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Caterpillar freeze and ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ honor suggest advance of boycott movement

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This is important and I’ve been sitting on it, sorry. Four points:

–Caterpillar has temporarily stopped delivering bulldozers to Israel. JPost:

Caterpillar, the company which supplies the IDF with bulldozers, has announced that it is delaying the supply of D9 bulldozers during the time that the trial of Rachel Corrie proceeds, Channel 2 reported on Monday.

–Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace interprets the news in this manner:

These are weaponized bulldozers that are used to illegally destroy homes and orchards of Palestinian families. And they are the very same bulldozers as the one that killed a 23-year-old American peace activist named Rachel Corrie seven years ago when she tried to protect the home of the Nasrallah family in Gaza.

…The news reports say that the deliveries have been suspended now because Rachel’s parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, are bringing a civil suit against the government of Israel … We take this as an indirect admission by the company that these bulldozers are being used to violate human rights and to violate the law. The Corrie story is sadly just one of thousands of stories of loss and pain. 

A suspension of the sale of bulldozers is what we have been asking Caterpillar for over seven years now. This is a great win, but this is no time to let off the pressure.

–Speaking of JVP, the group has the honor of being on the Forward’s list of the 50 leaders in the Jewish community in the last year, right there with Abe (No Soup For You) Foxman. The Forward states, neutrally:

Long active on the fringes of the Jewish world, the grass-roots, left-wing activist group Jewish Voice for Peace took significant steps toward the mainstream of the Jewish discourse this year — or perhaps the Jewish discourse took significant steps toward Jewish Voice for Peace. Led by Rebecca Vilkomerson, 38, the organization played a leading role in a handful of high-profile campaigns to oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
 
This is yet another sign that boycott and divestment are working themselves inevitably into the mainstream liberal discourse, thanks chiefly to the courage of folks like Vilkomerson. Note that J Street didn’t make the Forward’s roster. Congrats to Vilkomerson; she’s an inspiring activist and deserves the honor. Props too to Daniel Sieradski for making the list. Now what about Jerry Haber and Richard Silverstein?
 
–Oh and speaking of the throwdown between JVP and J Street over  boycott…
On November 11, there’s going to be a second performance, this time in Brooklyn, of a panel first held in June on the Upper West Side: “Jewish Perspectives on the boycott/divestment/sanctions movement.” 
On one side will be Rebecca Vilkomerson and Hannah Mermelstein, on the other Kathleen Peratis and Gil Kulick. Peratis is a board member of J Street. Kulick is affiliated with J Street, helped found Brit Tzedek, and served on the New Israel Fund, as well. The moderator is our own Adam Horowitz. 
The last time this question was aired, the church basement was jammed. I expect the Brooklyn event will be overflow.
7:30 PM 1012 Eighth Avenue (between 10th St. & 11th St.), Park Slope, Church of Gethsemane
 
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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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