A vote by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to use economic sanctions against certain companies doing business with Israel – namely those that profit from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza – has set off a quiet firestorm within the American religious community.
Jewish peace group challenges Caterpillar's Israel business by Alexa Smith, Presbyterian News Service October 11, 2004 A Jewish group has submitted a shareholders' resolution to Caterpillar Inc., arguing that the heavy machinery company may be risking its reputation by continuing to sell to the Israeli army bulldozers that are used to demolish the homes and orchards of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This is the second time that Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has aligned itself with Christian groups that oppose the ongoing use of Caterpillar equipment to commit what the international community has called human rights violations in the occupied territories, or what the shareholders' resolution describes as "the destruction of homes, land and other properties."
Nuns squeeze Caterpillar by Alexa Smith, Presbyterian News Service August 2, 2004 Article about the shareholder resolution introduced by Roman Catholic nuns and Jewish Peace activists at Caterpillar's 2004 annual shareholder meeting. The article also looks at how the Presbyterian Church (USA) is researching its policies and setting criteria to begin a selective, phased divestment of stock in Israel-related companies whose practices hinder peacemaking efforts.
Pressure grows on Caterpillar to stop sale of bulldozers to Israel by Ellis Shuman, Israel Insider June 22, 2004 A United Nations human rights investigator last week warned Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. against selling construction equipment to Israel because it "might involve complicity ... to actual and potential violations of human rights, including the right to food." Jean Ziegler, an expert on the right to food in the Geneva offices of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, sent a letter to Caterpillar CEO James Owens on May 28 complaining that "Israeli occupation forces" are "using armored bulldozers supplied by your company to destroy agricultural farms, greenhouses, ancient olive groves and agricultural fields planted with crops, as well as numerous Palestinian homes and sometimes human lives, including that of the American peace activist, Rachel Corrie." Israeli officials are concerned that Caterpillar might change its policy and refuse to sell additional D-9 and D-10 bulldozers to the IDF, Maariv reported today. The officials said the company may reconsider its policies due to the intensive, unfavorable publicity that followed publication of Ziegler's letter, the paper said.
Breakfast with Caterkillar IndyMedia UK May 14, 2004 Yesterday, we went to the Caterpillar offices near Solihull to present them with their well-deserved Homewrecker of the Year Award, and to ask the employees to take up the issue of arms sales to Israel with the company. Unfortunately, the employees were too shy to leave the building to talk to us. So this morning, we thought we'd join them for breakfast in the car park as they arrived for work...
Caterpillar faces an Intifada by Farhad Manjoo, salon.com May 12, 2004 In recent months, some critics of Israel's actions in the Palestinian territories have been pointing at another key player in the drama of Rachel Corrie's death -- the Caterpillar D9 bulldozer, the unfathomably powerful machine that is the workhorse of the Israeli military, used to demolish hundreds of homes in the Palestinian territories during the past three years. Considering the role of Caterpillar equipment in Israel's occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, some critics of Israel are asking, shouldn't we assign some responsibility for Rachel Corrie's death to the American company that manufactured the bulldozer that killed her?
Protesters Target Caterpillar Over Bulldozer Sales to Israel by Jan Dennis, Associated Press April 23, 2004 More than 300 protesters renewed demands that Caterpillar stop selling bulldozers to the Israeli military, arguing the equipment is used to destroy Palestinian homes and killed an American activist defending property in the Gaza Strip. Protesters used a wooden replica of a bulldozer to re-enact the March 2003 death of 23-year-old Rachel Corrie during a demonstration outside the heavy equipment giant's headquarters in downtown Peoria, as Caterpillar workers watched from the windows of the seven-story complex. "The image (Caterpillar) should want to have out there is that they're building, not destroying," said Craig Corrie, father of the Olympia, Wash., college student. Caterpillar officials declined to meet with Corrie, his wife Cindy and leaders of the Stop CAT Coalition, which organized the protest.
Young woman's death launches downtown protest by Monica Landeros, WHOI ABC-19 April 23, 2004 Hundreds of members of the Stop CAT Coalition protested outside of Caterpillar's Peoria headquarters and shut down the downtown for hours. “It’s a moral and legal obligation of Caterpillar to say to Israel 'We will not sell our machinery to you if you're going to continue to use it to kill people,’” says Haten Abudayyeh from the Stop CAT Coalition. The protestors also hit the streets. The Peoria Police Department shut down several blocks of downtown on the busy Friday.
Israel's use of Caterpillar equipment questioned by Mike Ramsey, Copley News Service April 15, 2004 News article from the Copley News Service reporting on successful introduction of a shareholder resolution at Caterpillar's 2004 annual shareholder meeting by the Sisters of Loretto and the Sisters of Mercy, in partnership with Jewish Voice for Peace. The measure earned support from about 4 percent of shareholders, which allows it to be reintroduced in 2005.
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