Canadian NGO that funds the Palestinian NGO Network
Harshly critical of Israel
Ignores Palestinian terrorism
Founded in 1994 and based in Montreal, the Alternatives, Action and Communication Network for International Development (aka Alternatives) describes itself as “a non-governmental, international solidarity organization” that “works to promote justice and equality amongst individuals and communities located in the North and the South.” Active in more than 35 countries (in Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Central, South and Southeast Asia), Alternatives “supports local, community-based initiatives working towards the greater economic, social, and political rights of people and communities affected by poverty, discrimination, exploitation, and violence.”
According to Alternatives, the world’s chief discriminator, exploiter, and abuser is the United States, which it accuses of having committed “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and “torture against noncombatants.” A January 11, 2007 article on the Alternatives website stated: “The legal arguments used by the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi court to convict Saddam Hussein of crimes against humanity apply even more forcefully to those American leaders who ordered the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.” Impugning the U.S. for allegedly “micromanaging the trial court’s statute” and deliberately “scuttling … Saddam’s right to a proper defense,” Alternatives called the Iraqi dictator’s execution nothing more than an “outsourced [American] lynching.” Evoking images of a bygone era in the American South, the article continued: “Like the widely circulated picture postcards of lynchings … in the early 20th century, the grainy cell-phone video of Saddam’s last moments conveyed to the whole world the tastelessness of raw power unrestricted by either law or morality. But unlike those good ol’ American lynchings -- in which the mob leaders posed proudly by their hanging Black trophies -- the ringleaders of the Baghdad hanging party absented themselves from the embarrassing frame, preferring the ‘plausible deniability’ of being sound asleep in Texas and Washington.”
Alternatives is also unremittingly critical of Israel, even as it downplays Palestinian human rights abuses and ignores Palestinian terrorism. Recent Alternatives articles have accused former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of planning "to practically transform [Gaza] into a series of prisons"; accused Israel of conducting "furious diplomatic activity to sabotage the hearing" by the International Court of Justice on the construction of an anti-terror barrier in the West Bank; characterized Israel's seizure of terrorist funds as "bank robbery"; stated that as a result of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Palestinians had "definitely gone forward"; accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing"; and compared Israel’s social policies to those of Nazi Germany.
Alternatives’ current projects focus nominally on such issues as: “the environment and sustainable development”; “democracy”; “rehabilitation of communities affected by war”; “good governance”; “socio-economic justice and equality”; “civil, political, economic, social and human rights”; “the fight against poverty”; “women’s rights, equality between genders, [and] the inclusion of women in all spheres of society”; “education and inclusion of youth”; “civil society development, management, and autonomy”; and “freedom of organization, of information, of the press, and of religion.” The Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights and the Palestinian NGO Network are creations of Alternatives.
Each year Alternatives organizes overseas youth internship programs aimed at “developing in young men and women a sense of solidarity and curiosity about other regions than their own” -- particularly the plight of Third World nations.
To disseminate its message, Alternatives publishes a monthly newspaper of international, national, and cultural news that is distributed to 50,000 recipients. A notable author whose articles Alternatives has published is Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies.
Approximately half of Alternatives’ funding derives from government sources (chiefly the Canadian International Development Agency). The remainder is supplied by more than 50,000 individual donors and members, as well as partner organizations such as unions and church groups. A notable supporter of Alternatives is Bishop Desmond Tutu, a former Nobel Peace Prize winner and harsh critic of the United States.