James Adler

David Horovitz is right. Masters of fate turn themselves into moral supremicists.

Thanks to David Horovitiz for one of the very best pieces he’s ever written—“A sobering moment for complacent Israel” – at

The Rightist talkbackers, and even PM Netanyahu himself, can’t do something as simple as condemn burning a kid alive, without– in the same breath– interjecting–“but still we’re different and morally superior.”

Even in the same breath as criticizing burning a boy alive he can’t resist the opportunity for moral supremacism and another dig at the “Other.”

So Netanyahu like all the talkbackers says, even in the same breath as condemning the actual burning of a boy alive, can’t resist that same old moral comparativism and supremacism: “that at least we mourn when this happens, while they celebrate” (or some such).

In these denials and these digs is – using David’s word – the complacent belief that Palestinians are in the sole wrong in the conflict; that Palestinians are in the sole wrong in this ongoing horror story; that only Palestinians are extremists; that only Palestinians are ever violent, and, that Israelis are always in the right.

And also: The belief that Israel and Israelis– for their case to be legitimate– have to be perfect.

Along with denial of any exceptions to their absolute perfection.

And if imperfections are let in, the Right seems to think Israel’s whole edifice crumbles. And this absurdity leads to reactions of sarcastic (and often coarse) denials and certitudes and espousals of raw hate that are morally revulsive and shocking.

Every Far Rightist- seems to comment on the killings (even if they admit Jewish extremists did it), first to distinguish “their side” morally from the “Other,” as if this were, as Sarah Tuttle-Singer eloquently lamented here in The Times of Israel, “a moral pissing contest.”

And this reaction seems to comprise the core of the pathology of the Far Right segment of the Israeli psyche–to find nonexistent moral superiority—and as integral to this, since this apparent moral superiority is not appreciated — double standards.

That is what so-called “anti-Israel double-standards” ultimately, after all, consists of: an accusation of non-recognition by the world of the Israeli Right’s moral superiority.

This is a twisted and pathological and morally perverted reflexive compulsion that they are often called to the carpet for, and now, with all his immense moral authority and ethical credibility, by David Horovitz.

David makes many points of particular interest: One of them:

Unlike the Palestinians, we cannot claim the “occupation” in our defense — for we are masters of our own destiny.”

Some people wonder why the Palestinians are angry.

But after nearly 50 years of their occupation? Settlements? Expansionism? 700,000 settlers and numbers still rising? No vote? Camps? Poverty? Arrests, beatings, deaths? And this attracts the unstable segment — that exists anyway in any population — to extremism and fanaticism – and to some who– snap.

And commit crimes such as the unutterably unforgivable ones against the three Israeli teens.

But it is the Israelis who are the victors and occupiers. The masters of their fate, as David says.

And yet their extremists – often settlers — and even police still kill and beat up the defeated like Mohammad and his American cousin Teriik, (who even shares the burned victim’s last name), from Tampa on a visit.

While, however, it is the Palestinians who are the occupied and under foreign rule.

The Palestinians are not masters of their fate. This is why they have so much rage. And after nearly 50 years of Occupation and 700,000 settlers and price tag attacks and harsh and arbitrary arrests, beatings, deaths, and beatings.

What would Irgun do, if they were, instead of the Palestinians, the Occupied people under foreign rule?

What would the Israeli climate of modern Irgunites be like if the it were reversed?

A hint comes from Menachem Begin’s Introduction to his major work, The Revolt.

 Listen to Menachem Begin

Tyranny is armed. Otherwise it would be liquidated overnight. Fighters for freedom must arm; otherwise they would be crushed overnight…

 “The underground fighters of the Irgun arose to overthrow and replace a regime. We used physical force because we were faced by physical force.

“We had to hate — as any nation worthy of the name must and always must hate – the rule of the foreigner, rule, unjust and unjustifiable, per se, foreign rule….

“Such hatred has been the driving force of progress in the world’s history –‘not peace but a sword’ in the cause of mankind’s advancement.

This could be Hezbollah, Hamas, or Islamic Jihad.

But it was the Irgunite Israeli Right in the 1940’s.

So: What would Irgun do today?

What would our modern Irgunites do if the occupation were reversed?

And if it was the Palestinians who were the Masters of the Fate of both themselves and the Israelis – for 50 long years?

But the Right turns the fact that the Palestinians,rather than the Masters of Their Fate are subjected to dispossession, occupation, settlement, expansion and oppression — morally against the victims.

And says things like: “They celebrate bad things, and we don’t.”

In order to make themselves, the Israeli Right — the occupiers and settlers and dispossessors and occupiers and oppressors and the Masters of the Fate of the Palestinians — also their moral superiors .

What David says cannot be too often repeated:

The Palestinians are not masters of their fate.

And they are still occupied after almost 50 years.

And so they are angry.

And unstable criminal lunatics from among this — again, among any — population — and even more among one helpless about its fate — abducted and shot three Israeli teens in the Occupied West Bank.

And yet it was some among the victors and occupiers who burned a Palestinian boy alive.

Because of the Occupation. As David says, the Israelis don’t even have the excuse of the Occupation, because the Israelis are the masters of their fate.

Of course it’s all ultimately inexcusable and unforgivable on both sides.

But it’s all happening in the Occupied Territories under endless Occupation.

So : Get rid of the occupation, right?

And yet Israeli officials mocked and insulted and virtually kicked out, as well as undermined with their Settlement Expansion Announcements, US Secretary of State Kerry and his United States peace efforts.

Did anyone hear PM Netanyahu saying after he left,

“Hey, Mr. Kerry, you’ve abandoned us!

“We need peace and justice for both sides, and we need to talk about getting out of the Territories and justice and peace and security for both peoples!:”

Tragically the answer is a resounding:

Of Course Not.

And as years pass, will the Palestinians will become still more angry?

And if more angry, will the occupation ever end?

And then won’t the anger rise indefinitely and the circle of violence escalate forever– until apocalypse afflicts and even dooms both peoples?

Where is Israel’s leadership and wisdom?

They who are the Masters of the Fate of both Peoples?









About the Author
James Adler was born in Kentucky, now works in university libraries, and feels especially and intensely bound up with the fate of the Jewish people in the last hundred years, especially the Shoah, the rise of Israel "out of the ashes," and the accidental and mutually tragic collision with the Palestinians in the early and middle of the 20th century, continuing through today. He is happily married and the father of two teenagers.