The Caterpillar from which no butterfly emerges


OK –  pub quiz time and an easy one for starters: where does Homer Simpson work? That’s right – in a nuclear plant. That’s what makes The Simpsons  such a good show. It takes something that could be stretched and chewed over and tosses it lightly away. Homer makes his living and supports his family through the nuclear industry.

Which brings us to Caterpillar. They’re a company that employs hundreds of people in Larne and Belfast. Last year it got £1.2  million in funding from InvestNI. Well, you may say, companies need subsidies sometimes – it’s worth it for the job. The catch is the Homer Simpson catch. Caterpillar is a US engineering firm and bulldozers made by Caterpillar were in action in Gaza a short time ago, and over the years has razed  thousand of Palestinian homes and farms. They’ve wrecked electricity lines, water supplies and sewerage systems. In short, they’re part of Israel’s war machine. Thanks to the work done by people in Belfast and Larne, Palestinians are suffering.

Tough one, eh?  People in Belfast and Larne need jobs. Caterpillar creates hundreds of them. Should we refuse to have anything to do with them, on the grounds that they’ve been used to terrorise the Palestinian people? Or should we avert our gaze and be glad the company’s giving ordinary people a living?Working in the nuclear plant doesn’t seem to bother Homer –  the plant is being used for positive, peaceful purposes.  The people who work for Caterpillar in Larne and Belfast might say that they just build the machines; what others do with them is entirely their affair.

The purist would say these machines are helping to make life hell for Palestinians and we should have no truck with them. But be honest: if the breadwinner in your family was working for Caterpillar, would you urge him or her to stop immediately, with all the implications that would have for the family?

My instincts tell me that making such machines, given the suffering they have helped inflict, is wrong. Just as it’s wrong to be involved in building tanks and fighter jets and missiles which the UK then sells to the highest bidder in what is euphemistically called the arms trade. If you or I were found making a home-made pistol or building a home-made bomb, we’d be in front of a judge and inside a prison cell in double-quick time. Shouldn’t the same criteria be applied here? Irish people are helping heap misery on the people of Gaza. How can we call on Israel to stop its trail of slaughter, if we’re handing them part of the machinery they need to inflict that slaughter?

In the end, you have to decide whose side you’re on. There’s no point using the excuse of the train-driver who brought Jews to Auschwitz: “It’s not me – I’m just doing my job”.

46 Responses to The Caterpillar from which no butterfly emerges

  1. Micheal August 5, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    As a person who lives in Larne and one who has acquaintances working in the Caterpillar plant here I have to say one of them isn’t happy about it. One of my Nationalist friends actually quit earlier last week because of this issue. From his own mouth “Most of them don’t care because they support Israel” which most Loyalists do so they’re happy enough working there and feel like they’re having a good solid hand in this modern day holocaust. My friend is now looking for a job because of his moral beliefs but he brought up a good point to me. He pointed out that most of these Caterpillar plants are situated in Loyalist areas where the majority of Israeli support comes from in the North. OK this could be a coincidence but you never know.

    My friend was brave enough to give up his job because of his strong beliefs but many others won’t and in my opinion that’s up to them. The next time a child is crushed by a Caterpillar Bulldozer or a house is crumbled down around someone who has nothing to do with Hamas I hope they think to themselves….did I just do that, did I facilitate that murder? because in my on mind they did.

    • Norma wilson August 5, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      “ Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

  2. Am Ghobsmacht August 5, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    I understand your point Dr C but you have to think about the effects that it would and would not have:

    1/ Would it improve the lives of the people in Palestine by closing the factory? Not a jot, they’ll set up shop elsewhere. It would be like shooting the ploughman in ‘Grapes of Wrath’; the bank’ll send another.

    2/ You know it’ll affect the people of Larne. Some might have crisis of conscience and leave as a protest, who knows.

    But if we’re to start closing places that supply hardware to potentially dubious causes then you have at a stroke wiped out a large part of Belfast’s ship building history, Shorts/Bombardier, possibly even DuPont and that other company near Derry (the weapons one?)

    Should the Republic then ban companies that ‘base’ themselves there for tax purposes if they have a questionable history?

    I think your point is ethically correct but political pressure rather than hampering the progress of subcontractors would probably yield more fruit.

