In 2005, Atlantic Monthly publishes excerpts from American Vertigo, where Lévy predicts the election of Barack Obama in an article entitled “A Black Clinton.” The full text appears the following year in French (Grasset) and English (Random House). Hélène Brenkman becomes the author’s foreign literary agent.
In April 2006, having taken (along with Fred Vargas and others) a staunch position against the extradition to Italy of Cesare Battisti, Lévy publishes and prefaces the former far-left militant’s book, Ma Cavale (On the Run).
In July of the same year, with the outbreak of Israel’s war in Lebanon against Hezbollah, Lévy visits bombed cities in northern Israel, filing dispatches that appear simultaneously in the New York Times Magazine and Le Monde.
In November, he receives the Scopus Award from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In spring 2007, operating under cover in Darfur, Lévy files stories that appear in Le Monde and, like many of his major pieces, in a group of other major European newspapers (including Corriere della Sera, El Mundo, and the Financial Times Magazine).
Returning from Sudan, he takes up the cause of boycotting the Olympic Games in Beijing in light of China’s role in supporting the butchers of Khartoum. Toward this end, in cooperation with François Zimeray (SOS Darfour) and Jackie Mamou (Urgence Darfour), he organizes a major meeting in Paris at which the candidates in France’s 2007 presidential election are invited to speak.
Breaking with some of his closest and longest-running comrades in thought and action, Bernard-Henri Lévy chooses not to support Nicolas Sarkozy and instead endorses Ségolène Royal, the only candidate who took a clear position on the tragedy in Darfur and on what Lévy sees as the drift of Vladimir Putin’s Russia toward the use of Mafia tactics.
In the fall he publishes Ce grand cadavre à la renverse, earning him strong and sometimes violent criticism from the far left, particularly from the movement surrounding Le Monde Diplomatique.
In 2008, Bernard-Henri Lévy is awarded an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In September, Random House publishes Left in Dark Times, the English version of Ce grand cadavre à la renverse. The book is a Los Angeles Times bestseller and reinforces the author’s standing in the United States.
In August, he travels to Georgia upon the outbreak of the war of secession initiated by Abkhazian and Ossetian separatists and their Russian backers. Again his reports appear in Le Monde and other European newspapers. In the United States his dispatches are published by the Huffington Post, marking the beginning of a regular collaboration with the online newspaper founded by Arianna Huffington.
In October, Flammarion and Grasset co-publish Lévy’s correspondence with Michel Houellebecq under the title, Ennemis Publics. The book sells 70,000 copies in French and is later published in English as Public Enemies (Random House).
In 2009, Bernard-Henri Lévy travels to Tel Aviv and the Israeli cities targeted by Hamas’s rocket and mortar attacks.
In June of the same year he pens numerous articles, appeals, and calls for solidarity with Iranians struggling for democracy and demanding an honest recount of the election that returned to power the man he calls “nonelected president Ahmadinejad.”
Bernard-Henri Lévy launches a reconfiguration of La Règle du Jeu with a Web presence (laregledujeu.org). Maria de França assumes editorial responsibilities for both formats from Gilles Hertzog. In June, Lévy is elected to a fifth consecutive term as chairman of the advisory council of Arte-France.
From the moment Roman Polanski is arrested at the Zurich airport, Bernard-Henri Lévy embraces the cause of the director. Soon joined by Alain Finkielkraut, he issues an international petition of support for the director of Tess. Among the first signers of the petition are Isabelle Adjani, Milan Kundera, Pascal Bruckner, and Salman Rushdie.
In October 2009, Lévy returns to Afghanistan, visiting Surobi and Kapisa provinces. His eyewitness report (Le Point, 9 September 2009) is less alarmist than those of other observers.
Lévy spends more and more time in New York, where he appears regularly on the talk shows of Charlie Rose and Fareed Zakaria. At the end of November, the prestigious American journal, Foreign Policy, ranks Lévy thirty-first in its list of the world’s one hundred most influential people. His is the first French name to appear in a list that includes Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, Zhou Xiaochuan, and Bill Gates.
In 2010, Bernard-Henri Lévy publishes two books simultaneously. De la Guerre en philosophie, the text of a lecture delivered at the Ecole Normale Supérieure on 6 April 2009, and Pièces d’identité, a collection of essays focusing particularly on his theoretical explorations of Jewish thought.
With La Règle du Jeu, he launches an international campaign on behalf of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.
