Joel Simpson has “had careers in college teaching, jazz piano and music software” but is happiest now as a professional photographer. He also has a good eye for truth (as opposed to “public myth.”) When I was censored at the Left Forum in New York, Joel wrote a terrific report. In it, he writes: “Growing up, as I did, in the traumatic shadow of the Holocaust, I embraced Zionism as a young person—it was the dominant ideology of my Jewish education—insensitive to its implicit racism, and only came to realize its truly oppressive dimensions in the early 1980s.” Since then he seems to have fully recovered.
In this interview he compares the Al-Aqsa Storm breakout to the 1916 Easter uprising in Ireland:
“The uprising took place on Easter Monday morning, and lasted for seven days until Saturday when it was finally put down by the British forces. It took the British colonial government completely by surprise. They were, of course, engaged in the First World War, and they brought in their big guns and finally prevailed. But in the process, 485 people were killed. And many, many civilians, 200 civilians, were killed. 66 of the insurrectionists were killed and then 15 were later executed in May. The British lost 143. For those times, it was a bloodbath, though nothing compared to what we've seen in Israel and Gaza.
“But in any case, at first, it was very unpopular. People were shocked. But after the leaders were executed in May—remember this took place in April, so they were executed very quickly—and they were very respected poets, writers, academics—and then popular opinion turned in favor of the uprising. And it unleashed the armed resistance to Britain, which lasted in a kind of a low-level war until around 1923, the Irish Revolutionary Period.
“But Ireland didn't get its full independence. It got partial independence with the Irish Free State. It didn't get its full independence for 23 years until 1949, which is very interesting. In other words, these people decided to resist the British by force of arms, violently, in a surprise attack. And they knew that they would not survive this. But they felt so frustrated and stifled that they felt they had to do it. And in fact, it bore fruit 23 years after the event.
“So that's the kind of perspective we're invited to consider for the Hamas October 7th action.”