Canadian NGO that funds the Palestinian NGO Network
Harshly critical of Israel
Ignores Palestinian terrorism
Founded in 1994 and based in Montreal, Alternatives Canada (AC) describes itself as an “international solidarity organization” that implements and funds “sustainable development projects” which “promote climate justice, struggle for democracy, and/or defend human dignity” in more than 35 countries around the world. With an emphasis on helping “people and communities affected by poverty, discrimination, exploitation, and violence,” AC aims to help “createa world” where all people “equitably share the power and resources they need to live and thrive.” AC also trainsapproximately 30 interns per year in Montreal, and then sends them abroad to work with local partner organizations in other countries. Since its inception, AC has dispatched more than 1,000 such interns.
AC is unremittingly critical of Israel, even as it downplays or ignores Palestinian human-rights abuses and terrorism. For example, it has published articles accusing the Jewish state of seeking “to practically transform [Gaza] into a series of prisons”; depicting Israel's seizure of Palestinian terrorist funds as “bank robbery”; stating that as a result of terrorist campaigns like the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Palestinians have “definitely gone forward”; and comparingIsrael’s social policies to those of Nazi Germany. Moreover, AC has repeatedly: (a) accused Israel of subjecting Palestinians to “apartheid”; (b) promoted the notion of a Palestinian “right of return” to Israel; (c) characterized Israel's creation in 1948 as Al-Nakba (Arabic for “The Catastrophe”); and (d) supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement designed to delegitimize and financially cripple the state of Israel.
Since 1997, AC has promoted its anti-Israel message in the pages of Le Journal des Alternatives, a monthly compendium of international, national, and cultural news that is distributed by Québec’s widely-read daily newspaper Le Devoir. As NGO Monitor notes, AC's publication “features numerous opinion pieces with anti-Israel themes and arguments” -- e.g., pieces accusing Israel of such transgressions as “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “heinous war crimes” -- while “no articles representing a pro-Israel or Zionist perspective are presented.” Moreover, Le Journal prints many articles justifying BDS campaignsagainst the Jewish state. In September 2006, for instance, an articleby the pro-BDS professor Ilan Pappe accused Israel of perpetrating “massacres,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide politics,” and “war crimes.” That same month, Le Journal featured an interview wherein the Palestinian “militant” Soraida Hussein Sabbah accused Israel of conducting a “slow massacre of Gaza,” but turned a blind eye to Palestinian terrorism, corruption, and in-fighting.
AC has often endorsed, or provided a forum for, anti-Israel statements by fellow non-governmental organizations such as the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I). In 2005, for instance, AC used its own website to promote PNGO's claims that Israel's then-recent disengagement from Gaza was a “trade-off meant to legitimize the Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” and that Gaza would undoubtedly “continue to be one big prison.” In a May 2006 report published by Alternatives Canada, PHR-I asserted that “Israel is responsible for the outcome of the collapse of Palestinian civil society in general and the health system in particular.” And in November 2014, AC published an articleby ICAHD founder Jeff Halper, alleging that “Israelis and Palestinians liv[e] under separate legal systems,” and that “the Israeli legal system has become an instrument of oppression.”
In 2013, AC and two other NGOs co-hostedan event titled “Israel Guilty of Apartheid,” which featured the author and BDS activist Frank Barat.