Bernard-Henri Levy

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.

“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 … Read More

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!

“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 … Read More

I work even when I am on vacation. You know that line by Stéphane Mallarmé, “All earthly existence must ultimately be contained in a book”? I am the kind of person who finds life interesting only if it is translated into writing, if it is parsed into words.

“I work even when I am on vacation. You know that line by Stéphane Mallarmé, “All earthly existence must ultimately be contained in a book”? … Read More

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.

“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 … Read More

I would sooner want a strong partnership with the United States – even with (US President George W.) Bush, who I think is the worst president in a long, long time. I would sooner want a friendship with Bush than with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.

“I would sooner want a strong partnership with the United States – even with (US President George W.) Bush, who I think is the worst … Read More

In general, Europeans need to get a wider perspective on the problem of Islamism. Even if the Israel-Palestine question were solved – and I think and hope that one day soon it will be – this wouldn’t stop one person from becoming a terrorist.

“In general, Europeans need to get a wider perspective on the problem of Islamism. Even if the Israel-Palestine question were solved – and I think … Read More

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.

“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 … Read More

Why should an intellectual have to renounce the pleasures of life? I am not a hermit. I am a man of flesh and blood. In fact, if you look at my name in French, that schizophrenia, that aspiration to several lives is contained in my name. Lévy is also les vies – “the lives”.

“Why should an intellectual have to renounce the pleasures of life? I am not a hermit. I am a man of flesh and blood. In … Read More

People always think that loyalty is laudable. People are always saying that we must remain faithful to tradition, to family, to our class, to our ideas. Of course not! That would be equivalent to zero brain activity. If you really want to think, to seek truth, to advance intellectually, you must turn your back on clichés, on preconceived ideas – even those belonging to your spiritual family. For an intellectual, his true duty is not to fidelity, but to infidelity.

“People always think that loyalty is laudable. People are always saying that we must remain faithful to tradition, to family, to our class, to our … Read More