NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research organization, has been analyzing the misuse of development aid funds in the Israeli-Arab conflict zone by highly partisan Canadian NGOs such as KAIROS and Alternatives. According to media reports, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has rejected grant renewal applications from these NGOs. The requested government funding in the amount of $C7 million would reportedly have covered half of KAIROS’ budget; in 2007, Alternatives received $C3.9 million from the Federal Government, out of a $C4.9 million budget.
Instead of applying CIDA funds to projects in Gaza and the West Bank that promote development, create jobs, and provide basic services, KAIROS and Alternatives use government resources for divisive political advocacy that promotes conflict:
- KAIROS, which represents 11 church-groups, is a primary supporter of the anti-Israel divestment movement in Canada, and distributes documents from the Palestinian NGO Sabeel alleging “illegal and immoral behavior” and “apartheid practices.”
- KAIROS demonizes Israel through accusations of “war crimes” and “collective punishment.” This NGO also supported the Bil’in lawfare case in Canadian courts. Its “resources for education and action” include a publication that describes Zionism as an “ideology of empire, colonialism, and militarism.”
- Alternatives calls itself a political “solidarity” organization, and engages in domestic advocacy, including publication of Alternatives le Journal (distributed by Le Devoir) These frameworks are used for campaigns that create intense hostility to Israel and disseminate the Palestinian narrative (nakba).
- Alternatives supported “Israel Apartheid Week” in Montreal, and often uses Durban-type “apartheid” rhetoric, while minimizing Palestinian terror. Instead of promoting CIDA’s aid objectives, this NGO is active in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, and is a member of the radical Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP).
NGO Monitor President Prof. Gerald Steinberg said: “For too many years, Canadian taxpayer funds designated for aid were misused by KAIROS and Alternatives. They appear to do good work elsewhere, but on Arab-Israeli issues, these NGOs promote conflict and hatred. The government’s policy review serves as an important example for European government aid frameworks similar to CIDA.”