A Letter from a Tunisian Citizen to Bernard-Henry Lévy

Tunisian citizens protesting against BHL's visit in Tunis-Carthage airport

I have just read a recent interview of yours on The Huffington Post, which is YOUR translation of YOUR interview with YOUR friend Jérôme Bêglé, which is, in its turn, a carbon copy of YOUR interview with France 24 Arabic a few days earlier about your visit to the Republic of Tunisia.

So let me first start with the titles you chose for your distorted version of events in both languages. In French, you and your friend Jérôme titled it "La vérité sur le voyage de BHL en Tunisie" (The truth about BHL's visit to Tunisia). Now this is something very impressive that French journalists appear to have invented: You can learn 'the truth' about the visit of someone who was asked to leave a country by interviewing this person only, without contacting the media or the Government of that country. For the English title you didn't need Jérôme, but you did need a more holocaustic term, so you picked the words for yourself: 'My weekend in Tunis: Antisemitic sounds and fury'. Your intention behind this title was to make the HuffPost readers (and other English-speaking internet users who would come across the interview) believe, just by reading the title, that you were obliged to leave "because you're a Jew", which is not true as we will see in the remaining lines.

You said the people who were waiting for you at Carthage Airport were "a few dozen Islamists, or perhaps Gaddafi exiled supporters". This video shows a clear image of the people who were waiting for you: No beards, no veils, no black flags. They were chanting the Tunisian National Anthem and asking you to "LEAVE!". One of these people is Lotfi Abdelli, the main character in Nouri Bouzid's 2006 movie 'Making Of'. Once you watch this movie (or at least read its synopsis), you will realize how far this actor is from being an Islamist or a fundamentalist. In another video, Lotfi Abdelli says:

  • "We heard that Bernad-Henry Lévy, one of the causes of trouble in the Arab World, is coming to Tunisia. This politically influential billionaire, who is involved in the wars in Libya and Syria, is now coming to our country. That's why we are here. People know who this Zionist guy is, and this should not be confused with his Jewish faith. We have no problem with Jews. [...] We are not here to beat him or hurt him. We just want to tell him that he's not welcome in our country"    

You also said that the purpose of your visit was "to hold a meeting, openly and transparently, with Libyan friends". If you and your Libyan friends (whom the Tunisian media revealed to be influential politicians and suspicious 'activists') were truly open and transparent about your meeting, why would the Tunisian Government and media be the last to hear about it? And why would Waheed Barshan, one of the Libyans who took part in this meeting, apologize to the Tunisian authorities for it?   

A friendly and democratic country like Tunisia would never deport a foreign citizen for no reason. That is true. Yet, when this foreign citizen is internationally known for his involvement in arm trafficking and the killing of thousands of innocent civilians in more than seven countries, we will be more than happy to send that piece of shit back to where he came from, and we won't wait until the authorities allow us to do it. 

As for the 'antisemitism' you're claiming, I'd like to remind you that there are thousands of Tunisian Jews who have coexisted with Tunisian Muslims for hundreds of years. Your claims would be more believable if you were talking about Libya or Jordan, but not Tunisia.

One last thing: Since you ended your interview by saying that "much has to be done" to have a real democracy in Tunisia, I'd like to inform you that among the hundreds of articles and comments I've read this week about your visit in Tunisian social networks, not a single word was said to welcome you or even sympathize with you. Liberals, leftists, and Islamists were all so glad to see those pictures of you when you were hiding like a rat inside the airport. They were laughing out loud when they heard how you spent your day caged in the hotel, unable to step outside. We are a majority and we don't want you in our country: This is real democracy, isn't it?



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