Michel Houellebecq
Michel HouellebecqReuters

Famed French writer Michel Houellebecq defended Israel in an interview he gave to the popular magazine Le Point, which devoted a journalistic project to the Jews of France.

According to news site Walla, Houellebecq – who is not Jewish – has identified as pro-Israeli for several years. He reconfirmed this position in the interview, and explained: "Israel is more moral than the Palestinians. At first I was neutral, but the Palestinian suicide bombings shocked me. Unlike the Israelis, who strike at pre-marked targets, the Palestinian attacks are blind, and that is much less moral. The end does not justify the means, and that is why the Palestinians have lost legitimacy in my eyes."

Houellebecq blamed the French Left for turning Israel into an enemy and inciting French Muslims against it. Intellectuals, journalists and radical leftist politicians, he said, are the ones responsible for the tension between the Muslim and Jewish communities in France.

"What connection is there between Muslims in France and the Palestinians?" he asked. "Why do the Muslims in France not raise a hue and cry about what is happening to their brothers in Africa and Asia, but only (do so) about their Palestinian brothers? It is only the fault of the radical Left's anti-Israeliness and its connection to Islam."

Asked why he is so popular in Israel, Houellebecq replied: "For the same reason I am popular in Germany: The Israelis love philosophical discussions, something they do not find in most French literature, but they do find it with me and they adore it."

Houellebecq's novel Soumission, which was published on the exact date of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, describes France in 2022, with a Muslim ruling the country according to Islamic law.