Dalai Lama visits Jerusalem, asks Arabs to aid Iranian Jews

JERUSALEM, June 14 (JTA) — The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled leader, concluded a three-day visit to Israel on Monday, telling the chief rabbi that he is unable to intervene on behalf of 13 Jews arrested in Iran. Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau suggested that both he and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate go to Iran to check the conditions in which the Jews are being held. The Dalai Lama replied that although he had no good contacts in Iran, or in the Arab countries, he called for the intervention of moderate Arab and Muslim leaders. The Buddhist leader participated in an interfaith conference in Jerusalem along with Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Shintos. The trip was organized by an American group and the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel. The Dalai Lama and Lau held a common prayer for peace. No official meetings were set up for the Tibetan leader because China had made it clear it would be offended if the Dalai Lama received an official reception in Israel. Instead, he visited the main shrines of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Jerusalem — the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Al Aqsa Mosques. Speaking at a news conference at the end of the visit, the Dalai Lama said he failed to understand the excitement over the new millennium. “I feel the new millennium is nothing special, just the same day and night,” he said. Earlier during his visit here, the Dalai Lama called for adopting the principle of nonviolence, which he advocated in relations with China, to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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