Scarlett Johansson Cuts Ties with Oxfam Over BDS

January 30, 2014 15:38

scarjo-sodastreamScarlett Johansson broke ties with Oxfam because of “fundamental differences” between her and the NGO on the issue of Israel boycotts.

“Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years,” the statement said. “She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam.”

Oxfam issued a statement accepting Johansson’s resignation, concluding that her support for SodaStream was “incompatible” with Oxfam’s values. Of course, that was true before she dumped Oxfam, so it leaves one to wonder how much they really believe what they say when their own interests are at stake.


Scarlett Johansson

And by drawing the line at disagreement over BDS, Johansson has essentially placed Oxfam in the BDS corner, and anyone associated with it in the future will be viewed as supporting that. Time will tell if that helps or hurts Oxfam.

While Oxfam will certainly miss Johansson’s fundraising abilities, the move may come as a relief for the European faction of the organization, which was reportedly in a major riff the US branch over how to handle the matter.

Meanhwhile, Algemeiner rounds up reactions from Jewish groups to Johansson’s announcement.

Elder of Ziyon looks The Forward article on SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum, particularly the section on SodaStream’s Arab workers.

This SodaStream “controversy” was manufactured out of whole cloth by people with an anti-Israel, not a pro-Palestinian, agenda.

It is backfiring on them, as the world sees that the people obsessed over SodaStream don’t care one bit about real live Palestinians.

The Arabs who work for SodaStream make it clear whose side they are on. And their actions and words show just how much the anti-Israel crowd lies.

William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection announces phase 2 of the pushback against academic boycott of Israel. Appearing on a radio show, he said:

The boycott is discrimination on the basis of national origin. While they don’t boycott all Israeli academics, they only boycott Israeli academics, and that’s national origin discrimination.

And we’re going to be, you know it hasn’t really been publicly announced ’till now, but we’re going to be going around the country, and wherever they meet, we’re going to insist that universities and that municipalities apply their local anti-discrimination laws to these events. That if they’re going to hold an event that’s going to discriminate on the basis of national origin, we want the laws enforced as to them just as they would be to any other group.

So it’s going to be an active year, like I mentioned Legal Insurrection tends to take a fairly active approach to issues, we don’t just write about them, we actually pursue them, and we’re going to be pursuing them for the coming months and maybe the coming years.”

Israeli minister, Yuval Steinitz, says a bad deal that will harm Israel’s security will do more economic harm than boycotts would. He was responding to comments from Yair Lapid, who said a failure to reach an agreement with the Palestinians will hurt Israel’s economy.

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  1. Sodastream employs both Palestinian and Israeli workers and says its plant offers a model of peaceful cooperation. Seems these people would rather they be unemployed.

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  2. Over 500 Palestinians are able to earn three times as much as the average Palestinian worker—and even more than Israel’s own minimum wage.

    One worker told NPR: “It’s an excellent place to work. It provides a good salary and they treat us very well. At SodaStream, they do not discriminate between Arabs, Jews, or any ethnic group.”

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