The head of Tibetan Government-In-Exile, President Sangay’s visit to Israel is likely to ruffle feathers in China. While seeking support for Tibet in Israel, he also expressed his belief that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will return back to Tibet, where he belongs and the Tibetans inside and outside Tibet will be reunited with basic freedom.
Dr. Sangay also drew parallel with the situation of Jews in exile before Israel’s creation. The Tibetan president was in Israel for nearly a week. He also said that the purpose of the visit was to ‘understand’ the country and learn from its civil administration.
During the visit he met with many civil society groups. He also sought support for Tibetan’s struggle for more autonomy. The rather low key nature of the visit seems purposely planned so as to not hurt Chinese sensitivities. The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem declined to comment on issues relating to China and Tibet.
The PM avoided taking a stand on Palestinian-Israeli conflict but did draw a parallel with Jews in exile comparing it with Tibetans. He also spoke unequivocally about the Chinese repression and spoke at length about the struggles of 6 million Tibetans at hands of Chinese authorities.
He went further and added that Tibet is under occupation but Tibetan’s response to this occupation has been very non-violent in line with Tibet’s long standing values of peace and non-violence. He also said that the struggle will take long time and it will be history to judge whether the ‘peaceful’ approach of Tibetans is right or not.
PM Sangay said that he hopes that the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu shall not have any problems is supporting the ‘Middle Way’ approach like the US administration which sees no difference between One China policy and Middle Way Approach of
Central Tibetan Authority which seeks to attain more autonomy.
He did get some flak for not taking a stand on Palestinian living in exile. The Jewish state has been criticized for gobbling lands which belonged to Palestinians. But it was a very tight rope to walk as the Palestinians are also facing somewhat similar situation. But the genesis of the two is entirely different. PM did well by not getting into any controversy.