    And unlike the arms trade, Caterpillar trucks are used for more than just maiming, there’s manys a rural Australian community that is grateful for them and their work in the open cast mines not to mention the other uses of earth moving machinery. It ain’t ALL bad.

    • Jude Collins August 5, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      I accept all that you say, AG – it is complicated and where you draw the line is tricky. And I did think of the fact that those bulldozers could be used for constructive work. Maybe with something like Caterpillar, which could be used for good or ill, something could be built into sales contract whereby there are uses for which it’s forbidden? As to Shorts/Bombardier – I’ve often thought how cheerfully we hear announced that a contract for such and such a missile part has been secured. Of course if you build your employment in part through an arms trade section, then you’re saying ‘I believe in killing people’. I don’t see any way round that. So some of it is ambiguous – Caterpillar – some ain’t – missile building, tanks, weapons of all kinds. You’ll get people who’ll say ‘But those are vital for our defence’. Like…Trident nuclear weapons, built to obliterate civilian populations? NOw there I do draw the line. As for building them and then storing them in the house next door – to wit, Scotland – words fail me.

  3. neill August 5, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    Jude are you sure they make Bulldozers I believe they just make gen sets which were primarily used by countries after disasters?

    In the end, you have to decide whose side you’re on. There’s no point using the excuse of the train-driver who brought Jews to Auschwitz: “It’s not me – I’m just doing my job”.

    That’s far to black and white Jude the world has never and never will work that way.

    • Jude Collins August 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      I won’t pretend to know the detail, Neill – you may well be right. But as I’ve said elsewhere, some of those suffering in Gaza seem to think Caterpillar has some answering to do. As to the train-driver to Auschwitz – that’s exactly the point. If you were the train-driver, or your father or son or neighbour or friend, would you think it fine they just drive that lil ol’ train? I doubt it.

  4. paddykool August 5, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    That’s a tough one Jude. I’m inclined to be of the “I’m not my brother’s keeper” ,on this one. Realistically if we stretched that one to its logical end we’d never buy anything made in America or with an American influence . There’d be a lot of music turned off …a lot of books unread…a lot of denim jeans unworn…a lot of films unwatched too.A lot of Apple computers switched off.
    On a personal note , I worked for many years for an American company and I was glad of the wage packet when it came to raising my family. Mind you,I was glad to get the hell out of it when my time came too.! I was glad of the job and that was the end of it.
    Simply put, if not for that company there wouldn’t be a thousand or so jobs and wages leaking back into our local economy. I know of course, there is the power of the boycott but it comes down to a choice for each of us . It’s’ one thing boycotting a specific product but really, when you sell something to someone , are you really responsible for what that person does with the thing?
    You can sell a man a spade to dig his garden with but if he decides to slap his neighbour around the head with it …are you at fault? I don’t think so , somehow.
    Now , I know we have to do something about Israel’s behaviour in Gaza, but that has to be done at government level . Most of us ,as working stiffs, haven’t got the easy choices that some one without personal responsibilities might have . A single man has not the same responsibility to a family to deal with, for example . The family man can’t willy -nilly walk away from something he doesn’t like. He has to get on with it if he wants to feed his family.
    Israel’s actions are completely over the top . They need somehow to be taught a lesson in common morality. Obviously they have already stepped over a moral line and have seen that little has been done to curtail them , so they’ve decided to push for broke .
    Putin is being allowed to do the same kind of thing .No one is standing up and pushing back hard enough.
    Common decency alone should make America take some stronger action .All we can do is try to convince our politicians that we will remember their lack of judgement when it comes to the voting booth.

  5. Séamus August 5, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    But be honest: if the breadwinner in your family was working for Caterpillar, would you urge him or her to stop immediately, with all the implications that would have for the family?


    It’s very easy to say you support a people in struggle and that you show solidarity with them when you don’t have to make any sacrifices or tough decisions.

    Think of young Mary Manning 30 years ago who took a stand against apartheid South Africa in a Dublin Dunnes store and lost her livelihood because of it. Think of the dockers and cotton mill workers in places like Liverpool 150 years ago who destroyed their own livelihoods by blockading cotton coming from the America South during the US Civil War out of their opposition to slavery, and this long before the introduction of any kind of proper social welfare system.

