| Businesses are a tricky nut to crack for
Divest-from-Israel advocates since most large companies maintain legal
departments that, among other things, understand US anti-boycott law and are
unwilling to engage in potentially illegal activity in order to assuage a
pressure group. Unlike a school or city, a company ceasing to do business with
Israel would be directly participating in a boycott that might bring it to the
attention of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
have been most vociferous in their condemnation of Caterpillar, the US
manufacturer of tractors and other construction equipment since
Rachel Corrie, a young Washington-based activist for the
International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was killed by a Caterpillar tractor
used in the Gaza Strip to demolish buildings that were hiding tunnels used to
smuggle weapons from Egypt into Gaza.
Rather than explore their own
culpability in turning this
young student into this
enraged ideologue or reflecting on the morality of putting
such a young person into harms way, or investigating information questioning
the Palestinian's contradictory accounts of what happened to Ms. Corrie,
anti-Israel partisans have chosen instead to turn this poor girl into a martyr
and direct their rage against Caterpillar and its investors.
Caterpillar is a large company whose stock is held by numerous school
endowments and retirement funds, shares in Caterpillar have become a ticket to
invite the Divest-from-Israel movement into countless institutions that would
otherwise not seem to have a "dog in the fight" in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
So far, Caterpillar management has stood firm against being used as a
propaganda weapon by those who would lure an innocent girl to her death, but we
must continue to shine the light on those who would use the misfortune of
others to further their own ugly agenda.
Caterpillar shareholders reject Israel resolution