You may have seen yesterday’s news that Caterpillar has been removed from TIAA-CREF’s Social Choice accounts. This is a major step forward in the campaign to get TIAA-CREF to fully divest from Israel’s human rights abuses.
Let’s keep the pressure on to win full divestment from all occupation profiteers! Make sure the TIAA-CREF shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday, July 17 is on your calendar. We’ll be sending action details soon.
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Caterpillar Removed from TIAA-CREF’s Social Choice Funds
Victory for Pro-divestment Advocates
June 21, 2012– Pension fund giant TIAA-CREF has removed Caterpillar, Inc. from its Social Choice Funds portfolio. As of May 1, 2012, financial data posted on TIAA-CREF’s website valued Social Choice Funds shares in Caterpillar at $72,943,861. Today it is zero.
“We applaud this decision,” said Rabbi Alissa Wise, Director of Campaigns at Jewish Voice for Peace and National Coordinator of the We Divest Campaign. “It’s long past time that TIAA-CREF began living up to its motto of ‘Financial Services for the Greater Good’ when it comes to the people of Israel and Palestine.”
Since 2010, We Divest has been urging TIAA-CREF to drop Caterpillar and other companies profiting from and facilitating Israel’s 45-year-old military occupation and colonization of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.
“By selling weaponized bulldozers to Israel, Caterpillar is complicit in Israel’s systematic violations of Palestinian human rights,” said Rabbi Wise. “We’re glad to see that the socially responsible investment community appears to be recognizing this and is starting to take appropriate action.”
Caterpillar has come under increasing criticism from human rights organizations in recent years for continuing to supply bulldozers to Israel, which uses them to demolish Palestinian civilian homes and destroy crops and agricultural land in the occupied territories, and to build illegal, Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land.
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