French author and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy was “deeply shocked” by the passage of an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council Resolution last month, he explained in a commentary published Thursday in The Algemeiner.
The United Nations, where Israel has been vilified for years, is “one of the last places on earth” one would expect a “balanced or courageous stance” concerning Israel, he wrote. Given the failure of the international community to stop the killing of civilians in Syria, “how could they dare to portray little Israel as the great barrier to peace? How could they imagine that by doing so they might recover in the applause of those in attendance a share of their lost honor? And what is one to make of the splintered and anemic international community trying to repair itself on the back of the Jewish state? All of this was as pathetic as it was ghoulish.”
Levy also tore into the “poor wording” of the resolution’s text, which criticized Israeli construction in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. While the resolution also condemned “acts of terror,” it assigned no responsibility for them. Levy pointed out that the resolution also fails to address “Palestinian obstinacy,” the “double-speak” of the Palestinian Authority, or Palestinian leaders’ incitement of terror. “Nothing,” Levy observed, “was equal in perfidy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
The resolution was offered before the Security Council because global leaders felt that they were acting to save the two-state solution. But Levy countered that such an agreement is still far from impossible. The scale of withdrawal from areas in the West Bank where Israelis are now living “is not radically different” from Israel’s past actions in the Sinai Peninsula or the Gaza Strip. Such evacuations would be “admittedly painful,” Levy conceded, so he offered an additional “option that I am amazed is so seldom raised —namely, that Jews should be invited to stay and live in the new Palestine, just as 1.5 million Palestinians now live in Israel as full citizens.”
Finally, Levy excoriated the United States for failing to veto the resolution, when the Obama administration “has conceded so much to Iran, offered so little resistance to Russia, and invented, in Syria, the doctrine of a red line that turned out to be red only with the blood of Syrians sacrificed on the altar of a renunciation of power and of law; to see that same administration trying to compensate for all this by speaking up at the last minute against the planet’s black sheep, the scruffy prime minister of Israel — what could be more abject?”
The conclusion Levy drew from the vote is that the world appears “doomed to suffer the eternal recurrence of injustice and carnage — but in which ‘the longest hate’ once again becomes a shared religion.”
In a recently published interview in The Tower with senior editor Ben Cohen, Levy addressed the motives behind anti-Israel activists.
Let’s talk about those who go in the streets in Europe demonstrating for the memory of 2,000 or 3,000 Palestinian dead, during the war in Gaza – which I completely understand. What I don’t understand is that I never saw them in the same streets when Bashar al-Assad kills not 2,000 or 3,000 but 300,000 or 400,000 of his own citizens. I never saw them in the streets when a Muslim leader in Sudan killed, in South Sudan, 400,000 or 500,000 people. And same for the victims of Saddam Hussein. And same for the Palestinians killed, tortured, by other Palestinians. So it’s more than strange that those who cannot accept Israel waging a defensive war don’t feel upset or uncomfortable when an Arab leader kills one hundred times more Arab women and men.
This is the situation of today. There are some people in the West, and in America also, who care about lives only when Jews and Israel are involved in the story. If that’s not the case, then they don’t give a damn, they don’t demonstrate, they don’t care. What name do you give to that? Each one of us can choose. But for me, this way of saying that the victim is interesting only if she had to deal with the Jews, this is anti-Semitism.
Editor’s Note: Bernard-Henri Levy will appear at New York’s 92d St. Y on January 11 with Charlie Rose. For more information click here.
[Photo: The official website of Bernard-Henri Lévy / WikiCommons ]