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BHL, DSK, Libya, Israel and empire

Now isn't this interesting. Bernard-Henri Levy, the French philosopher (of Sephardic background), is apparently on the ground in Benghazi, meeting with the leadership of the Libyan rebels—and serving as Israel's unofficial envoy. His comments say much both about how the rebel leadership have been domesticated in their hopes of aid and recognition from the West, and Israeli fears of the Arab Spring. Reports Radio France Internationale:

Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) is ready to recognise Israel, according to French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who says he has passed the message on to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The NTC "will be concerned with justice for the Palestinians and security for Israel" if it takes power, Lévy said after meeting Netanyahu Thursday.

"The future regime will maintain normal relations with other democratic countries, including Israel."

"The main point was that the future Libyan regime would be moderate and anti-terrorist," AFP further quotes Levy.

RFI adds that BHL, as he is known in France, "helped persuade France to be the first country to recognise the NTC." But blogger Ben Smith of went way further, writing (we hope with a degree of sarcasm) that BHL is "best known lately for getting France, and then us into Libya." Oy vey! Here we go again. Smith is apparently blind to the Western alliance's own imperial interests that are compelling the Libya intervention. No, as usual, it is all about some wily Jew endowed with the mysterious power to bend the empire to his will. 

Smith's comments come in the context of BHL's defense of another prominent French Sephardi who is known by three letters and is in the news at the moment—the notorious DSK, or Dominque Strauss-Kahn, the IMF chief (and French presidential hopeful) busted in New York City for the sexual abuse of a hotel maid. BHL evidently told the French press:

I don't know—but this, however, it would be good to know without delay—how a chambermaid would enter alone, contrary to the custom of two-person housekeeping brigades in the great New York hotels, into the bedroom of one of the most-watched people on the planet.

There was also some wackiness about DSK's assigned room number being the same as the date of the upcoming French Socialist Party primary. The subtext here seems to be that DSK was set up in a political conspiracy with anti-Semitic motives. Stanley Fish articulated it in a New York Times op-ed on May 25:

In the US press and on some of the blogs, Strauss-Kahn is vilified as an elitist misogamist thug, but in France he is thought of as a victim of a political conspiracy and portrayed by some as a modern Alfred Dreyfus brought down just as he was on the brink of ascendancy to a position no Jew has ever attained.

Some stateside Jewish commentators are also portraying DSK as the new Dreyfus, apparently without irony (see, e.g. the Blog of Rabbi Joe Black at Denver's Temple Emmanuel). Maureen Dowd in her New York Times column of May 17 also noted BHL's comments in which he expressed his outrage at the portrayal of DSK as an "insatiable and malevolent beast" and ruminated on chambermaid protocol. Dowd adds sarcastically, "At least he didn’t mention Dreyfus." That was before others actually did. This reminds us of the recent unseemly rush to the defense of another accused sex predator, the obnoxious Julian Assange.

So here we go again. On one hand, another cynical and disingenuous invocation of anti-Semitism for rather tawdry political ends; on the other, another fine example of the real thing's increasing acceptance in mainstream discourse. The paradoxical unity of these two tendencies is that the prior helps enable the latter by creating a proverbial boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome, helping to perpetuate the anti-Semitic lie that anti-Semitism is only a propaganda charade created by wily Jews.

The correct position is a plague on both their houses.



Look! Bernard Henri Levy speaks! A character from the Theater,,,an Evil Jew!,,,a Philosopher of the Jewish New World Order? The "Rehab" Jews are coming to take over from here...."That's all Folks...turns out the Black Muslim Woman was the terrorist Again! And the Jew DSK, another Victim of Islamic Intrigues"....How we Play with Little People, so agrees Bernard Henri, the Jester.


I can't quite tell who you are attempting to satirize here...

BHL's delusions of grandeur

A reader has pointed out a New York Times story of April 1, "By His Own Reckoning, One Man Made Libya a French Cause," which does portray BHL as taking credit for getting Paris and even Washington on board with the intervention against Qaddafi through his deft lobbying on behalf of the Libyan rebels. (The Times adds "neither the Élysée Palace nor the Foreign Ministry wished to comment, other than quietly urging a grain of salt.") This is interesting, but not strictly relevant to my comments.

Inflated claims by a pompous Jew and the buying of those claims by those susceptible to anti-Semitic tropes are hardly mutually exclusive. I'm reminded of an exchange on my other website, World War 4 Report a few years back, when an article n The Forward in which AIPAC took credit for the Bush administration's bellicose posture toward Iran was presented as evidence of the "wag-the-dog" thesis (which I had dismissed as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory). As I responded then: "The biggest irony is that this story is anti-semitic conspiracy theory! The cats at The Forward would love to think they have the power to sway the U.S. government to their will! Just like them other deluded Jews at the NY Times."

I'll also note that at least the Times had the professionalism to report the French administration's "grain of salt" tip. Ben Smith seems to have swallowed BHL's hubris hook, line and sinker. And he has made the same error before.

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