Thursday, December 18, 2014

Caterpillar: Corporate Complicity

Boycott Caterpillar for Complicity with the Occupation

Caterpillar, Inc's  own "Living by the Code" of  so called "integrity, excellence, teamwork, and commitment in order to make the world a better place to live" is seriously challenged by daily destruction of Palestinian agricultural land, Palestinian home demolitions and human deaths the Israeli military performs using Caterpillar  D-9 bulldozers in Palestine.

Middle East director of Human Rights Watch, Sarah Leah, believes Caterpillar betrays its stated values when it sells Israel bulldozers that in return illegally destroy Palestinian homes, agricultural land, uproot olive trees and demolish roads,  and destroy electricity and sewage lines. She states that Caterpillar is complicit in human rights abuses in Palestine because it pushes Palestinians into a cycle of poverty and dependency when it destroys their source of livelihood.

In 1967 B’Tselem recorded the entire neighborhood of Hawashin was leveled using Caterpillar’s D-9 bulldozers in Operation Defensive Shield. In 2004 John Dugard, a United Nations Special Rapporteur, witnessed D-9 bullbozers dig up 50% of roads in Gaza, and destroy 40 miles of water and sewage lines in Rafah. Overall, in the last four years 25000 homes in Gaza have been demolished using D-9 bulldozers

During the second Intifada in the 2000s Israeli military forces adapted a military strategy known as the pressure cooker. This strategy is used when a targeted Palestinian seeks refuge in a building and refuses to come out. In this situation, Israeli officials use Caterpillar’s D-9 to shake the building and then gradually peel off the wall until ultimately destroying the building and burying the victims underneath the rubble. This strategy is based on an extrajudicial system of execution where the targeted Palestinians are deemed criminals under the Israeli system of governance because all legitimate and lawful resistance to Israeli occupation is considered unlawful. Please see more here:

In an ironic twist, Israel has begun a campaign against Caterpillar Inc., for supplying Iran with equipment. In the enclosed advertisement Israel has compared supplying Iran with material akin to assisting them in the construction of the Iranian nuclear program. The image of the billboard is here:

Rachel Corrie, a U.S. citizen and activist, is an example of the harm Caterpillar’s D-9 has on human life in Palestine. In an attempt to try to prevent Israeli officials from demolishing a Palestinian home Rachel had sand dumped over her and then run over by the D-9. The potential energy from this one life that has been cut short is clearly seen in this tribute to her:
(Please see comments for up-dates on the Rachel Corrie case.)

In a response to Human Rights Watch letter Caterpillar, Inc., Caterpillar's CEO James Owen commented that the company “did not have the practical ability or legal right to determine how our products are used after they are sold.” This type of head-in-the sand approach by Caterpillar’s CEO ignores its own company’s Code of Worldwide Business Conduct on “it is doing well by doing good around the world” and “that their success should contribute to the quality of life and prosperity of the community. You can read a letter here:

In 2003 the United Nations passed the United Nations Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights. In this guideline the United Nations have set an obstacle for companies to engage or benefit from violations of human rights or humanitarian law.

In acknowledgement of this resolution,TIAA-CREF, a pension fund giant, has removed Caterpillar, Inc. from its portfolio. In the past shares were estimated at $72,943.861 and today it is an estimated 0. Friends Fiduciary divested $900,000 worth of shares in Caterpillar because they were uncomfortable defending the position of Caterpillar. Both companies have stepped up to their responsibilities to enhance the greater good of the community as a whole and obviously Caterpillar had yet to come to realize with their continued partnership with the Israeli military. The following article verifies that TIAA-CREF no longer sees the advantages in investing in the misery of other people: . Also see:

The Presbyterian Church has taken it a step further by divesting from three companies that are profiting from Israeli policies in occupied Palestine. Boycotting from Motorola, Hewlett Packard and Caterpillar according to representatives from the Presbyterian Church will put pressure on the Israeli government to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict:

It is up to Earth’s citizens to drive the message to Caterpillar’s CEO James Owen that his company bears the responsibility of the terrible effects the D-9 bulldozers are creating in Palestine. Palestinians are being held hostage to a cycle of despair and hopelessness not due to any natural disaster but due to circumstance created by Israel politicians and their policies, and the companies that profit from them.


The level of destruction Israel's Caterpillar D-9 bulldozers cause can be seen here:

More analysis on the disadvantages of using home demolitions as a form of collective punishment:


Quick Action!  E-mail Caterpillar, Inc., at: and tell them what you think about their collaboration with the occupation.


Boycott Caterpillar  Christmas Meme:

Walk Out On the Occupation Cat Boot Meme:


Boycott for Peace!


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  1. How long does it take the Israelis to use at CAT to demolish a Palestinian home? About 5 minutes.

    Video linked below was shot by OCHA, this rough cut shows one of two demolitions that took place on 20 January in the Area C village of Ar Rifa’iyya, in the southern West Bank.

    It took the family about three years to complete this house, building it in stages as resources allowed.

    10 Palestinians were left homeless that day in Ar Rifa'iyya, including 6 children.

    Background: Area C, over 60% of the occupied West Bank, remains under the near full control of Israel. A restrictive planning and zoning regime, which makes it very difficult for Palestinians to obtain permission from the Israeli authorities to build, is applied in Area C. As a result, many Palestinians have little option but to build without a permit and risk demolitions such as the one shown here.
    Highlight and right click the link to open the video.

  2. Rachel Corrie's family loses wrongful death appeal in Israel's supreme court:

    This story is 3 years old, but still as true today: "Israeli inquiry into Rachel Corrie death insufficient, US ambassador tells family. US government does not believe military inquiry was 'thorough, credible and transparent', as family await verdict in civil suit."

    Statement from Corrie family in response to the Israeli Supreme Court’s Dismissal of Appeal in Wrongful Death of Rachel Corrie:

    To open articles and the statemement, highlight the URLs and then right click.

  3. The anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death is March 16. Here is a facebook shareable meme from If Americans Only Knew: