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Bernard-Henri Lévy
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Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French philosopher and one of the most esteemed and bestselling writers in Europe. He is the author of over 30 books, including works of philosophy, fiction, and biography. American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville was a New York Times bestseller (2006). Subsequent books in English are Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism (2008) and, with Michel Houellebecq, Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take on Each Other and the World (2011). A 2013 book, Les Aventures de la Verité—Peinture et philosophie, explored the historical interplay of philosophy and art. The book was written as a companion to an exhibition by the same name that Lévy curated for the Fondation Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence (June 29–November 11, 2013).

His new play, “Hotel Europe,” which premiers in Sarajevo on June 27, 2014, and in Paris on September 9, is a cry of alarm about the crisis facing the European project and the dream behind it.

Lévy gained renown for his documentary film about the Bosnian conflict, Bosna! (1994). After starting his career as a war reporter for Combat — the legendary newspaper founded by Albert Camus during the Nazi occupation of France — for which he covered the war between Pakistan and India over Bangladesh, Lévy was instrumental in the founding of the New Philosophers group. His 1977 book Barbarism with a Human Face launched an unprecedented controversy over the European left’s complicity with totalitarianism. Lévy’s cultural commentary, novels and journalism have continued to stir up such excitement that The Guardian noted he is ‘accorded the kind of adulation in France that most countries reserve for their rock stars.’

Lévy has undertaken several diplomatic missions for the French government. He was appointed by French President Jacques Chirac to head a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan in 2002 in the wake of the war against the Taliban, a war that Lévy supported. He has traveled to the world’s most troubled areas. He followed the trail of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan to research his ‘investigative novel’ Who Killed Daniel Pearl? (2003). His book War, Evil, and the End of History (2004) took him to the sites of what he calls the world's forgotten wars, from Colombia to Sri Lanka. His reportage and commentary from Israel during the 2006 Lebanon war appeared to wide acclaim, in among others, the New York Times Magazine. And after an extensive, clandestine visit to Darfur in 2007, he reported on the ethnic cleansing and genocide there for Le Monde and for The New Republic. His first-hand account of the fall of Moammar Gaddafi in Libya appeared in the form of a writer’s journal (La Guerre sans l’aimer, 2012) and a documentary film (The Oath of Tobruk, which debuted at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival).

Entries by Bernard-Henri Lévy

Reading Philippe Sollers: Literature and Politics à la Française

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 6:54 PM

Why does Islamist terrorism function like a swarm and not like a network or a rhizome -- acephalous, polycephalous, wheeling, invulnerable?

Is it true that George W. Bush nearly suffocated after choking on a pretzel while watching football on TV and seeing Mullah Omar running through the stadium shouting "Guantanamo,...

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Why the French Parliament Should Vote No on a Palestinian State

(177) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 2:46 PM

The French parliament is due to vote on recognition of a Palestinian state on Nov. 28.

PARIS -- For nearly half a century, I have favored the two-state solution. But I believe that the "unilateral recognition" of Palestine under consideration in the French parliament is a bad idea...

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Victor Pinchuk, Mistral Warships, and the Jews of Ukraine

(1) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 12:44 PM

On November 18, 2014, in Kiev, philanthropist Victor Pinchuk was awarded the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Medal of Honor by the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (a Canadian organization) for his contributions to Ukrainian-Jewish understanding and cooperation. What follows is a corrected version of my remarks at the...

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André Glucksmann in His Voltairean Garden

(1) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 6:59 AM

How many of us remember that Europe is a new and unprecedented political creation born from the triple rejection of Nazism, Communism, and colonialism?

How many continue to venerate the models of lucidity and courage, the examples of combativeness and greatness, that were the Vaclav Havels, the Sakharovs, the...

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France's Prime Minister Knows What's in a Name

(5) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 2:33 PM

This is not the first time that Manuel Valls has proposed changing the name of the French Socialist Party.

Truth be told, he is doing it today a bit less clearly than he did the day after the defeat of Mrs Royal in France's 2007 presidential election. Less clearly,...

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The Oath of Tunis

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 8:23 AM

A whirlwind trip to Tunis.

At the airport, a small group of protesters nostalgic for Gaddafi, noisy and pathetic.

In the hours that follow, a web of conspiracy sites concocts the most comical scenarios to explain my presence, along with Gilles Hertzog, on Tunisian soil: a shadowy meeting with Ennadha,...

