Jewish Intellectual Bernard-Henry Levy and the War in Lybia


…By Jonas E. Alexis


Who Killed Muammar Gaddafi?


 “If this hostility, even aversion, had only been shown towards the Jews at one period and in one country, it would be easy to unravel the limited causes of this anger, but this race has been on the contrary an object of hatred to all the peoples among whom it has established itself.

“It must be therefore, since the enemies of the Jews belonged to the most diverse races, since they lived in countries very distant from each other, since they were ruled by very different laws, governed by opposite principles, since they had neither the same morals, nor the same customs, since they were animated by unlike dispositions which did not permit them to judge of anything in the same way, it must be therefore that the general cause of anti-Semitism has always resided in Israel itself and not in those who have fought against Israel.”–Jewish literary writer Bernard Larare[1]


Last October, French Jewish intellectual Bernard-Henry told the Jerusalem Post that there was a “new mutation of the anti-Semitism virus” around the world.[2]

In 2005, the U.S. Department of State wrote a report entitled “Report on Global Anti-Semitism” in which it is said that countries like Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovak Repulic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, South Africa, among others, were breathing anti-Semitic attitudes.[3]

What was even interesting was that in 2011 the U.S. State Department spent at least $200,000 of government funding to monitor what they perceived as anti-Semitism.[4]

To use a Freudian terminology, Levy, like many others, never psycho-analyzes himself and asks the vital question, “Why is this so? How is it possible that the entire world would succumb to ‘anti-Semitism’? Is it because the entire world really hates Jews as human beings? Or is there something else going on here?”

Levy does not go that far because these questions would force him to face some disturbing conclusions: either the entire world are anti-semites like Levy seems to believe, or there is something about Jewish participation in revolutionary and subversive movements that the world does not like. (For example, no one, not even Winston Churchill, liked the Bolshevik Revolution which was largely a Jewish movement. Was Churchill, then, an anti-Semite?)

Bernard Lazare

This is one of the deep questions that French Jewish literary writer Bernard Lazare wrestled with at the end of the nineteenth century. Late professor Yehezkel Kaufman of Hebrew University came to similar conclusions, saying that the Jews were indeed largely responsible for anti-Jewish reactions.[5] Is Levy, then, an accomplice in spreading anti-Jewish reaction?

The man who was largely behind the war in Libya is none other than Bernard-Henry Levy. Steven Erlanger of the New York Times tells us, “Mr. Lévy managed to get a fledgling Libyan opposition group a hearing from the president of France and the American secretary of state, a process that has led both countries and NATO into waging war against the forces of the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qddafi.”[6]

The move for the war in Libya was again quickly picked up by a plethora of leading neoconservatives, including Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard, Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, Dan Senor, Eric Elderman, Elliott Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz, Max Boot, Eliot Cohen, Thomas Donnelly, Reuel Marc Gerecht, John Hannah, Michael Makovsky, Joshua Muravchik, Danielle Pletka, John Podhoretz, Randy Scheunemann, Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, etc.[7]

When Congress was thinking about cutting funds for U.S. military involvement in the war in Libya, it was once again the neocons—at least forty one of them—who signed a letter saying that Congress should not do so.[8] Neocon publications such as the Weekly Standard again brought up the ridiculous notion that the war in Libya will bring democracy in that region.[9]

Bernard-Henry Levy is also a flaming Zionist.[10] Like the New York Jewish intellectuals of the 1920s and 30s, Levy ended up rejecting Communism on the one hand but upholds Zionist and socialist views on the other. The New York intellectuals saw that the Holocaust was a major event that could be used as a potent weapon for future generations.

For example, Irving Howe “was haunted by the question of why our [Jewish] intellectual community … had paid so little attention to the Holocaust in the early 1940s…. He asked me [Edward Alexander] why we had written and talked so little about the Holocaust at the time it was taking place.”[11] Anything that could be used as a political and ideological force was used by those Jewish revolutionaries. And Levy was the product of that era.

