Caterpillar, one of the worlds most proponent producers of bulldozers, cranes and other heavy machinery has been removed from American pension fund giant TIAA-CREF’s Social Choice Funds due to Caterpillars involvement in the occupation of Palestine. Caterpillar machinery has been used to destroy the homes of innumerable Palestinian families as well as for the construction of the annexation wall. This is a big victory for the international BDS movement, groups such as We Divest have been lobbying TIAA-CREF since 2010 to bring about this divestment. The people of Ni’lin are particularly happy as Caterpillar vehicles were used to bring about the part of the annexation wall that now separates the farmers of Ni’lin from their agricultural lands.
– This is a great acknowledgement from the TIAA-CREF that the people of Ni’lin and all other Palestinians have been subjected to grave violations of human rights by the state of Israel, aided by companies such as Caterpillar, says Saeed Amireh with the Popular Resistance Committee of Ni’lin.
As of the first of May 2012, the capital invested by the TIAA-CREF in Caterpillar amounted to the sum of $72,943,861, today that same number is zero. Motorola and Hewlett Packard also run the risk of divestment from the Presbyterian Church in America due to their continued support of the now 45 year old occupation of Palestinian lands.
– By selling weaponized bulldozers to Israel, Caterpillar is complicit in Israel’s systematic violations of Palestinian human rights, sais Rabbi Alissa Wise, Director of Campaigns at Jewish Voice for Peace and National Coordinator of the We Divest Campaign. We’re glad to see that the socially responsible investment community appears to be recognizing this and is starting to take appropriate action.