    Raytheon was welcomed by local politicians to Derry just as Caterpillar was welcomed by local politicians to Belfast and Larne. It got shut down by the actions of anti-war activists and we’re all the better for it.

    It’s people like these in the end who will help ensure the fall of apartheid Israel in the end.

  6. Sean August 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    What would we have the workers do? As you stated it is an American owned company, and I imagine decisions on who will or won’t be sold equipment isn’t made in Larne or Belfast. They could down tools, but I doubt you’d have enough workers who feel strongly enough about the goings-on in Palestine to but their livlihood on the line for it.

    • Jude Collins August 5, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      I think that’s a fair assessment, Sean. But what people would or would not do is not necessarily what they should or should not do…

  7. Frank August 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Not to forget that the SDLP and Sinn Fein have fully backed Caterpillar, and as they man the front lines at Demo’s for Palestine, their hypocricy in laid bare for all to see.

  8. YankeePaddy August 5, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Wow. I have a great deal of respect for you, sir, but this argument is ridiculous. It is akin to saying that the manufacturer of the brand of underwear Netanyahu wears is somehow culpable as well. The difference between a dozer and a tank or missile is that the later can ONLY be used to destroy. Sure, if you work in an arms plant you might want to inspect your conscience…but not at the dozer plant. You’d be needlessly shooting yourself in the foot if you did, so to speak.

    • Jude Collins August 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Well, YP, that’s the point I’m keen for people like you (and me) to consider. There are people in Gaza on the receiving end who seem fairly convinced the Caterpillar is being used to flatten houses. And not in a nice way. Your underwear parallel is daft.

      • YankeePaddy August 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

        Yes, sir. It is absolutely daft and yet it is a logical extension of your argument. I chose a more ridiculous example for dramatic purposes. We can come at this a different way. Let’s boil your statement t down to a premise. You seem to be saying that any and all manufacturers whose products Israel uses in their war against Palestians/Hamas are complicit in the unethical aspects of same. That premise and most derivatives thereof are logically and reasonably unsupportable. What about the oil refinery worker in Saudi? The fuel be helped make is used in that bulldozer. How about the hammer smith in Peoria, Illinois who made a sledgehammer that was used to smash down the door of a home? The clear perpetrators here is the global military industrial complex…and their human tools.

  9. Ruaidri Ua Conchobai August 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    1) Are the Caterpillar construction machines we produce here actually shipped to Israel (or do they get theirs from another location)?

    2) A range of Caterpillar plant machinery is manufactured across the world and normally used for positive purposes i.e building things not destroying them.

    3) We could rightly be accused of aiding and abetting in the misery of Palestinians if the British state missiles built here at Bombardier are being used by Israel – these weapons are built for the purpose of destroying property and lives.

  10. Norma wilson August 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    Such hypocrisy, I never once heard as much as a whisper, to go anti American, over Iraq??????
    I personally think all Catholics/ republicans/ nationalists, should give up their jobs immediately, go for it, do what your conscious tells you!
    Speaking honestly from the heart, you are all jealous of the Jews, not once is the catholic religion mentioned in the Bible.
    Shame on you’s, if you want those disgusting Hamas people to have peace, tell them to leave Israel alone, and they won’t bother them.
    Judaism has been around 672 years before Muslims, it’s not all that long ago, the Pope was sending armies there to kill them.
    So I will say it again, go to chapel, and ask God to forgive you’s all, for there is one sure thing Mary won’t.
    Now this is low, I mean snake in the grass low, but I am quite sure the record can be beaten, tut tut, I suppose the guy in Larne, will be getting made a Saint yo ho.
    You must think people came up the river in a bubble.

    • Jude Collins August 5, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      Norma – I think you must have missed that brief note I blogged about abuse. I think you’re on the yellow card with this one. Sorry.

    • YankeePaddy August 5, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Ms. Norma,

      1. The current year on the Jewish calendar is 5774. They go much farther back than the time of Christ.

      2. You are correct that “catholic” as a word was never mentioned in the bible. It means “universal”. After the death of Jesus there was only one church and it was was eventually referred to as “catholic”. The current Pope can trace his lineage all the way to the Apostle Peter. The primary schisms, of which you seem to be a child of, came many of hundreds of years later.

