A philosopher who’s never taught the subject in any university,
a journalist who creates a cocktail mingling the true,
the possible, and the totally false,
a patch-work filmmaker,
a writer without a real literary oeuvre,
he is the icon of a media-driven society in which simple appearance weighs more than the substance of things.
BHL is thus first and foremost a great communicator, the PR man of the only product he really knows how to sell: himself.
Bernard-Henri Lévy (French pronunciation: [bɛʁnaʁd ɑ̃ʁi levi]; born November 5, 1948)
Lévy is proudly sephardic Jewish, and he has said that Jews ought to provide a unique Jewish moral voice in world society and world politics.
For some bizarre reason, Levy seems to be convinced that his beloved Jews-only state is an “exemplary democracy”.
He says: “One does not boycott the only society in the Middle East where Arabs read a free press, demonstrate when they wish to do so, send freely-elected representatives to parliament and enjoy their rights as citizens.”
Lévy was born in Béni Saf, French Algeria, to a wealthy Algerian Jewish family. His family moved to Paris a few months after his birth. His father, André Lévy, was the multi millionaire founder and manager of a timber company, Becob.
The son of André Lévy, an influential merchant of exotic African woods who ran the Bécob firm, Bernard-Henri Lévy repeatedly exploited his political ties to help his father’s ailing firm.
Having begun as the ideology of various discontented students and sons of the bourgeoisie in the post-1968 period, it evolved very rapidly as these forces themselves became affluent or—in the case of Lévy—immensely rich. Today it serves rather openly as French members of the Israeli lobby and as the verbal fig leaf for the strategic interests of imperialism.
BHL launched his second book, Barbarism with a Human Face, from the platform of the high-rated, prime-time literary talk show, “Apostrophes.” A handsome dandy, with studiously coiffed long hair, and a white shirt carefully unbuttoned to reveal his tanned chest, BHL caused the TV host’s daughter to tell him afterward, “I have seen Rimbaud on television!”
That unbuttoned white shirt, by the way, is an important element of BHL’s TV and public images and it tells a lot about the man. If you tried it with your own shirt, the collar would sag. But BHL’s shirts are specially designed by the famous shirt-maker Charvet, with collars that withstand the unbuttoning and never disappear under his jacket. The effect costs some $400 apiece, but BHL is a very rich man. The business magazine Capital recently named him one of the 100 richest people in France.
Born with a silver cuillère in his mouth, BHL inherited the family’s huge lumber business, Becob. He played a major role in running the company, until it was sold in the early ’90s. The company specialized in rare woods from Africa and—as Une Imposture Francaise reveals—while BHL was running the company, numerous international bodies and a report from the Canadian government denounced it for keeping its African workers in penurious semi-slavery, which rather contradicts BHL’s pretensions to be an international humanitarian activist.