Beginning in early 2011 Lévy devotes most of his time and energy to the war in Libya. In October he publishes La Guerre sans l’aimer, a detailed diary, factual but spirited, of his activities during that war. In 2012 he finishes Le Serment de Tobrouk, a documentary account of those same activities, filmed for the most part in the field and later presented at the Cannes Festival. The film is produced by François Margolin and co-directed by Marc Roussel, with Gilles Hertzog.
In 2013 Lévy becomes curator of an exhibition at the Fondation Maeght entitled The Adventures of Truth. The catalogue is published by Grasset. That same year he is made an honorary citizen of Sarajevo. He advocates for Bosnia’s admission to the European Union.
In November 2013, he begins a forceful defense of Christiane Taubira, France’s minister of justice, as other voices of the country’s conscience are slow to condemn the racist attacks against her. In cooperation with SOS Racisme, La Règle du Jeu mobilizes its contributors—writers, artists, thinkers—“to fight shameful self-congratulation, to prevent the banalization of racism and hate, and to understand how, collectively, we got to this point.”
In 2014, Lévy returns to the stage and to Bosnia with a play, Hôtel Europe, which premieres in at the National Theater in Sarajevo in June with Dino Mustafic directing. The play is presented at the venerable La Fenice theater in Venice on July 11 before opening in Paris at the Théâtre de l’Atelier in September, with Jacques Weber in the role of Lévy’s doubt-wracked writer. The play is published in fall 2014 by Grasset.
The same year, Lévy takes a stand with the Ukrainian revolutionaries occupying Kiev’s Independence Square, known also as the Maidan. Twice he addresses rallies in the Maidan and opposes the sale of French Mistral warships to Russia.
Petro Poroshenko, whom Lévy brought to the Elysée Palace to meet the French president before the election in Ukraine, credits Lévy with having devised the Normandy Format for four-way discussions among Ukraine’s new president, Putin, Hollande, and Merkel. On 26 January 2015, Lévy joins George Soros in an appeal to save the new Ukraine born in the Maidan.
In the course of extensive travel to Kiev and elsewhere in Ukraine, Bernard-Henri Lévy proposes, in March 2015, an ambitious Marshall Plan for Ukraine.
In an event rare for the United Nations, Lévy speaks before the General Assembly on 22 January 2015 about the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher market in Paris. Thirty-seven member countries (including France, Canada, Australia, the United States, and Israel) formally request the UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon, and the president of the 69th session of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, to convene an extraordinary plenary session on the rise of anti-Semitism around the world. Kutesa asks Lévy to deliver the opening address at the session.
On 11 January 2015, immediately following the terrorist attacks in France on 7 and 9 January, Lévy participates in a mass demonstration in Paris.
As part of the official commemoration of the “revolution of dignity” in the Maidan, Lévy stages a reading of Hôtel Europe at the National Opera in Kiev. The event on 21 February 2015 is attended by a distinguished group of European officials, diplomats, and citizens—among them Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and prime minister Arseni Yatsenyuk, Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite, and French secretary of state for European affairs Harlem Désir.
Over a period of several months, “Hôtel Europe,” adapted and updated in the course of successive performances, travels across the European continent. It is presented in highly symbolic venues: Venice’s famous La Fenice theater, Sarajevo, Odessa, Kiev (for the anniversary and commemorations of the revolution in the Maidan), Lviv, the 58th Spoleto Festival in Italy, and Paris (in a production directed by Maria De França).
In October 2014, in parallel with his Ukrainian initiative, Lévy publishes, in Liberation, a resounding “last chance for Kobanî” urging the international coalition in Iraq to step up its aid for the Kurds in their fight against Daesh.
He also requests that the PKK, a Kurdish political party founded in Ankara in 1978 to fight for an independent Kurdistan, be removed from the list of terrorist organizations.
A few weeks later he travels to Irbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, to meet with the leaders of the Peshmerga and lend them his support. Upon his return he arranges a historic reception in Paris for Peshmerga representatives by high-ranking French officials.
On 25 June 2015 in Positano, Italy, Bernard-Henri Lévy is awarded the International Prize for Citizen Journalism by the prestigious Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies.
On 15 October 2015, Antonio Caño, editor of the Spanish daily El Pais, confers upon Lévy the prize for thought awarded by his newspaper’s magazine supplement, ICON. The award recognizes Lévy’s long association with Spain’s leading daily.