      I assume you have public libraries where you live?

      All the best.

    • paul August 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      Don’t pray for me Norma i don’t need it or want it from you. Whether you agree with thisarticle or not is one thing. But to suggest that any criticism of Israeli policy is anti -semitism is juts plain hypocritical and wrong. Neither Israel nor Hamas has anyright to ‘wipe the other out”. Bombing UN hospitals and schools can notbe justified under any circumstances. I would say the same about the US, Russia or any other country doing this. Doesn’t make make anti american or anti russian etc. I beleive the israeli response is wrong and over the top. I do not support Hamas. , however the Palestinians are prisoners in their own land, fenced and walled in, supplies blockaded etc. For a people that have suffered so much in their history,and who use the terms “never forget” and never again” I think in this case the Israeli’s have forgotten too easily.

      • Norma wilson August 7, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

        I dont recall saying I was going to
        Pray for you, but any way it is 23.25 hrs, so. I will say a wee quick one for you.

  11. Baldybapthebarber August 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    This is a difficult one, But i’d just like to throw in a couple of points.

    Are you sure Jude that the Caterpillar factories here actually make the bulldozers or make parts for the bulldozers? As i understand it Caterpiller NI only make diesel & gas generator sets – see here –

    Does this change the question with regards to Caterpillar NI?

    And maybe i’m being a little pedantic here but I think your train driver analogy is a little misleading given the above, for isn’t the train-driver who brought Jews to Auschwitz more like the Bulldozer Driver? And not like the factory who made the trains etc?

    I would be inclined to say that it isn’t really fair to boycott the manufacturer in this instance. They make a technology which is useful to man in the construction industry. It isn’t really fair to ask someone to consider leaving their Job because the customer of their employer uses the technology for unethical reasons. Surely that would cause all sorts of complications and why stop with Caterpillar, should we on the same logic then take action with all the tooling manufacturers which provides the tools that allows Caterpillar to build their products? It doesn’t make sense to me.

  12. Norma wilson August 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    No Yankee Paddy
    I am afraid you are wrong, and yes I am a member of a library.
    Is this the same Peter who denied Jesus thrice.
    There was no Universal church or Catholic Church, when Jesus was born.
    Jude, yellow card, red card they are immaterial to me!
    I am actually doing all you bad people a favour! Do you not know, they are coming for us Christians next, that the Muslims only want one religion.
    Why has no one mentioned what has happened to the Christians in Syria Iran Iraq?
    The Devil is doing his work, if you believe in God, as I know you all do, then you know Abraham, Isaiah, Jacob, and then the twelve tribes of Israel, that they are Gods chosen people.
    You can laugh and scoff all you want, you can and will die in your ignorance, I am only sorry, that I am not Jewish, what a fabulous race of people.

    • Jude Collins August 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Norma, you can choose to participate in any discussion and you’ll be welcome to state your views like anyone else. But I won’t post a comment that is simply name-calling or abusive. I think that’s fair enough and clear enough. And of course it doesn’t just apply to you – it applies to everyone.

    • paddykool August 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

      No Norma .We don’t all believe in god. This is not about us bitching about one side or the other either.It’s not even about taking sides in this awful conflict.I don’t give a damn whether or not they worship the bloody moon.I don’t care what they believe in .I believe that little children should not be killed by adult humans for any reason.It’s really no different than throwing a little baby against a wall in Manchester. I want the buggers to stop doing it What kind of mad god needs this kind of support from either side?Are you telling me all these people believe in a god who is a psychopath and who needs to watch them killing each other?…..No… I don’t believe in anything like that and if anyone out there does….yourself included…’s time for a major rethink.No Jew, Christian or Muslim is ever going to convince me that I have to believe anything as screwed up as a god or a devil.We can create enough violence already just on our little lonesomes…..

  13. Iolar August 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    I would suggest that YankeePaddy may need to reconsider his statement, “The difference between a dozer and a tank or a missile is that the later (sic) can ONLY be used to destroy.”

    On 16 March 2003 in Rafah, occupied Gaza, RACHAEL CORRIE (23) from Olympia Washington was opposing the bulldozing of a Palestinian home. She was clearly visible to the driver of the bulldozer. The driver dropped sand and heavy debris on her. She was pushed to the ground and the bulldozer was driven over her. She sustained fractures to her arms, legs and skull and died as a result of her injuries.

