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Corries urge: Press Obama to end sales of Caterpillar bulldozers to Israel

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As we have noted, Caterpillar has suspended the delivery of bulldozers to Israel apparently because of the important suit that the family of Rachel Corrie, who was killed by a Caterpillar bulldozer in occupied Rafah in 2003, has brought against the Israeli government. Yesterday the Corries sent out a note saying that the Obama administration may have played a role in the suspension, and urging friends to pressure Obama to end the sale of these vehicles of oppression. Here is the petition. Here are portions of the Corries’ note:

At a State Department briefing, Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley did not deny the U.S. government has delayed the delivery, going only so far as to say that he is “not aware of any contacts between the United States Government and Caterpillar, but perhaps it’s a question to ask Caterpillar.”

We already tried that. In written communications with the US Campaign, Caterpillar refused to comment on the reports, but did not deny them.

Whatever is happening behind the scenes, one thing is clear: This represents a major, positive step in the ongoing campaign to hold Israel accountable for its misuse of Caterpillar bulldozers, which are provided at U.S. taxpayer expense as military aid (learn more by clicking here).

We have a small window of opportunity to act before pressure is brought to bear on the Obama Administration to allow the delivery of bulldozers to proceed. Here’s what you can do to make sure this happens, and to advance the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Caterpillar:

1. Sign our petition to the Obama Administration asking it to stop the delivery of Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to the Israeli military, and to investigate Israel’s violations of U.S. laws committed with Caterpillar equipment.Together, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), and Jewish Voice for Peace all intend to collect 10,000 petition signatures by next week to deliver to the Obama Administration. Sign now by clicking here. ..

4. Get TIAA-CREF to divest from Caterpillar. TIAA-CREF, one of the largest financial services in the United States, invests heavily in Caterpillar (over $250 million as of their last financial report). Sign a petition asking TIAA-CREF to divest from Caterpillar and other companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. Meanhwhile, the Rachel Corrie Foundation has submitted a paper to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review, which will review the human rights record of the United States on November 5. To read its submission, which documents how the United States has failed to uphold its human rights laws in Rachel’s case, please click here.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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