Making NGOs AccountableAdvanced Search

Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Introduction

In 2016 the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits asked for a court order for the dissolution of AIC on the grounds that the ”association’s activities are conducted in violation of the law, or regulation aims ….” and that ”deficiencies in its conduct does not allow the Registrar to supervise the operations and control the use of its assets and therefore, raise fear to conceal assets and improper conduct of the organization ….[and] shows that the association is working illegally and does not submit documents in accordance with Article 38 of the law … “

Profile

Country/TerritoryIsrael
Websitewww.alternativenews.org
Founded1984
In their own wordsClaims to “engage[] in information dissemination, as well as political advocacy… and critical analysis on the Palestinian and Israeli societies as well as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

Funding

  • While the AIC does not publish its annual income, it does publish quarterly financial reports on donations from foreign entities. Based on quarterly financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, AIC received NIS 789,939 in foreign donations in 2015 and NIS 777,572 in 2014 (latest available; accessed November 1, 2016). (See table below for detailed funding information).
  • According to annual reports on its website, 2014/2015 Donors include: Diakonia (Sweden), Basque government, CCFD (France), European Union, and Geneva Municipality.
  • In 2011-2014, the AIC was a partner organization on a grant worth €371,602 from the EU under its Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme for a project aiming “to monitor activities of settlers and the IDF in the Southern Hebron Hills… The information on settlers and IDF violations gathered during the daily accompanying work are provided to human rights NGOs and media.”

Activities

  • Founded “by Palestinian and Israeli grassroots activists as a binational organisation to promote the human and national rights of the Palestinian people.
  • AIC activities include providing political commentaries via its website, promoting BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions), organizing the “Apartheid Law Seminar,” and publishing journals that advocate its policies.
  • According to the AIC, “the most urgent regional task is to find a just solution to the century-old colonial conflict in Palestine and confront the ongoing Israeli occupation-regime within its international framework.”?
  • Supports a so-called “right of resistance”: “The Palestinian leadership must stop and consider the results of the peace process, a 15 year long negotiation and the situation got worse. Only the choice of resistance can put an end to the occupation.”
  • An article, “No to normalization, yes to joint struggle,” (February 20, 2014), advocates that “normalisation [with Israel] is betrayal of the homeland” and describes a series of conferences organized by Palestinian groups, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization.

Demonization of Israel

  • Accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid-like discrimination,” of being a “settler colonialist… intransigent, racist and militarized… regime,” and implementing a “multi-tiered system of oppression.”
  • Co-founder of AIC, Michael Warschawski asserts that “one has to unequivocally reject the very idea (and existence) of a Jewish state, whatever will be its borders.” (The Haifa Conference for the Right of Return, June 2008).
  • Shir Hever, economic researcher at AIC, is a pro-BDS political activist and accuses Israel of being “a colonialist regime, in which there’s apartheid.” He also participated in the 2010 London Session of the Russell Tribunal of Palestine.
  • Cooperated with Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) in May 2013 for an event regarding “the Apartheid Wall Israel in the Cremisan Valley near Beit Jalla, a town adjacent to Bethlehem.”
  • In a 2009 article, “Yes to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS),” Warschawski claims that there are “similarities” between Israel and the South African apartheid regime: “both are racist states with (different kinds of) apartheid. He goes on to state: “For us, Zionism is not a national liberation movement but a colonial movement, and the State of Israel is and has always been a settlers’ colonial state. Peace, or, better, justice, cannot be achieved without a total decolonization (one can say de-Zionisation) of the Israeli State; it is a precondition for the fulfillment of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians—whether refugees, living under military occupation or second-class citizens of Israel.”
  • Following the 2008-9 Gaza War, Michel Warschawski compared Israelis and Nazis, stating, “Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, Gabi Ashkenazi and Ehud Olmert…You are not representing any continuity with the Warsaw Ghetto, because today the Warsaw Ghetto is right in front of you, targeted by your own tanks and artillery, and its name is Gaza.”
  • In December 2008, Michel Warschawski accused the State of Israel of “conducting a rampant genocide against the people of Gaza, using the weapon of almost-starvation, electricity cuts and deprivation of drinking water, provoking epidemics and preventing basic health-care.”

BDS Activities

  • Signed a 2015 petition against the Swiss Federal Council and Swiss Parliament demanding “not to buy surveillance drones from Israel and to stop the whole military collaboration with Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.”
  • In July 2014, AIC posted a statement calling on “conscientious people all over the world, to act, protest, and intensify the boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it ends this murderous attack on our people and is held to account.”
  • Published a template email (February 2014) urging readers to “send a message to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ask them to uphold international law and oppose Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights by publishing warning to business about the problems and risk associated with doing business” with Israel.
  • Signed a 2009 letter to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, together with other NGOs, calling “upon the Norwegian people to join us in our efforts and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.” The letter accused a number of Israeli and international corporations of “provid[ing] specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian population through restrictions of movement and collective punishments.” The campaign resulted in the Pension Fund’s divestment from the Israeli company, Elbit Ltd.

AIC Ties to the PFLP

  • Prior to the organization’s founding, AIC co-founder Michael Warschawski was a leader of “Matzpen,” the anti-Zionist Trotskyite organization. Warschawski was jailed in the 1990s for publishing an informational pamphlet for the PFLP terror group (verdict on file).
  • The co-director of AIC, Nassar Ibrahim, is also the former editor of El Hadaf – the PFLP’s weekly publication.
  • AIC Board of Directors member (2008) Rifat Odeh Kassis has links to multiple NGOs with PFLP ties and was arrested and imprisoned several times by Israel. Kassis is the founder of DCI-P (see below); the general coordinator of Kairos Palestine, a major BDS effort steeped in Christian theology; and was a member of an advisory group for DanChurchAid.

Partial list of foreign donations

*Amounts for 2012/13 and 2016 are based off of quarterly reports submitted to the Registrar of Non-Profits; 2014/15 are based off of the organization’s annual reports.

Donor20162015201420132012
Diakonia (Sweden)314,820323,585362,158483,860501,521
Papa Giovannia XXIII (EU)74,53977,038
European Union20,929
Mundubat (Spain)259,645434,877
CCFD (France)56,37621,70537,75995,856
Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits (France)71,760
Foundation France47,890
UJFP (France)37,152
Geneva Municipality202,473209,02323,692
ICCO (Netherlands)147,343
Alternative Tourism Group20,880147,343
Basque government242,176126,823
Asociacion Extremenade Comunicacio80,011

All Articles about Alternative Information Center (AIC)