In the late 1960s, Levy himself declared that he was “aligned with the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist movement of the time, but in my own ways…”[12]

But Levy’s genius lies not in the work he has produced as a public intellectual who was trained in the field of philosophy but in summoning some of the stupidest statements ever uttered by a man of his statue. For example, he once argued that Heinrich Himmler stood trial at Nuremberg![13] This idea was quickly challenged by French Jewish historian Pierre Vidal-Nacquet.[14] Levy’s “intellectual dishonesty,” says Vidal-Nacquet, “is properly unfathomable.”[15]

Bernard-Henry Levy

This is not the first time that Levy has summoned his own invention.[16] Levy studied philosophy under Jacques Derrida, another Jewish philosopher who played an influential role in bringing about postmodernism into the West, most particularly at places like Yale University.[17]

Not only that, Levy denounced Emmanuel Kant as a madman.[18] Since Germany failed to participate into the war in Libya, Levy lambasted Chancellor Angela Merkel.[19]

Levy then lays the cat out of the bag when he concludes that his conviction is “the moral and spiritual tradition in which I grew up. For me, it’s the definition of Judaism. Being Jewish means having more obligations than rights.”[20]

And then this: “The Talmud is democracy in practice. The Jewish Nation invented the notion that the truth lies in the most heated argument.”[21]

If the Talmud is democracy in practice—and Levy is a student and a follower of the Talmud—then by deduction Levy truly believes that he was producing democracy in Libya. In other words, what is viewed as chaos and mayhem by the Western world at large is democracy for Levy. In that sense, Levy is indirectly and ideologically anti-Western.

The same anti-Western sentiment could be found among the neoconservative machine in America. For example, we all know that Jewish spy Jonathan Pollard was caught passing out classified documents to Israel. Pollard has been in jail since 1987.

But Jonathan S. Tobin of Commentary has recently declared that “after more than 27 years in jail the case for mercy for the spy is stronger than ever. As I wrote two years ago, his sentence was disproportionate to that given any other person who spied for an ally as opposed to an enemy or rival nation. Nor is there any conceivable security justification for his continued imprisonment.”[22] Tobin agrees that “Pollard committed a crime for which he deserved serious punishment.”[23]

Jonathan Jay Pollard

But Tobin could not resist making a case for Pollard’s release. Would Tobin do the same thing for the hundreds of innocent Muslims who have been tortured at Guantanamo?[24] The answer is a resounding no. But all of a sudden Tobin and Levy simply do not understand why this double-standard can create anti-Jewish reactions.

For Levy, anti-Semitism can be traced back to Christians. He wrote in Left in Dark Times, “During the very long period in which most people were Christian, that anti-Semitism was addressed to a Christian public in these terms: ‘We hate the Jews, not because they are Jews, not because they are ontologically detestable, but because they killed Christ.’ Shame on the deicides: St. Paul’s anti-Semitism was guaranteed to generate persecution.”[25]

Levy has to build that caricature and demolish it with great relish because no genuine and serious Christian believes this nonsense. No serious Christian, so long that he wants to remain Christian, hates anyone, let alone Jews. For Christians, Jews, like anyone else, were created in created in God’s image and likeness.

Levy does not tell us also that Christians are even commanded to pray for their enemies. Christians, if they want to follow Christ, cannot promote, champion, or even inspire hate toward other people.[26] Levy needs to get this.

Moreover, he needs to get real if he wants to be taken seriously. He cannot promote bloody wars which have caused massive suffering both in the Middle East and America and expect people to stay silent.

When the dust was eventually beginning to settle with regard to the war in Libya, the Libyan rebels asked Libyan Jews from the United Kingdom to run for office.[27] Jewish writer Richard Haass, former senior director of the National Security Council and former director of policy planning for the State Department under President George H. W. Bush, was saying that “Libya now needs boots on the ground.”[28]

In a nuthsell, when the world looks at Libya, which Levy helped destabilize, they see death and debt. When the world looks at the war in Iraq which the neoconservatives orchastred, they see massive death and debt; when the world looks at Afghanistan, Syria, etc., they see a pattern that can hardly be ignored: death, debt, and wicked ideologies which continue to drag the West into economic, moral, and political disaster.

By October 30, 2012, it was reported that at least 800 million American dollars were being sent to Iraq illegally—every week!—which ended up in money laundering in the country.[29] The world, therefore, is within its own right to criticize those who have orchastred this hell on earth. Levy has to take his pick.

This brings us to another point that Levy fails to address. If Levy is going deny the entire world its own right to criticize Israel and Levy himself without being called anti-Semites,  then Levy is partly responsible for anti-Jewish reaction. And even by 2012 Levy was pushing the Western world to intervene in Syria.[30]  In other words, Levy proved Bernard Lazare was right, that anti-Jewish reactions are largely a response to Jewish revolutionary and subversive activities.

By the end of October, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak declared that Iran had delayed its intention to build a nuclear program. He further declared that Iran has been using some of its enriched uranium for medical research![31] Just this week alone, U.S. intelligence director James Clapper declared that it is impossible for Iran to enrich enough uranium to make a bomb without the international community being aware of it.[32]

For months both Barak and Netanyahu have been propagating throughout the Western World that Iran was building nuclear warheads, and now they got off the hook very easily by just saying that Iran has backed down. The western world should demand a better explanation.