    Rachael was someone’s child. We will never know how her death impacted on the driver of the bulldozer. That is not just a matter for the driver’s conscience alone. The driver had a mandate and clear instructions to undertake the work with ruthless efficiency. Bulldozers should not be used in the willful destruction of homes and human life.

    We are in a position to view the mutilated bodies of men, women and children, slaughtered in Gaza over the past month. The previous statement should not be interpreted as a criticism of all Jews and support for Hamas. From a purely humanitarian perspective, the slaughter is wrong.

    We know, in spite of the deaths of journalists, the removal of at least one journalist and ongoing media restrictions, that there are anti-war protests taking place in Tel Aviv.

    Sayeeda Warsi, one of Mr Cameron’s senior ministers has resigned over the political and diplomatic failure that is Gaza.

    There are Palestinian Solidarity Campaigns active in Scotalnd, in England, in Ireland and in Wales. The message is simple. Apartheid was wrong in South Africa. Apartheid is wrong for Palestinians.

    • YankeePaddy August 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

      The example you provide, while horrifying in the perpetration and outcome, does not, in anyway invalidate my argument. My argument does presume that logic and reason should guide our actions, however. You construct an emotional counter-argument and while, valid in its own right, it can not be extended into what I am asserting. The argument that I am making is NOT that objects/tools, otherwise positively used in other parts of the world, can not be turned into weapons or torture devices. Those that use those types of items that way are culpable not the manufacturer.

  14. Norma wilson August 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    The land belongs to Israel, plain and simple.

  15. Perkin Warbeck August 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Caterpillar machinery has a long – and many would contend, a distinguished – involvement in matters militaristic from the tractors which hauled the Howitzers to the Front in WW ! (that neverending war which has been getting some mench of late in the media) to the yellow bulldozers being used to flatten contemporary Palestinian hovels and other dangerous buildings..

    A listed building in this part of the world is synonymous with preservation; in the lexicon of Israel is means down for demolition.

    Mention of hovels reminds one that Aldous Huxley once penned a novel called ‘Eyeless in Gaza’. The title was prompted by a quote from ‘Samson Agonistes’ by John Milton:

    ‘Promise was that I
    Should Israel from Philistine yolk deliver
    Ask for the Great Deliverer now, and find him
    Eyeless in Gaza and at the Mill with slaves’.

    The central character in the novel is a chap name of Beavis which neatly links us to those concelebrated cartoon characters, Beavis and Butthead much in the same way that Jude was prompted to mention H. Simpson. Though it must be stressed that Homer is in a different league entirely to B and B much is the way Premiership is in a d.league to the Vauxhall Conference.

    The central question raised today is a tricky one:’What is there to Larne, as it were, from other plants being closed in other places at other times due to political reaons?’. Depends, one supposes, on whether one is a hurler/hockey player on the ditch or not.

    One thing is indubitable: the caterpillars of the Sindo will be on the side of Caterpillar.. As the seanfhocal/wise old saw in the Leprechaun has it: ‘Aithnionn peist chabaiste Peist Chabaiste eile’/’It takes one caterpillar to recognise Another’.

    And of course Middle Abbey Street is a natural habitat of the caterpillar, where it is still pining around the corner from the Pillar.

    As the eminent entomologist Professor Emeritus Eyelash O’Handjob, Dame of the British Empire, once shrewdly observed to the Royal Institute of Insectologists: ‘Many speces of caterpillar thrash about violently when disturbed while other categories of caterpillar emit high-pitched shrill whistles to scare away any birds, but particularly birds of a feather, such as PIRA and their pals, the Palestinians’.

    Sure as God didn’t make little green apples and the sun don’t shine in Indianapolis listen to those cartoon caterpillars Beavis and Butthead in the Sindo next Sundaycrawl all over the enemy even as they emit their trademark mantra: ‘Fire ! Fire !’. A mantra which, curiously, is derived from the Middle-Leprechaun: Pira ! Pira !

    That’s when they’re not belching and grunting or picking their noses, whether their own or, faut de mieux, somebody else’s.

