On 3 February 2016, Bernard-Henri Lévy publishes L’Esprit du Judaïsme (Grasset) (The Spirit of Judaism, Random House, 2017). Reworked several times, the book, which he describes as “a battle plan and program,” is the fruit of 10 years of research during which the author says he entered into “the mystery of the square letters” (i.e., Hebrew), delving into the Book of Isaiah, the Book of Jonah, and the writings of The Malbim (the 19th-century Russian commentator on the Torah).
Lauded by the critics, the work is described by Haim Korsia, the Chief Rabbi of France, as “important because it gives us the hope of continuing a struggle that many would have abandoned.”
On 8 June 2016, Lévy’s documentary Peshmerga premiered in Paris theaters after receiving an ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was shown as an Official Selection on 20 May. A war film and a wake-up call, Peshmerga was filmed in the second half of 2015 on the front lines of the face-off between the Kurdish troops and Daesh. Bernard-Henri Lévy and his team captured live the major battles in and around Kirkuk, Mosul, and Sinjar. The documentary’s exclusive images of territory held by Daesh and aerial footage of the city of Mosul taken by drones flying at low altitude are the first of their kind in this conflict.
On 29 Septembrt 2016, Bernard-Henri Lévy served as the special envoy of French President François Hollande at a ceremony marking the 75the anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre in Ukraine, one of the bloodiest events of “holocaust by bullets.” In Babi Yar, a ravine near Kiev, the Nazis killed thirty-four thousand Jews on 29–30 September 1941.