ARNOLD KLING: Is The Overton Window Moving to the Right?
Recently, Tablet published a symposium called What Now? It was an opportunity for Jews to offer opinions that they probably would not have articulated prior to the October 7 Hamas pogrom. Titles of the essays include:
Replace American Communal Jewish Leadership
Get a Gun
Deport Violent Radicals
What has shocked Jews much more than the atrocities of Hamas are the atrocities committed by Progressives. It turns out that Progressives support a Palestinian cause that seeks not peace and dignity for all but to drive Jews out of the Middle East completely. Progressives say that the “context” justifies rape, murder and kidnapping of innocent people. Under the doctrine of intersectionality, Progressives manage to link support for Islamic theocrats to LGBTQ rights.
The Overton Window has clearly moved for many American Jews. The Ivy League is now disgraced. Imagine if on college campuses there were students marching around in Ku Klux Klan hoods shouting racist slogans. And imagine they were doing this right after the death of George Floyd. That is what the pro-Hamas demonstrations feel like to Jewish students.
After George Floyd was killed, we had riots everywhere, which were widely defended by all the best people, and only one reaction was even tolerated in most of the public sphere. But when a Jewish pro-Israel marcher was murdered by a pro-Palestinian professor, it barely made a ripple in the national conversation.