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My Weekend in Tunis: Anti-Semitic Sound and Fury

(59) Comments | Posted November 2, 2014 | 11:17 PM

Jérôme Béglé of Le Point interviewed me about my visit to Tunisia this past weekend, a trip that triggered many false rumors, none of which had anything to do with why I made it.

* * *

Le Point: Bernard-Henri Levy does not mince words. No, he...

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Ukraine: Poroshenko, Putin, the West, and a New Marshall Plan

(11) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 4:10 PM

A few days ago I was interviewed by Alla Lazareva of the Ukrainian newsweekly, Tyzhden. As the first anniversary of the Maidan revolution approached, we spoke about that event, about Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, about Ukraine's position between a diffident Europe and a forceful Russia, and about my proposal for...

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An Encounter with an Oligarch

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 9:11 AM

My "Marshall Plan for Ukraine," continued.

But, this time, a few words about the figure at the origin of the Forum in Vienna where I proposed the idea: Firtash, Dmytro Firtash, the man I referred to in my article as "the gas king" but who, as I...

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Should Turkey Remain in NATO After the Fall of Kobani?

(646) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 12:38 PM

This article also appears in The New Republic.

Kobani will fall.

In a matter of hours.

Or perhaps days.

But the Syrian city will fall, a victim of the cynical reckoning of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, by refusing to act and leaving his...

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A Marshall Plan for Ukraine

(12) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 3:57 PM

The scene: A major symposium in Vienna on the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The big names of German industry were there.

Plus plenty of British peers and members of Parliament, up in arms against Putin.

Ukrainians, too, of course, beginning with the gas king, Dmytro Firtash, who, together with Ukrainian...

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The Muslims' Date With Destiny

(3) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 11:00 AM

Of all the debates raging at the moment, this is the most absurd.

I will summarize.

A growing number of spiritual authorities, from Cairo to Riyadh to Jakarta, have decided, finally, to condemn the crimes of a form of militant Islam of which they had long been far too indulgent....

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The Big Chill Facing France's Jews

(342) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 11:37 AM

France's Jews have had enough.

Enough of public transportation systems on which it has become dangerous to wear a yarmulke.

Enough of public schools in which Jewish students are taunted as they leave class.

Enough of the France of the practitioners of the neo-Nazi salute known as the quenelle,...

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Questions on Dramatic Monologue

(3) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 9:07 AM

Who is speaking when the actor speaks?

The self or the other self, as Bakhtin would have it?

The ego or the alter ego, as Ionesco put in Notes and Counter Notes?

Or is it the mazes of consciousness, like those of Emma Bovary and Joyce's Stephen Dedalus? Or...

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With the Ukrainian President

(39) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 11:29 AM

Kiev, August 11, 2014

I had not seen Petro Poroshenko since his election.

He greeted me in a large, paneled room where the gold leaf had an oddly rosy tint. Ukrainian television cameras ran for the first few minutes of our interview.

The president brought up our initial...

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Gaza Comes to Paris

(13) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 4:32 PM

Under cover of "the defense of Palestine," thousands gathered in Paris on Sunday to blame the Jews once again.

These imbeciles intermingled with haters (or the other way around) need to be reminded, for what it's worth, that conflating Jews and Israelis in the same condemnation is the very...

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A Million Signatures for Bosnia's Admission to the EU

(2) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 6:28 PM

Please read, and please sign. Admitting Bosnia-Herzegovina to Europe will repair a long-standing injustice and dishonor. My thanks to all who sign this petition online, and I hope you will be many.

--Bernard-Henri Lévy

28 June 2014
Appeal to the Conscience of Europe for the Admission of...

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Europe Must Not Let Bosnia Drown

(2) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 11:50 AM

A single sentence.

A simple one of no apparent import.

A sentence hardly noticed by the media.

But one of the most obscene that I have heard in recent memory.

Spoken by one Stefan Füle, commissioner for enlargement of a Europe that is in the process of reelecting...

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Toward a Government of National Unity in France

(10) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 10:24 AM

France is in danger. In Sunday's elections for the European Parliament, a quarter of France's citizens voted for the worst, choosing the party that was not only anti-Europe but also anti-France. They were betting, not on another policy, but on nihilism, hate, and the methodical destruction of the ties that...

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The Case of Wagner

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 6:51 PM

A week ago today, Marc Bonnant, Alain Carré, and I presented the final installment of "The Case of Wagner," the four-part mock trial that we began at the Grand Theater in Geneva in November 2013.

The question before us was one already posed by Thomas Mann, Jacob Katz,...

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