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Monday's horoscope (6/2) for Ariel Sharon, born 2/27/1928. 7:49 a.m., Kfar Milal, Palestine: Spend some cozy, intimate time with your romantic partner today, Arik. The energy of the day could make you feel a little lazy, and you should not fight it. You might want to take the day off from anything resembling chores or projects. You might just want to snuggle all day long! Or you might plan a romantic dinner with your sweetheart in the evening. You'll enjoy long, loving glances across the candlelight


Sharon to Announce Evacuation of Illegal Outposts

By Ha'aretz & VOA News

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will announced that Israel is prepared to dismantle illegal settlements in his closing statement at Wednesday's Aqaba summit. The draft of Sharon's speech, discussed over the weekend with U.S. delegates, will state that the Jewish people have an historic right to settle anywhere, but as Israel is a law-abiding country, illegal outposts will be evacuated.

Sharon told his cabinet Sunday morning that his closing statement at Wednesday's Aqaba summit "could very possibly include a reference to the issue of the outposts." He also told his ministers that Israel might have to evacuate some illegal settlement outposts. The prime minister asked his ministers to refrain from intensifying their statements of opposition to the internationally brokered road map to Middle East peace and the negotiations.

Channel Two news reported Sunday that Sharon had reached a deal with the Americans under which "defense outposts" would not be evacuated, but "provocative" outposts would. Israel Radio quoted diplomatic sources as saying that the prime minister will declare that Israel accepts Bush's vision of Palestinian state at the end of Aqaba summit and that Israel does not want to rule over millions of Palestinians.

U.S. envoys Elliot Abrams and William Burns however failed to secure a promise from the Palestinians that Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) would speak of Israel as a "Jewish state" in his closing statement at the summit.

Israel previously objected to an American request for Sharon to declare during Wednesday's summit with President Bush and Abbas in Aqaba that Israel would evacuate illegal outposts in the West Bank. Israel also rejected an American suggestion that Sharon declare an "end of occupation" at the summit.


Israel Signals Support for Palestinian Cease-Fire

By VOA News

Israel is now indicating it supports the Palestinian prime minister's efforts to persuade militants to declare a cease-fire as the first step in a crackdown on terrorism. Media in Jerusalem Sunday quote unidentified Israeli officials as saying Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has agreed to the idea of a truce as long as it is accompanied by steps to disarm Palestinian terrorist groups.

Whether a halt in anti-Israeli attacks can be announced before or at Wednesday's scheduled three-way summit with U.S. President George W. Bush is not clear.

The AFP news agency quoted the chief Palestinian negotiator, Culture Minister Ziad Abu Amer, as saying he remains optimistic about an agreement with the hard-line Islamic group Hamas, but doubts it will be reached in time for the summit. But Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, in an interview with a leading Arab newspaper, the London-based Al-Hayat, said a ceasefire next week is probable.

Meanwhile, Israel says it has eased military control of Palestinian territories, a move seen as a goodwill gesture ahead of the upcoming summit in Aqaba, Jordan. Israel closed the West Bank and Gaza Strip last month, after a series of attacks by Palestinian militants on Israelis. The lifting of the closure would allow up to 25,000 Palestinians in the territories to go back to work inside the Jewish state.

Israel is also expected to release some 100 Palestinian prisoners as part of confidence building measures before Wednesday's summit in Jordan with Bush and the Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers. The closure was first imposed in May following a new wave of Palestinian suicide bombings. Israel's Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, said soldiers would remain active inside the territories in a bid to prevent any more such attacks.

He said although the closure had been lifted Sunday Israeli troops would still maintain a presence inside some Palestinian self-rule areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At the same time, Israeli officials stressed that a phased withdrawal of the soldiers would begin in the near future.

The officials said it was expected that the declaration to be issued at Wednesday's summit in Jordan would include a timetable for a troop pullback, starting in the Gaza Strip.


Israel Not High on Young U.S. Jews' Agenda

By Nathan Guttman, Ha'aretz Correspondent

Young American Jews can no longer be expected to supply sweeping support for Israel nor to refrain from expressing criticism of it, according to a new study on their involvement in the Jewish community and their concern with Israel in particular.

The study, conducted by Frank Luntz, a leading Republican pollster who visited Israel recently, indicates that 80 percent of American Jews of university age have no connection to the life of the Jewish community or to Israel. In fact, their attitude toward Israel is closer to that of other Americans their age than to that of their parents.

They define themselves as "American Jews" with the emphasis on American, and do not automatically accept the Jewish community's position of traditional support for Israel. This does not mean the Jewish young generation does not support Israel, but for many the subject is not high priority.

"It has to do with the fact that many of the youngsters have not undergone their parents' experience at the time the state was established and got to know Israel only as a strong state ... and [with] the intifada," says Roger Bennett, vice president of Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, which helped finance the study.

Luntz and his team concluded that the veteran Jewish organizations are failing to reach the young target generation and to inspire it to the kind of involvement that characterized its parents' generation. "We're selling to young Americans the Israel we loved in the Six-Day War, while they grew up with the background of Rabin's assassination and the intifada," said Bennett.

`Them' - not `us' was the first worrying sign Luntz and his team came across in their debates with focus groups of young American Jews was the way they referred to Israelis. They referred to them as "they" instead of "us," which marked the Jewish American discourse toward Israel in previous decades.

Luntz presented a list he dubbed "the Ten Commandments" which Jewish Organizations can use to try to connect to the younger generation. In addition to suggestions about improving ads graphically, he suggests appealing to the young people on the cultural level, by bringing shows, comedies and singers who will speak to the students and stress all the time the connection between their being American to their being Jews.

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