    Best leave the last word with the honey-toned Dolly Parton: ‘Larvae’s like a Butterfly’.

  16. paul August 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm #


    The God I believe in holds EVERYONE as his chosen people.

  17. giordanobruno August 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    It is hard to follow the argument to its logical conclusion. If the arms trade is wrong, is all weapons manufacture wrong. Where would the PIRA have got their weapons from to drive out the Brits?
    How do we determine who it is ok to sell arms to, if any can be sold?
    It is one thing to call for a boycott of producers of machines used in this way but quite another to suggest that people give up their jobs.
    I’m not saying I disagree in theory but in practice it would be a mess.

  18. fra hughes August 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Civil society in Palestine has called for a boycott of Caterpillar because they supply bulldozers to the IDF the Israeli Defence Force a misnomer if ever there was one . These huge machines which tower above the landscape are used to demolish the homes of Palestinians in East Jerusalem , in the occupied West Bank, in the Negev dessert and in Gaza. They have been used to make countless thousands homeless , families destitute, to destroy olive trees on olive farms that are hundreds of years old to destroy the livelihoods and economy of Palestinian people.To fill in water wells and destroy economic property .Remembering that these specially modified vehicles are listed by Israel not as engineering tools but as military hardware its hard to escape their deadly impact on the landscape and indeed their deadly impact on young Rachel Corrie god rest her.To those who place morality below a wage packet I say shame on you.How many just died in Gaza under the latest military assault ? Lets not justify excuse or ignore justice for the indigenous peoples of Palestine.The call is to Boycott Caterpillar as a company globally for being complicit in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine not just the individual branches that make the dozers!

    FACTS * Did you know, that in the the past 26 days of the Israeli operation “protective edge” on Gaza the Israeli military :
    1- Killed 1680 Palestinians, over 1100 of them are civilians
    2- Killed 330 Palestinian children
    3- killed 12 Palestinian journalists
    4- killed 8 Palestinian paramedics
    5- Destroyed 9000 homes
    6- Destroyed 60 mosques
    7- Destroyed 10 schools
    8- Destroyed 5 UN facilities
    9- Made over 100,000 Palestinians homeless
    10- Terrorized 1.8 million Palestinians
    11- Targeted Gaza’s only power plant, leaving Gaza residents with 2 hours of electricity a day.
    And there is people in this world who call such actions “self-defense” but not “terrorism” !

    And did you know the Palestinian Resistance groups :
    1- Killed over 50 Israeli occupation soldiers.
    2- killed 3 “Israeli” civilians.
    3- Slightly damaged dozen “Israeli” homes.
    And there is people in this world who call such actions “terrorism” but not “self-defense” ! – Noor Harazeen in Gaza

    • giordanobruno August 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      Are you saying as Jude seems to be that in addition to a boycott those working for Caterpillar should consider quitting their jobs?
      And does the same apply to Hewlitt Packard and the others on the list?

      • Jude Collins August 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

        I’m not telling anyone what they should do, gio. I’m raising the complex question of when someone is involved in a lethal action and when not. If you were carrying the gun for the killer, would that be wrong? If you supplied the gun? If you made part of the gun? If you let out your factory to the gun-makers? Where does the trail end? It’s complex.

        • Páid August 5, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

          Let’s go right back to the tax payer Jude, should we all stop paying our taxes as the British gov. are supplying the Israelis and our taxes here are providing the economic incentive for Catapillar to locate to here, a complex question indeed, where to start and where to stop.

          • giordanobruno August 6, 2014 at 9:46 am #

            You could easily tie yourself up in knots thinking about this.
            For myself I try to apply the principle that just because you can’t do everything it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything.
            So while I’m not going to stop paying my taxes or quit my job because my employer uses Hewlitt Packard printers, I will try to avoid products that I know are not ethically produced, though even that is a minefield.
            But if anyone is suggesting people should quit their jobs, then I think we are entitled to expect them to step up and lead by example and show us how a pure life should be led.
            Of course it is easy to pass judgement on others from behind a keyboard.

