In the wake of Hamas’s brutal attack on Israel and the subsequent armed response, the pitched battle over free speech and cancel-culture in the West has suddenly taken an unexpected turn.

Until last week, it had been the “woke” left deplatforming speakers, calling for boycotts of those who questioned leftist orthodoxy, or firing people for making arguments that progressive cultural arbiters deemed “hateful”. Progressives often denied that cancel-culture even exists, but when pressed would defend punishing the holders of heterodox opinions on the basis that free speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

The political right, often on the receiving end of cancellation attempts, made championing free speech a cornerstone principle.

Almost overnight, these roles were reversed.

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