Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – From Bulldozers to Hummus

Caterpillar is withholding a $50 million shipment of bulldozers to the Israeli military during the civil trial brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie. Corrie was an U.S. activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer during a nonviolent protest in 2003. This choice reflects a small part of the ever-expanding campaign to hold the Israeli military accountable for misuse of aid provided by U.S. taxpayers. In addition, the Rachel Corrie Foundation has submitted a paper to the U.N.’s Universal Periodic Review documenting how the United States has failed to uphold its human rights laws in Corrie’s case.

You can get involved by signing a petition to President Obama: Help us stop the delivery of Caterpillar bulldozers to the Israeli military. Another petition is aimed at TIAA-CREF, a major investor in Caterpillar. It calls on TIAA-CREF to divest from companies that are profiteering from the Israeli occupation. If you are interested in organizing a local BDS campaign, you can get a free informational packet here.

Philadelphia Gets Creative
Some WILPF members are turning to imaginative, direct action to get the word out about Israel. The Philly BDS has kicked off its boycott of Sabra and Tribe brand hummus with a very enthusiastic and creative guerilla demonstration at a local Fresh Grocer store. Philly BDS, a coalition of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian, and Arab organizations, is boycotting Sabra and Tribe for their ties to the military-industrial bulwarks of the Israeli occupation. Sabra is part-owned by Strauss Group, an Israeli corporation which supports the Israeli Defense Forces, and Tribe is owned by Osem Group, an Israeli corporation which supports the Jewish National Fund, an essential partner of the Israeli government and army. 

As a member of the Philly BDS, Mendal Polish, said, “This campaign marks a new and exciting era of Philadelphia’s involvement in the growing global BDS movement, which is building strong support amongst labor unions, NGOs, religious organizations, universities, grocery stores, and individuals worldwide.”

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