Holding Israel Accountable

Earlier this week, Israeli media reported that Caterpillar is suspending the delivery of tens of D9 bulldozers – valued at $50 million – to the Israeli military.

This represents a significant step towards holding Israel accountable for its use of Caterpillar bulldozers, which are provided at U.S. taxpayer expense as military aid, to commit human rights violations. <http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=192744>

This news comes in the midst of a civil trial in Israel brought by the family of Rachel Corrie, an American student activist, who was crushed to death in 2003 by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer while nonviolently protecting a Palestinian home from demolition by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Rafah, Gaza.

To read CCR staff attorney Katherine Gallagher’s blogs from the trial last week, please click here http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=192744 and here <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vincent-warren/live-from-the-corrie-ria_b_772735.html>/>

In 2005, CCR sued Caterpillar on behalf of the Corries and four Palestinian families whose family members were killed or injured when bulldozers demolished their homes on top of them. <http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/corrie-et-al.-v.-caterpillar>

The suit, which was ultimately dismissed, charged Caterpillar with aiding and abetting war crimes and other serious human rights violations on the grounds that the company provided bulldozers to the IDF knowing they would be used unlawfully to demolish homes and endanger civilians.

Learn more about the use of Caterpillar bulldozers by Israel to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians by clicking here. <http://endtheoccupation.org/section.php?id=335>

Sign petition to stop delivery of bulldozers to Israel

Please act to halt all future deliveries of Caterpillar bulldozers to Israel. Sign a 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. <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/641/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5076>

The Rachel Corrie Foundation

On a related note, the Rachel Corrie Foundation has submitted a paper as part of the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United States, which will take place next week, documenting how the United States has failed to uphold its human rights obligations in Rachel’s case. <http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session9/US/RCF_RachelCorrieFoundation.pdf>

CCR also submitted a report  highlighting serious shortcomings in the U.S. response to corporate human rights violations, including in the case of Caterpillar.<http://ccrjustice.org/files/USUPR_CorpAcct_Final_All.pdf>

CCR will be co-hosting a panel discussion at the UPR on corporate accountability that will feature Sangina Patnaik, Rachel Corrie’s cousin. More information about this event can be found at CCR’s events page.

October 29, 2010

Annette Dickerson is Director of Education and Outreach at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. www.ccrjustice.org