Monday, June 8, 2009

Major BDS Victory as Caterpillar meeting approaches!

As the US Campaign and member organizations prepare for this week's Caterpillar shareholder meeting, we welcome news of a major victory for the movement to hold accountable corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Haaretz is reporting that the French company Veolia has announced that it will pull out of a light rail project that is planned as part of the illegal settlement infrastructure in East Jerusalem. Veolia's decision comes after sustained boycott and divestment pressure from many groups, including the French BDS movement, Dutch and British activists, and the Church of Sweden. Boycott activist Omar Barghouti announces the victory:
"In the first smashing and convincing victory of the global BDS movement in the field of corporate responsibility and ethical compliance, Veolia is reportedly abandoning the Jerusalem Light Rail project, an illegal project that aims at connecting Israeli colonies built on occupied Palestinian territory to the city of Jerusalem. As the Haaretz article...admits, the BDS campaign's success in costing Veolia some $7 billion worth of contracts is the key behind this decision by the troubled company to pull out of the project."
This is a cause for celebration! At the same time, it's a chance to redouble our own efforts at corporate accountability and BDS work in the United States. If you haven't already, visit the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation website to find out how you can let Caterpillar know that the bulldozer manufacturer should build in the United States, not destroy in Palestine.