        • giordanobruno August 5, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

          It is complex and I did say you were urging people to consider their position which is how I read your piece.
          However it seems a tad disingenuous to draw a comparison with the train driver at Auschwitz and then say you are not telling people what to do. It seems fairly clear what you think they should do.
          I would not feel comfortable were I working for Caterpillar at present, but would I have the courage to quit my job,maybe with a family to support in a climate of joblessness? I don’t know.
          Would you?
          Maybe a better suggestion would be to call on the workers to put pressure on the owners through strike action or something like that. It might be more effective.

        • Chris Fogarty August 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

          Bravo Jude!

          Genocide is an abomination and has been ongoing in Palestine for more than half a century. Thanks for bringing up ethical questions as to whether Caterpillar workers ought to quit seeing that its dozers are a main weapon of destruction used by Israel.

  19. Norma wilson August 5, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    Yes, but God only appeared to the Jews! PaddyKool, I love reading your blogs more than anybody else’s, but you have disappointed me.
    Do you think I want to see any children hurt, God said, “suffer little children to come onto me”, please Paddy walk in a Jews shoes, and see what it’s like from the other side.
    You must not be getting the same facts I am receiving, Hamas hiding behind children, using any funds to build tunnels, not paying attention when the IDF gives them warnings?
    What about Mosel this week in Iraq, all the Christians killed, what about Syria, and by the way Hamas was using that footage for their propaganda?
    What was your opinion on the suicide bombers???
    I have never heard a Jew preach hate like the Imams, these people welcome death, they cherish death as much as we cherish life.
    Every day they are uncovering evidence that the Jews lived in Israel thousands of years ago, there was never a country called Palestine, and why does their own kind not help them, God knows they have plenty of money, from the black gold.
    I am a reasonable person, I have always tried to see the other persons point of view, but I am afraid in this instance, I could never agree with any of you’s .
    Some times I wish I was male, and thirty years younger, I would be a mercenary for Israel.
    Muslims are not renown for treating women well, they do not tolerate Homosexuals, they are the most in humane people on this earth.
    Gaddaffi, and his sons, Assad, to name a few.

  20. Argenta August 5, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    Are there not some contradictions in the Sinn Fein position on this?We have the D F M welcoming the Caterpillar investment in Larne and yet his party seem to be critical of the firms perceived role in Gaza.As you continually remind us, he’s on Twitter so he may clarify matters after reading your blog!

  21. Norma wilson August 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    Jurg Schwarz, you need to do a better job at studying history. I’m sure uncensored history books and internet are available in Berlin. Jews have been in the land of Judea hundreds of years before the influx of driffters from arab lands. The Roman Emperor Hadrien renamed the land to Syrea-Palaestina during his rule 117-138 ad after suppressing jewish revolt of Bar Kokhba. As punishment jews were persecuted and expelled by Romans. So, the jews didn’t steal any land from anybody. It’s a historical fact, like it or not. In 1947 by the UN resolution this land was devided into 2 states. Jews agreed, arabs didn’t. With the help of Egypt and Jordan they wanted to wipe out the jews and started a war. Too bad for them jews won and established the State of Israel. That’s how your friend ended up in a refugee camp by their own making. Tap into a history book or google it. It’s all there. As far as the present situation, hamas is accountable for the misery and poverty of gazans.We left Gaza in 2005 leaving functioning greenhouses for growing veges, fruits and flowers. What have they done with all that? They destroyed it! Instead of building a nornal life for their people hamas build terror tunnels for mass massacre of jews. This is their strategy: they fire out of UNRWA schools and hospitals into Israel with no results (thank God for Iron Dome) just to get Israel’s reaction. They want casualties. They show their dead civilians to get more Saudi and Qatar aid dollars. They do not build, they do not invent, they do not create. Deadly jihad islamization of the western civilization is their goal. What the hell are you talking about??? 9/11? Suicide bombings in Madrid, Paris, London? Beheading christians in Iraq? Muslims killing muslims in Pakistan, Syria and Sudan? Demolishing ancient church in Mossul? Or Buddha statues? Do you live your life in constant fear of being blown up on a bus or in a restaurant having dinner with your family? I live here, I live it every day. We don’t want innocent deaths. The only hope for palestinians is to abandon fanatic jihad and accept our right to exist. There is NO OTHER WAY. NO MORE SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER HOLOCAUST! WE WILL DEFEND OURSELVES!

