comments to reporters, Secretary of State Colin Powell said that meeting is intended to line up Arab backing for the "road map and for the Abbas' reformist Palestinian government.

The Aqaba meeting will be Bush's first with Abbas, who took office in late April. U.S. officials said the president would not meet with Palestinian Authority chief Yasir Arafat, whose administration, they described as being tainted by corruption and links to terrorism.

Abbas called for Israel to seize an historic opportunity to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict. He said Israel must stop the assassination of Palestinian political leaders and the demolition of Palestinian homes, saying it is time to break the cycle of violence and give hope to people on both sides. He also defended Arafat. Abbas said it was difficult to explain to ordinary Palestinians that he can openly negotiate with Israel, while Arafat remains a virtual prisoner in his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Jerusalem Day


Jerusalem Day commemorations officially begin on Thursday. Jerusalem Day commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem, Israel's capital, following the division of the city between 1948 and 1967.

The Jerusalem Municipality's website states, "For three millennia Jerusalem has been the heart of the Jewish people. Although throughout the years the city was under the rule of many nations, including the Assyrians, Persians and Romans, Jerusalem is the enduring center of Jewish belief and identity. It has only ever been a capital city under Jewish rule.

"The Six Day War began on June 6, 1967. On June 8 - the 28th of the month of Iyar, according to the Hebrew calendar - Israeli forces broke through Lions' Gate to the Old City. On June 28, the Government of Israel proclaimed the Reunification of Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel." The Chief Rabbinate recognized the 28th of Iyar as a religious holiday of thanksgiving.

Jordan Fears 'Religious War' Over Jewish Temple Mount Prayer


Jordan on Wednesday warned the Israeli government against allowing Jews to pray on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, saying such "a very dangerous step" could lead to a "devastating religious war."

"The hectic campaign being waged, with backing from officials of the Israeli government, to open al-Aqsa Mosque to the Jews is in fact tantamount to laying the foundation for a destructive religious war, the consequences of which nobody knows," said Abdullah Kana'an, the chairman of the Jordanian Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs.

"The attitude of the Jordanian government in this respect is quite clear - nobody other than Muslims has the right to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque, which is an exclusive Islamic shrine." Kana'an was responding to recent plans broached by Israeli cabinet ministers to open the Temple Mount to Jewish worshippers.

He said the Israeli move was "designed to back the Jews' alleged right to the Mosque by turning part of it into a synagogue in the run-up to rebuilding their alleged Temple."

Whitney Houston Visits with Black Hebrews

By Israel Faxx News Services

Whitney Houston, her husband, Bobby Brown, their daughter and several other relatives are in Dimona, Israel, resting and looking for inspiration for her upcoming Christmas album, according to published reports.

The superstar singer is staying with the Black Hebrews, a group of nearly 2,000 black Americans who followed a Chicago bus driver to Israel decades ago and believe they are descendants of the lost tribes of Israelites, reported Associated Press. Their religious customs include a vegan diet and polygamy.

"She is loving it," said Patricia Houston, the singer's spokeswoman and sister-in-law. "She is a spiritual woman and wanted to come here and touch the land and be around the saints of Dimona."

On Tuesday, Houston visited with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. According to Reuters, Houston told Sharon, "It's home. It's a friendship I've never had with any other country."

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