Israel Is a Model of Democracy and Multi-Ethnicity

(The Tower) Bernard-Henri Levy interviewed by Ben Cohen - Israel is a model of democracy not only for the Middle East but for the world. Since the very day of its birth, 69 years ago, Israel has had an exemplary attitude, which is to deal with emergencies without giving up on democratic values. I don't see any other example in modern history of a country that has had to face a constant state of war, a constant state of emergency, having in its own space a very strong minority who might be tempted to take the path of the adversary, and yet sticks so firmly to its principles. Never forget that you have in Israel a number of Arab parliamentarians, which we in France don't have. Don't forget that the Arabic language is an official language of Israel. And don't forget that even in the moment when you have some Arab cities inside Israel demonstrating against Israeli policy, as during the Gaza war, there was never any step towards depriving this or that part of society of its democratic and civil rights. It never happened. Israel also can really be considered as a model of dealing with the matter of multi-ethnicity. Because, at the end of the day, what is Israel? Israel is people coming from the west, from the east, from the south. People coming from Europe, people coming from Russia, people coming from the Arab world. People of every different possible ethnicity. And all of them made so quickly, nearly overnight, a nation. I don't see any other examples of that. I completely understand 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. 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 the same for the victims of Saddam Hussein. And the 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. There are some people in the West, and in America also, who care about lives only when Jews and Israel are involved. 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? For me, this way of saying that the victim is interesting only if she had to deal with the Jews, this is anti-Semitism. Bernard-Henri Levy is a French philosopher and author of more than 30 books, including The Genius of Judaism (Jan. 2017).

2016-12-12 00:00:00

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