“Separatist” Dalai Lama snubbed by Palestinians

The Dalai Lama just visited Israel, where no Israeli official would meet with him. According to the following account, a Palestinian NGO also agreed to cancel his visit to the occupied Palestinian territories at China’s request. From the Middle East Times, Feb. 20:

Dalai Lama visit to Bethlehem canceled to avoid China clash
BETHLEHEM, West Bank — The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, had a visit to Bethlehem canceled at the request of the Palestinian Authority, which is unwilling to antagonize China, organizers said on Monday.

Palestinian nongovernmental organization Holy Land Trust, which invited the Buddhist spiritual leader to visit the birthplace of Jesus Christ, withdrew the invitation at China’s request, said an official from the group.

The Dalai Lama was to have visited the Church of the Nativity, a mosque, Bethlehem town hall and a nearby refugee camp, the Holy Land Trust source said.

A senior official in the Palestinian foreign ministry confirmed that organizers had been asked to cancel the trip following a request from China.

“At the request of the Chinese government, we have not received or dealt with him given his separatist ambitions for Tibet,” Majdi Al Khaldi said.

“Given our friendly relations with the Chinese government, which supports the Palestinian people, we asked the local [Bethlehem] authorities as well as civil society groups not to receive him and they acquiesced with our request.”

The Dalai Lama last week paid a five-day private visit to Israel. Beijing accuses him of trying to lead the Tibetan province to secede from China and lodged an official protest against the visit.

He received the Nobel Peace prize for his peaceful opposition to Chinese rule and has long abandoned calls for Tibetan independence.

Seriously lame. See our last post on Israel/Palestine, and on Tibet.

  1. Palestine and China
    Excuse me while I bash my head against a wall…

    I dug up this from Xinhua, 2005:

    BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhuanet) — China and Palestine should strengthen cooperation on trade, economy and technology, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Wednesday.

    Wen made the remark during a meeting with visiting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

    Noting that the completion of a number of infrastructure projects that China helped build in Palestine has produced good social and economic benefits in the country, Wen said the two governments should continue to enhance economic cooperation by earnestly carrying out a series of agreements on trade, economic and technological cooperation.

    Wen said the two countries should expand cooperation on human resources development and training. He said China is ready to train more professionals for Palestine in the future.

    The Chinese premier also called for scaling up people-to-people business exchanges between China and Palestine, saying the two countries should encourage closer trade and economic links among the people through the China-Palestine Cooperation Forum and other mechanism.

    Wen spoke highly of the active effort that Abbas has made to push forward peace talks between Palestine and Israel. He said China is willing to play a constructive role in promoting the peace process of the Middle East.

    Abbas said Palestine will unswervingly seek the resolution of the Palestine-Israel issue through negotiations and carry out the “road map” plan to push forward the Middle East peace process.

    Wen also made highly positive comments on Sino-Palestinian relations. He said over the past five decades and more, China and Palestine have maintained a strong and unbreakable friendship despite major changes in regional and international situations.

    China is ready to join efforts with Palestine to continuously push forward relations between the two countries, Wen said.

    Abbas said that the Palestinian people treasure their traditional friendship with China. He thanked China for its long-term support and assistance to Palestine, saying that the two countries should reinforce trade and economic cooperation and carry out cooperative projects. He also welcomes Chinese companies to invest in Palestine.

    That report came a couple of days after this one:

    AMMAN, March 17 (Xinhuanet) — Jordan and Palestinian officials expressed support for China’s Anti-Secession Law aimed to prevent “Taiwan independence.”

    Deputy Speaker of Jordan’s House of Representatives Madoh al-Abbadi on Thursday told Chinese Ambassador Luo Xingwu that the National Assembly of Jordan supports China’s Anti-Secession Law.

    The legislation will help promote peaceful reunification, maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity of China,al-Abbadi said.

    Jordanian Minister of Culture and government spokesperson Asma Khader told Luo on Wednesday that Jordan respects the one-China policy.

    The minister said the Taiwan issue is China’s internal affair and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole country.

    Khader said Jordan fully understands the Anti-Secession Law andsupports China’s determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    Majdi al-Khaldi, undersecretary of Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry, said on Wednesday that Palestine opposes “Taiwan independence” in whatever forms.

    Al-Khaldi said Palestine fully supports the Chinese government’s and people’s efforts for national reunification and the maintenance of stability across the Taiwan Straits.

  2. Dalai Lama does Jerusalem
    From the Jerusalem Post, Feb. 20, online at the Tibet solidarity site Phayul.com. A “religious United Nations”? It couldn’t happen soon enough, and may it be more successful than the actually-existing political United Nations.