Moreover, who was propagating a lie? Iran has been saying for years that its nuclear program has been for medical research and will not exceed the 20% needed for this very purpose.  The sad part is that the neoconservative machine has already convinced a large section of the Western world that Iran is enemy number one. So, the real thinking goes like this: the Zionist regime in Israel propagates a lie and it becomes an ally to the United States; Iran tells the truth about its nuclear program and Iran becomes enemy number one.

As M. J. Rosenberg puts it, “It is impossible to find a single politician or journalist advocating war with Iran who is not a neocon or an AIPAC cutout. (They’re often both.)”[33]

Perhaps it is high time to label the Zionist regime “the Synagogue of Satan,” a theological phrase that is used in the New Testament to  describe “the Jews” who were persecuting Christians. This “synagogue” is the revolutionary cell from which all significant and subversive ideology springs, from the Bar Kokhba revolt and all the way to the Bolshevik Revolution and beyond.

[1] Bernard Lazare, Anti-Semitism: Its History and Causes (New York: Cosimo Inc., 2005), 8.

[2] Jeremy Sharon, “Levy: Jews of Diaspora and Israel Are Under Attack,” Jerusalem Post, October 31, 2012.

[3] “Report on Global Anti-Semitism,”, January 5, 2005.

[4] Benjamin Weinthal, “MEMRI Receives $200,000 Grant from US State Department,” Jerusalem Post, August 16, 2011.

[5] See Feuerlicht, The Fate of the Jews, 221.

[6] Steven Erlanger, “By His Own Reckoning, One Man Made Lybia a French Cause,” NY Times, April 1, 2011.

[7] See for example Stephen Sniegoski, “Neocons’ Goal—Iran by Way of Libya,” VT, March 16, 2011.

[8] “Foreign Policy Experts Urge House Republicans to Support U.S. Operations in Libya,” The Foreign Policy Initiative, June 20, 2011.

[9] Ann Marlowe, “Democracy in Libya: The Unintended Benefits of a Protracted Conflict,” Weekly Standard, August 29, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 46.

[10]See for example  “Bernard-Henry Levy: I Have Never Seen an Army as Democratic as the IDF,” Haaretz, May 30, 2010; Attila Somfalvi, “Bernard-Henri Levy: Israel Secular Miracle,” Y-Net News, May 31, 2010.

[11] Edward Alexander, “New York Jewish Intellectuals: Another Moral Debacle?,” Jerusalem Post, September 15, 2011.

[12] Gary Wood, “Je Suis un Superstar,” Guardian, June 15, 2003.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[16] Doreen Carvajal, “Philosopher Left to Muse on Ridicule over Hoax,” NY Times, February 9, 2010.

[17] See for example E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2008), 1003-1004.

[18] Carvajal, “Philosopher Left to Muse on Ridicule over Hoax,” NY Times, February 9, 2010.

[19] “We Lost a Great Deal of Time in Libya because of the Germans,” Spiegel International, March 30, 2011.

[20] Ibid.

[21] quoted in Somfalvi, “Bernard-Henri Levy: Israel Secular Miracle.”

[22] Jonathan S. Tobin, “The Truth About Pollard,” Commentary, March 10, 2013.

[23] Ibid.

[24] for further details on this, see Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism.

[25] Bernard-Henry Levy, Left in the Dark: A Stand Against the New Barbarism (New York: Random House, 2008), 148.

[26] The Apostle Paul, despite that he was very upfront with the Jews, did not hate them. As a matter of fact, he loved them so much that he was willing to be accursed of God for their sake (Romans 9).

[27] Gil Shefler, “Rebels Asks Leader of UK’s Libyan Jews to Run for Office,” Jerusalem Post, August 23, 2011.

[28] Richard Haass, “Libya Now Needs Boots on the Ground,” Financial Times, August 22, 2011.

[29] “Iraq: Report on Money-Laundering,” NY Times, October 30, 2012.

[30] Kaleem Aftab, “French Philosopher Bernard-Henry Levy Calls for West to Intervene  in Syria,” The Independent, May 25, 2012.

[31] Rick Gladstone, “Israeli Defense Chief Says Iran Postponed Nuclear Ambitions,” NY Times, October 30, 2012.

[32] “Iran Can’t Build a Bomb Nuke Without Tripping Alarm Bells, US Says,” Times of Israel, March 12, 2013.

[33] Quoted in Gary Kamiya, “The Boys who Cried ‘Holocaust,’”, November 23, 2011.


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Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.