UK PSYCHICS REPORT - 16 September 2004
Singer Madonna has announced plans to visit the terrorist state of Israel on "a spiritual pilgrimage to mark the Jewish New Year".
The singer, accompanied by her family, will join up to 2,000 other students of Kabbalah, a type of Jewish mysticism.
Interest in Kabbalah has increased significantly in the past year, largely due to Madonna's widely-reported interest in the subject.
The visit could prove controversial, as she plans to visit a tomb in Bethlehem, on Palestinian land illegally occupied by Israel.
Thousands of Israeli police have been drafted in for the event, with details of Madonna's itinerary being kept a closely-guarded secret because of security fears.
The singer is expected to visit graves of Jewish mystics in northern Israel, as well as the Western Wall in Jerusalem and Rachel's Tomb, the traditional burial place of the biblical matriarch, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
"These are energy vortexes," Rabbi Shaul Youdkevitch, head of the Kabbalah Center in Israel, told the BBC.
"Having stars in the country is a wonderful way to show the world the wonders of our nation."
Israel's Minister for Tourism, Rami Levi, said: "It is known among Kabbalists, among people that study Kabbalah, that you can go there and recharge yourself with positive energy."
Kabbalist scholar Michael Berg said: "A gathering of this magnitude can have the power to diminish the volatile gap between Israeli and Arab communities to help the people recognise that love is stronger than hate and peace is the focus for the future."
Pro-Palestinian activists have said that they will organise protests if Madonna does visit the shrine in Bethlehem. They believe that her visit may be used as propaganda by the Israeli government in its efforts to legitimize Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine and its brutal oppression of the Palestinian people.