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Help Stop Delivery of Caterpillar Bulldozers to Israel

October 29, 2010

(This Action Alert is re-posted from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.)

Earlier this week, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported that Caterpillar is delaying the delivery of tens of D9 bulldozers—valued at $50 million—to the Israeli military. The report speculated that this “sounds like an American military sanction.” Read an article in the Jerusalem Post about this report by clicking here.

This news comes in the midst of a civil trial in Israel brought by Cindy and Craig Corrie, of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, a US Campaign member group. The Corries’ daughter Rachel was killed by the Israeli military with a weaponized Caterpillar D9 bulldozer, as she nonviolently tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in the occupied Gaza Strip in March 2003. 

News reports have stated that Caterpillar will not deliver bulldozers to the Israeli military during the Corrie trial. For updates on the trial, please click here.

(On a related note, the Rachel Corrie Foundation has submitted a paper to the UN Universal Periodic Review, which will review the human rights record of the United States on November 5. To read its submission, which documents how the United States has failed to uphold its human rights laws in Rachel’s case, please click here.) 

To be honest, we’re not exactly sure what’s going on behind the scenes. In written communications with the US Campaign, Caterpillar refused to comment on the reports, but did not deny them.

At yesterday’s State Department briefing, Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley did not deny the U.S. government has delayed the delivery, going only so far as to say that he is “not aware of any contacts between the United States Government and Caterpillar, but perhaps it’s a question to ask Caterpillar.” Yes, the US Campaign had already tried that… to no avail. 

Whatever is happening, one thing is clear: This represents a major, positive step in our ongoing campaign to hold Israel accountable for its misuse of Caterpillar bulldozers, which are provided at U.S. taxpayer expense as military aid.

Learn more about how Israel misuses Caterpillar bulldozers to commit human rights abuses of Palestinians by clicking here. 

We have a small window of opportunity to act before pressure is brought to bear on the Obama Administration to allow the delivery of bulldozers to proceed. Here’s what you can do to make sure that the United States does not allow the delivery of these Caterpillar bulldozers to Israel, and to advance our boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Caterpillar:

1. Sign our petition to the Obama Administration asking it to stop the delivery of Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to the Israeli military, and to investigate Israel’s violations of U.S. laws committed with Caterpillar equipment. 

We and other organizations, such as the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), and Jewish Voice for Peace, are hoping to collect 10,000 petition signatures by next week to deliver to the Obama Administration. Sign now by clicking here.

2. If you belong to an organization, then please have it endorse our organizational letter to the Obama Administration. We will be accepting organizational endorsements of the letter until 6 pm (EST) Wednesday, November 3. Read and endorse the letter (organizations only) by clicking here.

3. Sign up for a packet to organize a local BDS campaign against Caterpillar in your community by clicking here.

4. Get TIAA-CREF to divest from Caterpillar. TIAA-CREF, one of the largest financial services in the United States, invests heavily in Caterpillar (over $250 million as of their last financial report). Sign a petition asking TIAA-CREF to divest from Caterpillar and other companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.


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