    • Ruaidri Ua Conchobai August 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm #


      Zionist Terrorism
      As many decent Jews keep stating, STOP offending Judaism by equating it with the evil that is the Zionist state of Israel.

      Israel was founded by terrorists, ruled by terrorists and its maintained by terrorism.

      Do you deny, British authorities in Palestine once WANTED Zionist terrorists Menachen Begin the subsequent Prime Minister of Israel and others who became members of the Israeli Government?

      Jewry Opposes Zionism
      How about “civilised” Israel arresting civilised Jews protesting against the slaughter of innocent Palestinians? See evidence of the same here

      Jewry has for decades demanded an end to the evil that is Zionism; see

      Israeli General’s Son Miko Peled exposes in great detail the original and ongoing Zionist strategy to steal the whole of Palestine and wipe-out the existence of the land known as Palestine

      I join Holocaust victims Son Dr Finkelstein who’s sickened by extreme Zionists who use the “holocaust card” to deflect attention away for the evils Israeli Zionism perpetrates against Palestinians

      Are all these Jews protesting against Zionism being antisemitic?; see; see

      Palestinian Plight
      Now, I’ve some basic questions I hope you feel able and capable of directly answering. Firstly, do you or don’t you accept Israel continues to be in breach of numerous UN resolutions in relation to the land of Palestine?
      Secondly, do you deny Israel has illegally bulldozed many thousands of Palestinian homes (chasing them off their land and into walled ghetto’s such as Gaza)?
      Thirdly, what do you expect Palestinian people to do in relation to this aggressive Israeli theft and occupation of their land – should they sit quietly within their walled and blockaded Gaza prison while Israel completes its theft of the whole of Palestine?

    • Ruaidri Ua Conchobai August 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm #


      Zionist Hatred
      In response to your assertion ‘[you] have never heard a Jew preach hate’ how about this Israeli politician Ayelet Shaked advocating all Palestinian Mothers be exterminated

      How about the racist venom spewed by Zionists in Israel toward non-white (African) migrants

      Israeli soldier Eran Efrati recounts his perverse upbringing – he was raised to believe Zionism was Judaism and anyone who opposed the former were antisemitic haters

      Human Shields
      How about dealing with the irrefutable evidence of Israeli IDF using Palestinian children as “human shields”; see plus hear an IDF soldier confess to the IDF used Palestinian civilians as human shields

    • Wolfe tone August 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm #


      We are constantly told that the North Koreans people are fed lies and propaganda. That they are the most brainwashed people amongst us etc. Alas you have proved beyond doubt that the Koreans don’t own the copyright.
      I don’t know where you get the information/propaganda to justify your lust to defend the death of innocents but I don’t want to know. The wee bubble that you proclaim to defend and laud ie British royalty and white Anglo Saxon Protestantism can be easily burst and shown its true colours. In fact your mask has slipped that much it looks like you will trip over it.

      • Norma wilson August 7, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

        Wolfe Tone

        I don’t wear a mask, I am who I am, take it or leave it! If I have anything to say I say it. I was once told I was a very formidable lady. I shoot from the hip, both barrels, straight talker, bold, cheeky, and take no prisoners.

        I never talk behind backs, for I get such a thrill to say it to your face, and also to prove to myself, that I have not lost any of my grit.

        So sorry WT, hang around wait for the out come, it will be favourable for the Jews.
        Hope we can still blog with no hard feelings.
        Norma . Not Norman WASP ORIGINATED FROM FRANCE. 400 years ago

        • wolfe tone August 8, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

          No hard feelings at all Norma. However what is obvious from your regular posts on this forum is your constant defence of the IDF in its killing of civilians in Gaza etc etc. And yet you are(justifiable) constant in criticizing the IRA in its killing of civilians? If defending hypocrisy was a sport you would be a tough contender.

          The IRA were big softies compared to your heroes in the IDF it would seem as they take no sxxx from anybody…….and care little for most.

  22. Norma wilson August 6, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    NormA (n)

    Yes I am called after my Father, and yes I expect the Arabs to give back all the land Gaza, Golan Heights, and the part they gave to Egypt, it is their land.
    Sorry if this offends you, stick around, they won’t beat the Jews, screw world opinion, do what you gotta do?