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Caterpillar shareholders vote down bulldozer resolution

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Posted on Wed, Apr. 13, 2005
Caterpillar shareholders vote down bulldozer resolution

Associated Press

CHICAGO - Caterpillar Inc. shareholders on Wednesday soundly rejected a resolution that would have directed the heavy equipment manufacturer to investigate the use of its bulldozers by the Israeli army to demolish Palestinian homes.

The resolution, which the company said at its annual meeting was defeated 97 percent to 3 percent, stated that Israel has used Caterpillar equipment to destroy more than 3,000 homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 2000.

It was introduced by four Roman Catholic orders of nuns and the group Jewish Voice for Peace, who argued that the sale of company equipment for such purposes violates Caterpillar's code of business conduct.

Dozens of protesters lined the sidewalk outside before the meeting, next to a huge banner reading "Caterpillar bulldozers destroy Palestinian homes."

"Caterpillar's sale of weaponized bulldozers to the Israeli military is tantamount to selling a gun to a person you know is planning to kill someone," said Liat Weingart, co-director of Jewish Voice for Peace. "Though Caterpillar is not actually behind the wheel, they are providing the machinery as well as training and support for the Israeli military to harm civilians."

Other Jewish organizations had opposed the resolution as unfairly singling out Israel for economic pressure without holding Palestinians accountable for acts contributing to unrest in the region.

Caterpillar's board of directors urged defeat of the resolution, saying that the company has "neither the legal right nor the means to police individual use" of its equipment.

Shares in Caterpillar fell $2.79, or 3.1 percent, to close at $88.60 on the New York Stock Exchange. They are down 9.1 percent in 2005.


Caterpillar shareholders vote down bulldozer resolution
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