Multinational Monitor

APR 2003
VOL 24 No. 4


Chemical Trespass: The Chemical Body Burden and theThreat to Public Health
by Stacy Malkan

The Legacy of Lead: Pervasive Poisoning, Suspect Science and the Industry Effort to Escape Liability
by Wendy Johnson

Mercury and Bush’s Not-So-Clear Skies: The Administration Plan for More Coal Plant Mercury Emissions Over a Longer Period
by Zach Corrigan


Fighting for Asbestos Justice in Brazil
an interview with Fernanda Giannasi


Letter to the Editor

Behind the Lines

Tony Mazzocchi, Environmental Health and Justice Crusader

The Front
Southern Solidarity

The Lawrence Summers Memorial Award

Response to the Columbia Shuttle Disaster

Book Review
The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

Names In the News


Letter to the Editor

I'm writing in response to the letters of Steve Schwarz and Gary Konecky (Multinational Monitor, January/February, 2003) and to support your admirable courage in including Caterpillar as one of "The Ten Worst Corporations of 2002."

Mr. Schwarz writes, "To punish Israel for defending itself is nonsensical." Who is defending what from whom? Is the Palestinian Authority occupying or building illegal settlements in Israel? Diverting Israeli water to support them? Ripping up Israeli olive groves? Tearing down Israeli homes?

He talks about the "ultimate restraint" of the Israeli army; but how do you explain that to the more than 2,500 Palestinians who have been killed, or those who are humiliated daily at border crossings, or who suffer in Israeli prisons where torture is routine?

He talks about "terrorist-animals" (twice), but has he looked lately at the face of the armed Israeli settlers calling for the forced removal of Palestinians from the homeland they have occupied for millennia? The goal of the Sharon faction of the Zionist movement is to resettle Palestine (what they call Judea and Samaria) with Israeli Jews. None of Israel's manipulated bad faith diplomacy, whose ultimate purpose is to protect the occupation and expand the settlements, can obscure that fact.

This is not the first example of Caterpillar tractors being used to destroy housing and food sources of people in resistance to the illegal takeover of their lands. In the 1970s and early 1980s the Bureau of Land Management used Caterpillar tractors with chains running between two machines to drag Navajo reservation land in Northern Arizona, destroying acres of piÒon trees, which produce high protein nuts, a major food source for Native peoples of the region. Finally, people off the reservation complained until the practice stopped, but acres of these old trees were destroyed, just like Palestinian olive orchards are now being destroyed by the Israeli army.

Israel has one of the most powerful armies in the world, which Palestinians fight with homemade weapons and their naked bodies. Israel likes to portray itself as the victim as it daily gobbles up more Palestinian land and water and makes life increasingly unbearable for the Palestinian people, in the hope they will just give up and leave. I commend the Multinational Monitor for bringing this information to the world's attention by including Caterpillar as one of "The Ten Worst Corporations of 2002."

- Charlie Hinton
San Francisco, CA


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