Philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy Barred From Libya for Being Jewish

Supported NATO-Led Invasion To Topple Qaddafi Regime

By JTA

Published March 20, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, who supported France’s military intervention in Libya, was barred from visiting there because he is Jewish.

Levy, a celebrity in France, was supposed to join former French president Nicolas Sarkozy on a visit that began on Tuesday in Tripoli, according to a report on the news website Rue89.

The website reported that Levy had to stay behind at the insistence of municipal bosses in Tripoli. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one city official told Rue89: “We did not invite him and we’ll close the door in his face if he comes. If the prime minister invited him, he can stay with the prime minister.”

An unnamed spokesperson for the city of Tripoli is quoted as telling Rue89 that the fact that Levy is Jewish could have exposed the municipality to attacks by Islamist militia.

Levy was a vocal supporter for French military intervention in Libya against Muammar Gadhafi and in favor of the rebel forces whose revolution led to the rise to power of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. The news website said Zeidan personally invited Levy in January.

A spokesperson from Zeidan’s office confirmed to Rue89 that the municipality asked Levy to not attend the visit.

The website quoted an unnamed source described as “close to Levy” as saying Sarkozy wanted to cancel his visit after Levy’s dis-invitation, but Levy persuaded him to go as “their friends in Libya are in a delicate situation because they need to watch out for the Islamists.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.