Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Crusade Against Caterpillar: A JVP kind of "Victory"

JVP has made an announcement regarding Tiaa Cref. Its "Huge", they screamed "HUGE". Frankly, its hard to take them seriously- they've been caught manipulating the truth so many times.

From the very beginning, the crusade against Caterpillar was fraught with manipulation and deception. In late 2009, the UC campaign to end Israeli occupation send out an email, urging anti-Israel activists (sit down for this one) to buy Caterpillar stock.

Hello all,
If you were at our annual Organizers' Conference last September, you already know that we're asking supporters of the Stop Caterkiller campaign to each purchase one share of Caterpillar stock before the end of the year.
While it may seem odd for a group pushing for divestment to encourage purchasing Caterpillar stock, there is a method to our madness. The real point of shareholder divestment is to pressure the corporation to divest of it's activities in the area of concern. With this in mind, once you become a Caterpillar shareholder you can 1) vote in favor of our resolution at the shareholder meeting and 2) support our protest activities inside the meeting by either attending yourself or designating a proxy. The reason we would like more turnout from our supporters at the shareholder meeting is that this has been the area where we've had the most success garnering media attention. The annual shareholder meeting is Caterpillar's day in the media's sun and if we can turn the attention from Cat's finances to their activities in Israel/Palestine it is a win for our campaign.

National Organizer US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Katherine M. Fuchs went on to explain her "inside strategy"

"Three important things to keep in mind as you purchase stock and encourage friends to do the same:
Our purchasing of Cat stock should be kept quite for now. If Caterpillar learns of this strategy they may change the rules of the meeting to require more than one share for entry.
Time is of the essence. The cut-off date for shareholders receiving invitations to the meeting is fast approaching; I believe that this cut-off date is the end of the calendar year, so act now!
Let us know when you've confirmed your stock purchase so we can be in contact with you about shareholder meeting plans. You can email me at or call our office at 202-332-0994."

Ms Fuchs adds detailed instruction on just how to buy the stock (and which brokerage to use!) She reminds her followers that they can purchase one share of Caterpillar stock for approximately $58.00. As of today, one share of Caterpillar stock sells for $84.98. This gives you an idea of just how successful the Caterpillar crusade has been.

Katherine's "Inside strategy" fell flat on its face. At this time Tiaa Cref became targeted by the BDS'ers leading to yet another BDS hoax, chronicled at Divest this:

"To give you an idea of how powerful and effective the divestment project has become, they now have the ability to get companies to act on their demands four months before those demands are even made!"

By 2010, Jewish Voice for Peace was entrusted with the Caterpillar Crusade by their handlers at the US Campaign. They launched their crusade in June of 2010 in New York City, with the goal of urging Tiaa Cref to divest from 6 companies: Veolia, Elbit, Northrop Grumann, Caterpillar, Motorola and Alon USA. For Rebecca Vilkomerson, it was important to consider Tiaa-Cref divestment a long term campaign. She whined piteously "If we had a flotilla a week it can be much faster."

Two full years after JVP took the reins, what do we know? We know JVP and their allies are crowing victory all over the web, because Caterpillar no longer trades in the "Socially Conscience" Funds through Tiaa Cref. Was it a political decision? Was it economic? Did it have the least bit to do with JVP's bullying, flash mobs and petitioning? Tiaa Cref continues to hold millions of dollars of shares of Caterpillar. Thats not divestment. We also know that the other 5 companies weren't even on the drawing board.

What kind of huge victory divestment victory leaves millions invested? What kind of huge divestment victory leaves 5 out of 6 companies untouched? A JVP kind of victory.


Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

this doesn't surprise me. have you any idea how many people on the internet will still argue that egypt won the Yom Kippur war?

Anonymous said...

it was fraud
JUF calls out BDS 'lies'

Responding to reports and claims by anti-Israel groups that one of the nation's largest pension and retirement fund firms, TIAA-CREF, had divested from Caterpillar because of the company's sales to Israel, JUF has labeled the claims to be "lies."

"This ... is a big lie woven from a grain of truth," JUF said in a statement. "TIAA-CREF's Social Fund did divest yesterday from Caterpillar, but not because of anything to do with Israel. The fund relies upon another firm's Socially Responsible Investment Index, and Caterpillar was added to that company's 'divest from' roster due to some on-going labor disputes at one of its Canadian plants. TIAA-CREF still holds Caterpillar stock in its other funds."

JUF Executive Vice President Jay Tcath said the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign "is, at its core, about delegitimizing Israel, and the only way they can advance that agenda is by fabricating facts on the ground."

In a separate statement, Geri Palast, managing director of JFNA's Israel Action Network, asked "What about the facts? For one, Caterpillar doesn't sell to Israel. Second, MSCI (creator of the index) and TIAA-CREF's actions have nothing to do with Israel, Palestinians or BDS. Yesterday's press release just illustrates how far pro-BDS groups will go. They will not be encumbered by truth."

Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with Israel??? REally??? Who distorts information? Who will not be encumbered by truth?

Read the JTA article. Here's an excerpt:

"The MSCI-ESG official told JTA on Friday that what drove Caterpillar off the index was the company's decision in February to shutter a London, Ont. plant after a high-profile dispute with employees. However, the official acknowledged several factors played into the company's already relatively low rating, including the association of Caterpillar with Israeli army practices in the occupied territories."