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Monday, October 1, 2007

Action Alert: Stop Caterpillar Human Rights Abuses in Palestine

This day marks the eve of the one month anniversary of Israel's killing of Mahmoud al-Kifafi. According to the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Mahmoud al-Kifafi, aged 19, was killed by the Israeli army with a CAT bulldozer in the Gaza Strip on September 20. He is at least the 18th person to have been killed by the Israeli army with a CAT bulldozer.
The killing of Mahmoud al-Kifafi occurred during one of Israel's regular invasions of the Gaza Strip. During this invasion, Israel also razed agricultural lands, uprooted dozens of olive trees, and destroyed 13 Palestinian homes with CAT bulldozers. Israel, which is still the occupying power of the Gaza Strip despite its 2005 withdrawal, has imposed a siege on the Gaza Strip and declared it to be an "enemy entity", thereby cutting off vital human needs, resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe.
Separately, on September 17, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to proceed with the Corrie v. Caterpillar, Inc. lawsuit on the grounds that it constituted a "political question". The Corrie family, whose daughter Rachel was killed by the Israeli army with a CAT bulldozer, had filed the lawsuit seeking justice for Rachel's death and on behalf of four Palestinian families whose loved ones were killed or seriously injured due to Israel's misuse of CAT bulldozers.
In rendering its decision, the court did not pass judgment on the merits of the case; it only ruled that the issue must be addressed through the legislative and executive branches of government since CAT bulldozers are given to Israel through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program and are paid for by U.S. taxpayers through annual military aid to Israel.
That means it's up to us to demand accountability from CAT and from our government.
1. Organize a protest. Organize a protest in your community on Friday, October 19 against CAT for profiting from Israel's human rights violations of Palestinians. Protests can be held at CAT offices, dealerships, town squares, or offices of your Members of Congress. Once you arrange the logistics, be sure to post your event to our calendar by clicking here.
The US Campaign will send an organizing packet, containing posters and postcards, to each individual and group that organizes a protest and posts it to our on-line event calendar.
2. Download resources. Educate yourself and your community by downloading resources from our website.
To download a Word version of a flier that you can edit for your local protest, click here.
To download an 11X17 "CAT Free Zone" placard, click here.
To download an 11X17 "Stop Caterkiller" poster, click here.
To download a web sticker for your website or blog, click here.
For additional resources on the CAT campaign, click here.
3. Contact Members of Congress and the State Department. Take a minute to send a letter to your Members of Congress and the State Department demanding an investigation into whether Israel is violating the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts by its misuse of CAT bulldozers.

To send a letter, click here.
4.Support the CAT Campaign. Help the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation continue its work to hold Caterpillar accountable for profiting from Israel's human rights violations of Palestinians by making a generous tax-deductible contribution. For every contribution of $10 or more, we'll send you a glossy, union-made "Stop Caterkiller" poster. Donate now and we'll throw in an added poster from our historic June 10 rally in DC while supplies last.
To make a tax-deductible contribution, click here.

5. Save the Date-March 16, 2008. Next March marks the five-year anniversary of Israel's killing of U.S. peace activist Rachel Corrie with a CAT bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. Save the date and start making plans to participate in a national day of action to demand justice and accountability.
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

"Bulldozing Peace", a documentary that researches how Israel acquires Caterpillar bulldozers from the U.S. Government through its foreign aid or military aid and then converts them to war machines to demolish Palestinian homes and olive groves and build roads and walls on Palestinian lands. These activities are against the laws of the U.S.

The documentary also focuses on Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist who was killed by one of these bulldozers.

Alternate Focus is available on the Dish Network, Free Speech TV, Channel 9415, Saturdays at 8:00pm EST and on cable stations near you. Check website for details.

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