Use this model letter as a starting point to discuss with your Members of Congress Israel's violations of Palestinian human rights with Caterpillar bulldozers. Request from your Members of Congress that they refuse Caterpillar political action committee (PAC) money because it profits from human rights violations.
If your Members of Congress agree not to take PAC money from Caterpillar, they might want to draft their own language for the letter. Be flexible and be prepared to compromise. The important thing is to send a strong signal to Caterpillar that Members of Congress are aware of their ill-gotten profits.
Mr. James W. Owens
Chair and CEO, Caterpillar, Inc.
100 NE Adams St.
Peoria, IL 61629-1425
Dear Mr. Owens,
Constituents in my Congressional district have brought to my attention evidence that the Israeli military is misusing your equipment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Israel has used your company’s equipment to demolish civilian homes, to destroy olive trees and other agricultural land, to build illegal settlements, and to construct a segregation wall on Palestinian lands, among other human rights violations.
Such actions contravene the Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the recent advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. In addition, it is possible that the sale of Caterpillar equipment to the Israeli army violates the US Arms Export Control Act and US Foreign Assistance Acts.
Caterpillar should live up to international law, basic moral principles, and your own corporate code of ethical conduct by ending all transfer of Caterpillar equipment to the Israeli army.
Until Caterpillar ceases to profit from human rights violations against Palestinians, please note that I cannot accept contributions from Caterpillar’s political action committee (PAC). In addition, I am returning $X to Caterpillar’s PAC from previous contributions it made to my campaign.
Please note that I will remain apprised of your company’s policy regarding sales and transfers to the Israeli army and that I will consider using my offices to pursue legislative and investigatory vehicles to make sure that your corporation does not profit from human rights violations in the future.