Bernard-Henri Levy

Each time a Palestinian or an Israeli dies, it is terrible. But they have the right to have a funeral, to be buried, to have a place in the memory of the survivors. And then you have these other places – Darfur, Rwanda, even Colombia – where the dead have no faces and literally cannot be counted. Theirs are minuscule lives moving toward imperceptible deaths. For me, it is the essence of tragedy.

When you believe in what you are doing, when you are seeking justice for the killing of Daniel Pearl, when you want to alert public opinion to the plight of the massacred people of Darfur, or in the recently martyred former Soviet republic Georgia, it makes more sense to use the media than to work in silence.

You can be horrified by the state of the prisons, the misery in certain neighborhoods of its cities, or their level of poverty. Anti-Americanism, by which I mean a hatred for America as such-its transformation into a metaphysical category, which incarnates all the evil in the world-is one of fascism’s favorite themes. Look at writer and political theorist Charles Maurras in France. The philosopher Martin Heidegger in Germany. The radical Islamists of today!

I am 60, and I am as much an internationalist as when I was younger, when I was a Marxist-Leninist. Internationalism is one of the rare pieces of that heritage to which I remain loyal. That is Barack Obama’s strength. A politician has finally understood that politics is not only about the closing of a mine in Ohio-it is also about the will to reach out, to embrace the world of today’s young Americans. That way, young Americans may eventually reconcile with politics.

The Left is my family. And it is threatened by terrible demons, like differentialism. “differentialist Left” are people who have learned nothing about tolerance. Or justice. People who, hiding behind a backward sense of tolerance and justice, explain to us that we must accept all the actions of all civilizations, including the stoning of adulterous wives or the mutilation of little girls.