Source: U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain,
via Wikimedia Commons

Canadian politicians are beside themselves over protesters rallying outside Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly’s home to demand an end to Canada’s military and diplomatic support for Israeli genocide in Gaza.

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce offered a representative example of genocide defenders such as himself—apoplectic with rage at blowback to their support for Israel’s massacre of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, the majority of whom are women and children. Lecce tweeted in response to the protest at Joly’s home: “The singular mission is to intimidate… It is disturbing that residents are made to feel unsafe in their neighbourhoods, along with elected officials and their families in their homes.”

Both Lecce and his boss Doug Ford are vocal supporters of the Israeli regime currently engaged in mass murder of Palestinians, destroying entire neighbourhoods in targeted airstrikes and bombing the places they tell civilians to flee to. Do Palestinians facing the constant threat of death from Israeli forces not feel unsafe in their neighbourhoods? Top Israeli officials have openly declared their goal is not just to intimidate Palestinians in Gaza, but to render the region “uninhabitable” and drive Palestinians out in a blatant act of ethnic cleansing. For leeches like Lecce, the real crime is not Israel’s genocide, which he supports. Rather, it is protesting outside the homes of government officials who support this most egregious of crimes.

NDP MPs have been vocal in coming to the defence of Joly, a bland bureaucrat whose support for Israeli genocide perfectly embodies what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil”. Alistair MacGregor, NDP critic for agriculture, agri-food, and food price inflation, declared on Twitter/X regarding these protests: “Private residences should be off limits.” Longtime MP Charlie Angus, a former federal NDP leadership candidate, approvingly retweeted MacGregor’s condemnation of the protesters. Heather McPherson, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona, likewise tweeted: “This is appalling. People do not have to agree with politicians and elected representatives, but to harass them at their private homes is completely and utterly unacceptable.”

None of these mediocrities, so typical of bourgeois democratic politicians, have expressed anywhere near the same upset over Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians as they have towards people protesting that genocide. It’s all very reminiscent of the brouhaha that erupted in the United States after protesters began confronting public officials at restaurants for their policies. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, for example, had to endure the hideous torture of protesters demonstrating outdoors in front of the steakhouse he was eating at after his court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. The bourgeois media raised a hue and cry over such protests as a horrendous violation of tact—as if Kavanaugh’s private dining experience was more important than the right of women to control their own bodies.

Writer and activist Yves Engler correctly said that NDP MPs following the “genocide lobby” to condemn the protest outside Joly’s home was “pathetic.” Engler noted that the tactic of demonstrating outside the homes of politicians has a long history in Canada. During the 2012 Quebec student strike, multiple student marches protested outside the home of then-premier Jean Charest, who had sparked the movement by raising tuition fees at Quebec universities. Greenpeace targeted the home of then-prime minister Stephen Harper in 2007 to protest his lack of commitment to the Kyoto climate-change accord. Even current Liberal environment minister Steven Guilbeault was involved in a 2002 Greenpeace initiative that saw activists climbing onto the roof of then-Alberta premier Ralph Klein’s house to install solar panels.

The bizarre argument that public officials should be sheltered from the consequences of their actions is only comprehensible to those for whom politics is a mere parlour game, as opposed to something with the most serious life-and-death consequences. That’s particularly the case when said officials are supporting genocide, which Chris Hedges described as “the crime of all crimes. It is the purest expression of evil.” If you are supporting genocide, you better be ready for some blowback. Protests outside your home are the least you should expect. It also goes without saying that the pious declarations of Canadian MPs that homes of public officials should be off-limits to protest are infused with hypocrisy. Can anyone imagine that if Russian protesters rallied outside the home of Vladimir Putin to denounce his war in Ukraine, these same MPs would not cheer the protesters as heroes?

To Canadian MPs: Spare us your tears for government officials who support genocide, like Mélanie Joly, having people protest outside their homes. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.