Friday, October 23, 2009

Bernard Henri-Levy on Netanyahu: There is a new Netanyahu

( the end of a long article in today’s Yediot Ahronoth, Nahum Barnea interviews Bernard Henri-Levy, a leading French philosopher, who is in Israel to attend the President’s Conference. In his recent book, American Vertigo, published in 2006, Henri-Levy followed in the footsteps of Alexis de Tocqueville and crisscrossed the US interviewing a wide cross section of American society, including Barack Obama.

Asked on his take between the Netanyahu of 1996 and the Netanyahu of today, Henri-Levy replied:
Twelve years ago, in Netanyahu's previous term, I wrote a terrible article about him… I wrote that he is a danger to Israel. Today I would not write such an article. He has learned a lot and changed a lot. Did he learn enough, that I don't know. Today Netanyahu is discovering what the ancient Greeks discovered: that you can be strong, but you can never know if you are the strongest. You cannot rely only on your military might. There are also moral values and political wisdom. I may be wrong, but my sense is that there is a new Netanyahu. He realizes how urgent the Palestinian issue is. If peace is not attained soon, this will not only be a tragedy for the Palestinians but also for Israel. You will face a choice: either there will be no Jewish state-or you will turn into South Africa.