Alternative Information Center


Alternative Information Center

The Alternative Information Center (AIC) is a joint Palestinian-Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO) which "engages in dissemination of information, political advocacy, grassroots activism and critical analysis of the Palestinian and Israeli societies as well as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict" (taken from the AIC Mission Statement). It was established in February 1984 by Israeli activists from the Revolutionary Communist League (previously Matzpen-Jerusalem) and Palestinian leftwing activists from the West Bank.

Main Activities

The AIC aims to promote responsible cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis based on the values of social and political justice, equality, solidarity, community involvement and respect for the national rights of the Palestinian people. The AIC sees itself as a bridge through which Palestinians and Israelis can not only meet and communicate, but also work together and promote their common goals. The AIC's main activities include numerous publications, whose intention is to offer an analysis from a critical point of view of events and occurrences in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as supporting and providing resources to movements and campaigns associated with its goals.

The AIC is the host of the Palestinian-Israeli media Group Sadaa. It employs both Israelis and Palestinians, and has offices in both western Jerusalem and the town of Beit Sahour in the West Bank.

History

Although officially founded in 1984, the AIC had already begun a year before in the form of discussions and as a partnership between Palestinian and Israeli activists. When established, it was one of Israel's very first Non Governmental Organizations and one of the first organizations to define itself as an explicitly joint Palestinian and Israeli organization, a very radical idea at the time (and, perhaps, still today). From its very beginning, the AIC was active in the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements and was very much involved in campaigns such as the (successful) one to stop the torture of the prisoner Palestinian Adnan Anans. In 1985, roughly a year after its founding, the AIC was even involved in secret negotiations between the Israeli government, the organization of Ahmad Jibril (PFLP-GC) and the Red Cross concerning the exchange of captives between Jibril's organization and Israel.

On February 17th, 1987 the Israeli police and General Security Service (GSS) raided the AIC, alleging cooperation with a terrorist organization ("The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine" headed by Dr. George Habash). The Israeli government forced the temporary closing of the AIC, and its director, Michel Warschawski, was arrested and charged with supporting a terror organization and providing services to, and the holding of material for, illegal organizations. However, the licence to publish its journal News From Within, was not rescinded, and during the first Intifada, in the enforced absence of its director, the AIC continued regular monthly publication. At this time, the AIC also began the publication of a fortnightly newssheet, The Other Front, focussing on Israeli peace and anti-occupation activity.

The subsequent landmark trial of Warschawski ended with his acquittal on 30 out of the 31 clauses stated in the indictment. However, he was found guilty of the last clause: "Turning a blind eye" on the printing of an "Instruction Manual" – a pamphlet which contained testimonies on GSS interrogations, the torture used during them and advice on how to overcome them. Warschawski was sentenced to eight months in prison with twelve months of a suspended sentence, while the AIC itself was heavily fined.

In January 1999, three principal activists from the AIC, Elias Jeraysi, Inbal Perlson and Yohanan Lorwin, were killed in a flash flood in the Judean desert.

The AIC has survived both these crises and has remained a very active organization within the Israeli and Palestinian peace camps. It has supported and become involved in campaigns and movements, and the global movement against neoliberal globalization.

Publications By the AIC

Publication Series

Arabic:

- Economy of the Occupation

English:

- Economy of the Occupation

Hebrew:

- Economy of the Occupation

Periodicals

Arabic:

- Rou’ya Ukhra ("Another Vision")

English:

- News From Within

Hebrew:

- Mitsad Sheni ("The Other Front")

Various Publications

English:

- Palestine and the Other Israel – Alternative Directory of Progressive Groups and Institutions in Israel and the Occupies Territories (1993)

- Globalisation and the Palestinian Struggle (2002)

- Cleansing and Apartheid in Jerusalem – An Alternative Guide to Jerusalem (2004)

- Ethnic Cleansing in the Negev (2003)

- Occupation in Hebron (2004)

- From Communal Strife to Global Struggle: Justice for the Palestinian People (2004)

- A Wall on the Green Line? Israel's Wall Project Under Scrutiny (2006)

- Globalisation and International Advocacy by Palestinian and Progressive Israeli Organisations: Initial Survey and Networking (2004)

- The Alternative Information Center: 20 Years of Joint Struggle (2005)

Hebrew:

- 1985 – The Renewal of the Torture Policy (1986)

- The Right of Family Reunification – The Abolishment of the Right of Residency of Partners of non-Jewish Israeli Citizens (1992)

- The Crawling Transfer – An Inquiry On the Residency Problems of the Palestinian Residents of East Jerusalem (1994)

- Creative Resistance – The Experience of the Protest Movement in Israel(1994)

- The Arab world, the Palestinians and the Israeli Occupation – A Retrospective Discussion (1994)

- Two Years after Oslo – The Peace Camp in Israel (1994)

- The Settlements 1967-1995 and How To Fight Them (1995)

- We Came To This Land – Discrimination of Palestinian Citizens in the Real Estate Policy in the State of Israel (1997)

- The Golan Heights – The Syrian Highland (1998)

- The Oriental Revolution (1999)

- The Political Activity in the Golan Heights in Relation to the Negotiations Between Syria and Israel (1999)

- The Palestinian Residency in the Mixed Cities – Demography, Education, Employment and Crime (1999)

- The Deportation of the Palestinian Residents of the South Hebron Mountain Area (2001)

- The Deportation – What Really Happened in 1948? A Palestinian Answer to the Zionist Historians and New Historians (1991)

Arabic, English and Hebrew:

- Walls and Bridges (2005)

Publications Supported by the AIC

Hebrew:

- Forbidden Reminiscences – A Collection of Essays (2001)

- Letters to a Lemon Tree (1997)

- Encounters of Memory (2000)

External links

* [http://www.alternativenews.org/ AIC Homepage]
* [http://www.ourmedianetwork.org/wiki/
]


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