Ethics can only be primary, that is, it can only be “first philosophy,” in the Levinasian sense, if it is universally binding, if everybody can feel the immemorial interpellation of the other as an imperative demand. But–can people exclude themselves from the ethical community, perhaps simply by disagreeing with the statement that ethics, as submission to the radical priority of the other, is universally binding, or that it is binding at all? If the latter, then ethics is a choice. If a choice, then the choice for ethics turns ethics into derivative not primary. This is a question that came up in a discussion today. I have requested permission to post here a paper on Levinas that indirectly deals with this issue. That paper deals with 2 Samuel and Levinas’s comment on “Envers autrui,” in Quatre lectures talmudiques. There, it seems that the Gibeonites, by demanding talionic revenge for wrongs done to them, exclude themselves from Israel. I can’t cite yet, so I will paraphrase: Talion law excludes the Gibeonites from Israel as a whole, that is, from the ethical community. Israel, through King David, must yield to the demand for justice of the stranger, that is, the Gibeonite, even though Israel understands there would be no reciprocity. The Gibeonite does not accept moral law, they prefer to act on the basis of a desire for revenge. Israel must comply, in order to do justice as demanded. But Israel, by doing so, claims an exceptional status. To me (the author of the paper pursues a different topic) this story of the Gibeonites seems to imply, allegorically if you will, that there is no universally binding ethics, that ethics only binds, viciously enough, the ethical community. But then there is a ground to be posited, which is the ground from which one may decide to be or not to be ethical. It is hard to see from this that ethics should be first philosophy except for the ethical community as such, that is, not for the rest.