Bernard-Henri Levy: Cake in face as welcome from nostalgic fascists

French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy has blamed ‘fascists’ nostalgic for the Milosevic regime for attacking him at a film festival in Belgrade.

He said that the incident in Belgrade, when he was hit in the face with a cake, was a picture of the “pressures, insults and intimidation” that democrats in Serbia face every day.

“You, Serbian friends, still live under a regime that can be called ’democratorship’, that uses elections and the appearance of democracy to oppress civil society and stifle liberties,” Levy said at a press conference on Thursday.

The Frenchman was hit with a cake on Wednesday at the documentary movie festival, Beldocs. His assailant was a member of the League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia, SKOJ, whose stated motive was Levy’ support for the Kosovo Albanians and for the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

After throwing the cake, activists of SKOJ unfurled a banner that read “Bernard Levy advocates imperialist murders.”

The French filmmaker almost got into further altercation with one attacker, before the activists were escorted out of the hall.

Media outlets in Serbia wrote that Levy had supported Western military intervention against Serbia in the 1990s, with the tabloid Kurir questioning whether he had staged the attack on himself.

“An identical incident occurred 23 years ago in Cannes, leaving doubt that the philosopher is staging attacks just to make Serbs look bad,” the tabloid claimed.

At the press conference Levy said that he had never actually advocated bombing of Serbia, but only the overthrow of Yugoslavia’s strongman, Slobodan Milosevic. On his Twitter account he blamed “fascists, nostalgic for Milosevic” for the incident.

Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj also reacted on Twitter, calling the attack “anti-European”.

Before departing for France tonight, Levy said he was “proud and happy” for having attended the Beldocs festival, whose director, Mladen Vusurovic, appologised for the incident.

Levy was in Belgrade to promote his latest film “Peshmerga”.

By Filip Rudic

(Balkan Insight, 11.05.2017)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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