    Dalai Lama meets chief rabbis, Muslim leaders

    Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger called on Sunday for the establishment of “a religious United Nations” representing the religious leaders of all the countries in the world. Metzger suggested establishing the religious UN in Jerusalem and placing the Dalai Lama at its head.

    Metzger raised the idea during a meeting that includedd himself and the Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Muslim leaders, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Prize-winning peace activist and leader of the exiled Tibetan people.

    “Religious leaders will get the opportunity to meet one another and discover that they have more in common than they may have realized,” he continued.

    The meeting, organized by Rabbi Menahem Fruman of the Samarian settlement Tekoa who supports negotiations with the Hamas, came just hours after Palestinians, including Hamas representatives, cancelled a meeting with the Dalai Lama that was to take place in Bethlehem.

    According to a spokesman for Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People, Palestinians said the timing for the meeting was bad. They did not elaborate.

    Alluding to the cancellation, Rabbi Metzger told a story that made the Dalai Lama smile.

    “Once there was a hassidic rebbe who wanted to instill in his followers the importance of giving to the poor before Passover,” said Metzger.

    “He sent out a messenger to spread the message. When the messenger returned he said to the rebbe, ‘I was 50% successful.’

    “‘What do you mean?’ asked the rebbe.

    “‘The poor agreed to accept.’

    “The situation is the same here in Israel. Fifty percent of us are open to your message of peace. We are waiting for the other 50% to accept.”

    Kadi Muhamed Zibde, a judge on Jerusalem’s State Sha’aria Court told The Jerusalem Post ahead of the meeting that he hoped to present to the Dalai Lama and to the chief rabbis “a more sane version of Islam.”

    “Peace is the principle wish of Islam,” said Zibde, who said the common denominators in different religions could be used to cultivate fruitful dialogue.

    “All monotheistic religions believe there is inherent holiness in human life. Nonviolence is a value.”

    The Dalai Lama said religious leaders had a special responsibility to change the situation.

    “Any noble work is bound to have obstacles,” said the Dalai Lama. “We need determination to pursue justice and truth.”

    Fruman said dialogue based on mutual religious respect could help Israel receive from the Hamas recognition of Israel’s right to existence, the honoring of past agreements and at least a temporary halt to terrorism.

    “The Zionist secular state of Israel is considered an evil knife of blasphemy by Hamas leaders,” said Fruman.

    “But if you send the Chief rabbis to speak with the Hamas in religious language I believe we can get them to recognize a Jewish entity of some kind.”

    Parallels are often made between the Tibetan people’s exile in 1959 and the Jews’ exile from the land of Israel. Dharamsala, the Indian city that has become the Tibetan’s spiritual center, has been likened to Yavneh after the destruction of the Temple.

    The Dalai Lama, a self-proclamed admirer of the Jewish people, has met in the past with Jewish rabbis and spiritual leaders to learn more about Judaism and more specifically how to survive in exile.

    One of these meetings was depicted in The Jew in the Lotus, by Rodger Kamenetz. Much in common was found between Jewish Kabbala and Buddhist Tantric mediations.

    Question: Who is the 50% that Rabbi Metzger says don’t want peace? The intransigent Israelis or the Palestinians?

    The former, I hope. Especially since His Holiness laughed.

    1. Dalai Lama meets with Iraeli Rabbis
      Yes, I think it’s clear that it’s probably the same half (aprox.) of Israeli’s that don’t believe in Palestinian rights. What I think is admirable the myrid ways that the Dalai Lama has been reaching out beyond his natural constituency (i.e. Tibetans in exile & Tibetan Buddhist students from all parts of the globe). He has been meeting with all sorts of interfaith & ecological groups & attending scientific conferences. He is as concerned about the deforestation and contamination of the himilayan region by Chinese policies, industry & mining over the past 50 yrs. as he for the self-determination of the Tibetan people. We would all do well to remember that most of the weather in the Northern Hemisphere ariginates in those, the highest moountains on earth. Regardless of ideology, I have found the current Dalai Lamas actions & statements consistently free of dogma and and helpful in thinking about crucial issues in innovative ways. I will also never forget the image of him holding the hand of the elderly & frail founder of Liberation Theology , Dom Helder Camera from Brazil at a “Spiritual Summit” many years ago. Also part of that group were Pir Vilijat Khan,founder of the Sufi Order of the West, Swami Satchitananda, founder of Integral Yaga and several Indigenous Elders, all sadly gone now. To be con’t…