The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled Buddhist spiritual leader, will visit Israel for one week in the middle of February to take part in the events marking the 100th anniversary of late Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's immigration to Israel.
The distinguished guest, who has enraptured many followers with his conduct and declarations, will arrive in the Holy Land for the second
time and is expected to visit Ben-Gurion's grave at the Sde Boker College in southern Israel.
The Dalai Lama's visit to Israel has been planned for the last few months together with Professor Avishay Braverman, former president of the Ben-Gurion University and new Labor party member. According to Braverman, the idea to bring the Dalai Lama to Israel was raised in light of the fact that Ben-Gurion himself had great respect for Buddhism.
After long discussions, negotiations and arrangements, the parties agreed that the Dalai Lama would arrive at Ben-Gurion University and would be the first person to receive the special commendation for the event marking the 100th anniversary of Ben-Gurion's immigration to Israel.
'Atmosphere of love, wisdom and tolerance'
The Dalai Lama is expected to deliver a number of lectures at the university, after which he will visit Ben-Gurion's grave. He will stay in Israel for a week and will meet with state officials.
"I hope that in his visit to the Middle East he will induce an atmosphere of love, wisdom and tolerance," Braverman told Ynet.
He added that "the Dalai Lama symbolizes leadership, spirituality and a good example. It is our honor, and therefore he will be the first to receive the commendation."
Other public figures from across the world, whose names have not been published yet, are expected to visit Israel in the next five months in order to receive the commendation from Ben-Gurion University.
While you are reading this, notice the difference between Dalai Lama's conduct and that of many politicians, officials and celebrities who come to Israel. Notice what he does (honor the founders of the state, give lectures, promote peace) and what he doesn't do (no interference into Israel's internal affairs, no "balancing" of the visit by going to Ramallah or East Jerusalem, not afraid to appear pro-Israeli) and contrast it with what even the American envoys coming here do.