Ilan Halevi: Palestinian Jew and Citizen of the World, 1943-2013 | Institute for Palestine Studies
via Dominique Vidal
Much was said about Ilan Halevi following his death at a clinic in Clichy outside Paris on 10 July 2013. His Palestinian friends eulogized him as an unwavering comrade-in-arms—though born to Jewish parents, he not only championed their cause but actually joined their ranks. Obituaries in the French press and elsewhere recounted some of his life story but much of the information was inaccurate or biased. And, unsurprisingly, Zionist internet sites vilified him in death as in life, accusing him of anti-Semitism and branding him a self-hating Jew who had betrayed his people.
Truth be told, the most fitting description of Halevi is the one he himself bestowed on his friend, Felix Guattari: a “singular internationalist” was how he described the great French thinker who died in 1992. In an era of narrow tribal and communal sectarianisms, Halevi noted, those who viewed the world as an indivisible whole were indebted to Guattari (“ceux qui justement réfléchissent sur la réalité du monde vu-comme-un-tout”). Ilan’s internationalism, like Guattari’s, was no mere ideological or political stance: it was the warp and weft of his life, as reflected in his biography, fanciful details included. The departures from the truth, which Ilan sometimes propagated even among his close friends, ranged from the fabrication of his name to the concealing of his precocious political awakening and the extraordinary artistic and literary talents about which any other person would have simply bragged.