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I hope this is true...

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday June 2, 2011 06:38 PM

Libyan rebels will recognise Israel, Bernard-Henri Lévy tells Netanyahu

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....

Netanyahu's office confirmed the meeting with Lévy but did not comment on the discussion. "The prime minister likes to meet intellectuals," a spokesperson said.

Of course, if it is true, it will be something of a first for BHL, shown above in the initial phase of a lycanthropic metamorphosis in front of an al-Jazeera microphone.

Still, as I so often say, you can't make this stuff up.

It all leads me to ponder, not for the first time, that wise old axiom that politics makes strange bedfellows. (This has happened to me once or twice in a literal sense, with mixed results.) I have to wonder about all my sanctimonious moralizing universalizing Leftie friends -- how do they feel about being in bed with BHL and Sarko?

To be sure, I'm in bed with Ahmadinejad, have been for years, and I guess I'm now in bed with Colonel Q, by implication anyway. Neither of them is a bedmate I would have chosen out of all the people on earth, but I'll sleep sounder than I would with BHL's head on the neighboring pillow.

Incidentally, isn't that a nice line about how Netanyahu "likes to meet intellectuals?" If that isn't straight off the cutting-room floor for The Godfather, I'm a lizard.

Comments (12)

...initial phase of a lycanthropic metamorphosis...

That was a treat to read.


Glad to hear it. Just the sort of thing nearly everybody else has told me not to write, but... I can't stop myself... the fur is erupting through my skin -- my nails are growing long and sharp... my face painfully re-forming into a muzzle, the teeth becoming fangs... I'm turning into Greekman.


"strange bedfellows... literal sense.... mixed results.... " !!!!

Please, go on!


Gotta show up in the 3D world and buy me a drink or three before *those* stories will be told.


...you can't make this stuff up.

Yes, truly strange bedfellows these rebel armies with limited appeal tend to throw up, e.g. a "left-wing admirer of Russia" who found himself embedded in the German and Japanese war machines. In fact a recent work argues that it was the relative incapacity of the Nazis — somewhat congenital to their outlook — to distinguish between the lesser breeds and scout for suitable clients among disaffected minorities that contributed to to their eventual Götterdämmerung.


I always had a soft spot for Chandra Bose. Trying to play one imperialist power against another seems absolutely fine to me. But that's not the kind of world we live in at the moment.


This is the kind of world we live in. One hopes someone is keeping a diary, if only to bear witness.

Louis Proyect:

Qaddafi was so dedicated to the Palestinian cause that he decided to throw them out of Libya in 1995. That's the kind of "anti-imperialism" that would make Avigdor Lieberman green with envy.

NY Times, September 12, 1995
Libya Ousts And Strands Palestinians

Thousands of Palestinians have been expelled by Libya to punish the Palestine Liberation Organization for making peace with Israel, and many of them are stranded at sea and on the Egyptian-Libyan border, P.L.O. officials said today.

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, said he had been expelling Palestinians in protest against the P.L.O. negotiations with Israel for self-rule in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. He has said other Arab countries should follow suit, to show the world that Palestinians have gained nothing from the self-rule agreements.

Busloads of Palestinians have been going to the border between Egypt and Libya for the last two months, and some of them are crossing Egypt under escort to the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip and Jericho in the West Bank.

About 200 Palestinians were deported by Libya to the Egyptian border Sunday. They are now stuck there because they do not have the travel documents to go to the Gaza Strip, where entry is subject to Israeli approval.


I think we're talking past each other, Louis. There may be people who are eager to defend Qaddafi's record, but I'm not one of 'em. But it's hard to imagine a plausible case(*) where I, for one, would prefer an Imperial victory to an Imperial defeat, no matter how unsavory the ennemi du jour might be. Certainly no such case has come along in my lifetime.


(*) In the contemporary world, I mean; analogies from the Thirties don't work.


much can bew held against col q
but this ??

of course lu lu is quite hysterical about
prosecuting anyone that by implication
highlights his own clear mis step
on operation smart bomb libya

he bansishe your's truthful ly here
the motley clown from his well patroled list

which so traumatized my tender nature
i became
after years of avuncular toleration
and open palmery
a snarling dedicated
steam blowing anti 'once a bronstein-ite '


...I'm in bed with Ahmadinejad, have been for years, and I guess I'm now in bed with Colonel Q, by implication anyway.

This kind of binarism does make some of us wonder if a too eager friend/enemy distinction — something belonging the Carl Schmitt school of thought — is not at work here. These are not people you want to be in bed with, believe me. But, the right of people in their respective countries to deal with their own problems — be they slaveholders or cross-dressing dictators — without Big Power meddling stands. Also, given the gnat like attention span of most First World commentators on these episodes, it would perhaps be more worthwhile to concentrate on the factor that remains constant as the North Star in these matters and not cast about for iconic figures from the Third World to embed oneself with. Those people are not some kind of solution.


It's not -- on my part, anyway -- an "eager" friend/enemy distinction. It's a somewhat reluctant one.

I'm not entirely sure who my friends are. Perhaps I don't even have any. But I know who my enemies are. I encounter them every day.

I want those enemies baulked, defeated, vanquished. Even by somebody who may be somebody else's enemy.

Oh hell. This calls for a more extensive and considered treatment, not just a comment.

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