Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CAT shareholders meet: Speak out!

The United Nations is reporting a two-fold increase in the rate of Palestinian home demolitions by the Israeli authorities this year. (1) These demolitions have razed entire villages again and again. The Bedouin village of Al-Arakib in the Negev has already been destroyed by Caterpillar bulldozers 21 times. I visited the razed village and saw myself the Caterpillar destruction machines parked in a fenced off area, ready to demolish the village once more.

If you are troubled by this, please write to Caterpillar's Board of Directors today and ask them why they are allowing their products to be used in this way.

On Wednesday at 1.30 pm Central Time, the Caterpillar Board of Directors will hold the company's annual shareholder meeting, and they've asked to receive questions in advance of that meeting. Please ask them about the use of their bulldozers by the Israeli Army.

Since 2004, Jewish Voice for Peace has been attending the Caterpillar shareholder meetings in the Chicago area to hold the company accountable for their bulldozers being used to demolish Palestinian homes. This year Caterpillar hopes to draw less attention to its human rights record. They've moved the shareholder meeting to a less accessible location-Little Rock, AK.   But you don't have to go to Little Rock to make your voice heard. You can ask your question and bring your concern online today. At the meeting, Caterpillar plans on alternating online questions with questions from the floor, so please send your question to Caterpillar today. We want to make sure that concerns about Palestinian human rights become the number one issue Caterpillar has to deal with at the meeting.

Email Caterpillar's Board  of Directors to say,
"Stop selling bulldozers for Israel's
demolition of Palestinian homes!"
Whether or not you own Caterpillar stock, click here to write Caterpillar and tell them of your concerns that a prominent U.S. company, one that even is listed in some "socially responsible" investment funds, is supplying the equipment to destroy Palestinian homes, punishing whole families and communities, and making a just peace even more difficult to achieve. Stop enabling Israel's human rights abuses! Permanently halting all sales to Israel until a just peace is reached is the right thing to do. And with the rise of the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement, it's good business sense too.

Sydney Levy,
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS: There's another way to pressure Caterpillar: by asking one of the largest pension funds in the US to divest from it. If you have not yet signed our petition to retirement giant TIAA-CREF, go here and sign:

(1) UNRWA, March 21, 2011:  Worrying increase in home demolitions