American college campuses are frequently hotbeds of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, and as the new academic year approaches, there may be pushes once more by those set on demonizing Israel. Unsurprisingly, about a year ago, the UN Human Rights Council, one of the most anti-Israel UN bodies, called to boycott companies that do business with Israel, including the tractor manufacturer Caterpillar.
The boycott against Caterpillar, orchestrated by the BDS campaign, is one of the many absurd boycotts against companies conducting business with Israel. Under the Export Administration Act of 1979, American businesses by law cannot refuse to sell their products to Israel.
The claim by anti-Israel groups is that Caterpillar tractors are used by the Israeli military to destroy Palestinian homes. The reality is this is rarely the use for such tractors, and when done, it is primarily for defensive reasons, such as to stop terrorists from using a building as a base from which to fire rockets into Israel.
While the internet is filled with sites calling for a boycott of Caterpillar, the Palestinians themselves are not abiding by this. Currently there are Caterpillar dealerships in Gaza and Ramallah. While the UN and much of the anti-Israel world tries to rally support to boycott companies such as Caterpillar, evidently the Palestinians strongly disagree with this opinion. Perhaps this is a case of “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Read the Elder of Ziyon post, “Palestinian Arabs prefer to buy Blue and White!, to learn more about the many Israeli products sold in Palestinian stores.
Contributed by Gilad Skolnick