The French celebrity philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy was banned from joining the former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to Libya this week because he is Jewish.
Mr Lévy was a vocal advocate of the French and British-led military intervention which helped to topple the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. He is credited with helping to persuade Mr Sarkozy to send French warplanes to protect rebels from Gaddafi’s forces.
According to the French news website Rue89, Mr Lévy was banned from Mr Sarkozy’s visit to Libya earlier this week because the municipal authorities in Tripoli feared his Jewish background would make him a target for attacks by Islamist militia. Mr Sarkozy threatened to cancel the visit but Mr Lévy urged him to support “friends in Libya” who are “in a delicate situation because they need to watch out for the Islamists”.