BDS movement to Oxfam: Dump Johansson as rep

The Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement’s national committee called on Oxfam to end its relationship with actress Scarlett Johansson because of her role as spokesperson for the Israeli company SodaStream and “her vocal support for illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.”

SodaStream, which manufactures home soda makers and has a factory in the West Bank, signed Johansson to be its first global brand ambassador. The Jewish actress will appear in a television ad for the company set to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2.

SodaStream employs Israeli and Palestinian workers at its factory in the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, about eight miles from Jerusalem.

Johansson defended SodaStream and her involvement with the company in a statement released Jan. 24 on the Huffington Post. “I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” she wrote. “SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights.”

Oxfam said it is “considering the implications of her new statement and what it means for Ms. Johansson’s role as an Oxfam global ambassador.” — jta