Last Sunday I was invited to attend the SAJBD conference and subsequent Gala Dinner of the SAJBD 48th Biennial National Conference, titled “Gathering Voices – Combatting global racism and anti-Semitism”. Guest speakers included President Jacob Zuma, Ambassador Ronald Lauder and Professor Bernard- Henri Levy. Ambassador Ronald Lauder, an American businessman, art collector, philanthropist and political activist, is the president of the World Jewish Congress.
Professor Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French public intellectual media personality, and author. He was one of the leaders of the “Nouveaux Philosophes” (New Philosophers) movement in 1976. In 2010, the Jerusalem Post named Lévy 45th on a list of the world’s 50 most influential Jews. The Boston Globe has said that he is “perhaps the most prominent intellectual in France today”. He frequently writes on the subject of anti-Semitism. In his passionate speech in the aftermath of the Paris attacks at the conference, Bernard-Henri Lévy slammed the BDS movement and outlined the three pillars of today’s new anti-Semitism and the outrageous labelling of Israel as an apartheid state:
1 Anti –Zionism: To say Jews are accomplices with a terrible state (Israel). To say Israel is not a legitimate state, and that Jews are part of this illegitimate state.
2 Denial of the Holocaust.
3 The rivalry of victims. These people say there is not enough space in a human heart to feel two different sorrows, one has to choose which victims to sympathise with, and often this is not sympathy for the Jews.
I am a long time follower of his writings, and I found his speech the most pertinent during this conference. Levy ultimately gave a very clear analysis of the “new/ modern” form of anti-Semitism, and his speech can be found on the following link http://goo.gl/8aa8mo
Wishing you a peaceful weekend. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Julia Margolis