On Sunday, November 7, Israeli authorities responded to an illegally constructed mosque in Rahat. Or, as most media outlets prefer to tell the story, “Israeli police raze[d] mosque amid protests” (CNN headline). Muslim objectors threw rocks. Israeli police responded with rubber bullets.
The human story is fraught with emotion, so this author will stick to the inanimate subject matter today—the story of the machines used in the demolition.
Israel typically uses armored Caterpillar D9s for its urban renovation projects, but it’s hard to tell what type of machine led the charge in this instance. None of the articles on the subject make explicit mention of machinery, and from the few pictures available it looks like there might have been a few tractors (obviously not D9s) and even something that looks like a Hitachi excavator.
Given the reputed efficiency of such Israeli operations, it seems like a wonderful branding and advertising opportunity for machinery companies. After all, if Caterpillar’s machines can withstand Palestinian protests and still demolish structures in impressive time, then just imagine how effective they could be in road work or mining in the Western United States.
So why do companies prefer to avoid the spotlight? …