Alternatives (Canada)

Profile

Country/TerritoryCanada
Websitewww.alternatives.ca
Founded1994
In their own words“to create a world where international solidarity, environmental rights, democratic rights and human dignity are universally respected.”

Funding

  • In 2016, total income was $1.5 million (CAD); total expenses were $1.5 million (CAD). According to its 2016 annual report, 25% of Alternatives’ revenue came from “European governments” and 33% from the Province of Quebec. Details on which European governments have donated to the organization are not provided.
  • Funding from the Canadian government ended in 2014. Previous grants were provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): $2 million (CAD) in 2008-10, and $2.4 million (CAD) in 2007.

Activities

  • Alternatives Canada was founded in Montreal in 1994, and calls itself an “international solidarity organization.” Its stated aim is to “help the networking, building, and promoting of innovative initiatives in popular and social movements that are fighting for economic, social, political, cultural and environmental rights.”
  • Engages in highly politicized activities both within Canada and internationally.

Political Advocacy

  • Alternatives Canada engages in political advocacy against Israel, through its use of demonizing language such as “apartheid” rhetoric, BDS, and promoting a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • Le Journal des Alternatives is “a monthly compendium of international, national, and cultural news” published by Alternatives Canada and distributed in Québec’s widely-read Le Devoir. Among other ideological causes, this publication consistently presents a highly distorted depiction of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The journal features numerous opinion pieces with anti-Israel themes and arguments. No articles representing a pro-Israel or Zionist perspective are presented. Some such articles accuse Israel of apartheid and “ethnic cleansing,” and justify BDS campaigns against Israel.
    • In May 2018, on the occasion of “70 Years of Nakba,” Alternatives published an article by Al-Shabaka asking “Where Can Palestinians Go from Here?” Razi Nabulse, a researcher at Masarat, recommended “using the Nakba itself by considering it not only an anniversary, but also a destructive system and continuous manifestation of the essence of Zionism that Palestinians must dismantle” (emphasis added). Irene Calis, an anthropologist, stated that “Palestinians must recognize that the problem is not occupation, but Zionism, and proposes a collective and strategic recalibration of political action that is focused on Zionism, de-colonization, and emancipation” (emphasis added).
    • In April 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, Alternatives shared an article condemning the “savagery with which the Jewish state executed 17 of its two million prisoners of Gaza.”  The article furthered that “It is time to weigh all our weight against an unnatural alliance that has made decades of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and – as Friday’s violence reminds us – of periodic massacres possible.” In addition to its demonization, the article ignored the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
    • In June 2017, Alternatives shared a statement by BDS Quebec stating that “It is also incumbent on us to stand firm and steadfast against Canada’s continued support of Israeli colonialism from the beginning, both political and military, and economic.”
    • In February 2017, published an article accusing Israel of “fierce colonization,” “discrimination and dispossession,” and “war crimes,” as well as calling for a “concerted pressure by the PLO / Palestine to, at a minimum, obtain a total ban on colonial products, and the end of relations with the Israeli state and private sector organizations, such as banks, that fund settlements.”
    • In April 2016, published an article titled “The Right to Boycott Colonialism and Apartheid of the Israeli State” stating that “BDS remains one of the means to resist the highly sophisticated public relations campaign of Israel and Zionist and pro-Israeli organizations aimed at countering the negative images of the war and thus making the occupation, colonization and racism more acceptable.”
  • In August 2016, Alternatives, alongside BDS-Quebec, hosted a workshop to launch its campaign for a “complete military embargo against Israel.”
  • In 2013, Alternatives Canada hosted an event alongside BDS Québec and Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine titled “Israel Guilty of Apartheid,” featuring BDS activist Frank Barat.
  • In 2011, Alternatives partnered with Turtle Island Humanitarian Aid, a registered Canadian non-profit organization, to raise money for the Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign. Alternatives collected the funds for the flotilla and proceeded to “transfer the required amounts to Turtle Island Humanitarian Aid, which will purchase the vessel and register it under Canadian law.”
    • In 2016, Turtle Island stated that it was accepting donations for the Women’s Boat to Gaza, under the banner of the “Freedom Flotilla Coalition.” In a post to its Facebook page, Alternatives denied any involvement with this flotilla.

Alternatives International

  • Alternatives Canada is part of Alternatives International, a network of NGOs“struggling against neoliberalism, imperialism, social injustice and war.”
  • Alternatives International accuses Israel of ‘apartheid’ and ethnic cleansing, and supports BDS and a narrow pro-Palestinian view.
  • In July 2018, Alternatives published an article by Ilan Pappe titled “Israel’s New Law is a Form of Apartheid” stating that “Zionism was a settler colonial movement and Israel is a settler state. This means that Jewish colonisation and the oppression of the Palestinians is on par with the European destruction of the native Americans or of the genocide of the aboriginals by the Australians.” The article furthers that “The two-state solution offered by some as a basis for peace is meant to allow Israel total territorial control over autonomous Palestinian Bantustans that could be called a state.”
    • llan Pappe, is an academic at the University of Exeter and author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. He is a supporter of BDS and violence against Israel, stating: “I support Hamas in its resistance against the Israeli occupation.” Pappe’s article “Genocide in Gaza” refers to the “Palestinian resistance” and uses terms such as “imprisoning Gaza,” “massacres,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “genocide politics” to describe the actions of the Israeli government. In a 2014 lecture, Pappe claimed that a two-state framework is “just a tool where [Israel] maintains control over the [Palestinians].”
  • On July 4, 2016, Alternatives International published an interview with Ali Abunimah in which he expressed support for BDS and alleged that the “situation in Palestine is the last anti-colonial struggle of the 20th century… continuing into the 21st century.”
    • Ali Abunimah is the co-founder and executive director of Electronic Intifada, an online platform that publishes viciously anti-Israel and antisemitic articles, promoting BDS campaigns and a one-state formula.
  • In July 2014, shard an article calling to “hold specific Canadian companies, as well as the Conservative government, publicly accountable for their direct links to the war crimes being carried out against the people of Gaza right now.”
  • In April 2014, Alternatives published an interview with Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the USEUCanada, and Israel. According to Khaled, “Resistance takes more than one face. It can be all kinds of resistance. Non-violent and violent. I am ok with those who choose non-violence. We are not going to liberate our country by armed struggle only. Other kinds of resistance are necessary. The political one, diplomatic one, the non-violent one… I am ok with using all means of resistance. We cannot say that non-violent resistance alone will achieve our rights. We are facing an apartheid State, Zionism as a movement, the Americans, and in general, the West, which supports Israel.”

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