Bel Trew is a freelance reporter based in Egypt, and she’s no fan of actress Scarlett Johansson. An ambassador of humanitarian charity Oxfam International, Johansson has angered many by signing up to represent SodaStream. That company, you see, operates from an Israeli settlement in the contested West Bank, which Palestinians claim as their own.
SodaStream claims that its factory employes 550 Palestinians, who enjoy benefits equal to Israeli workers. Oxfam, on the other hand, is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which they see as illegal under international law. In the meantime, Johansson is not backing down from criticism.
It's not bandwagon jumping when I say Scarlett Johansson is a twat, she doesn't need the $£ from Soda Stream so she must support apartheid
— Very frustrated (@Arseburgers) January 26, 2014
— Lotus-Eyed Libertas (@MoonbeamMelly) January 27, 2014
— Taneem Saeed (@TanSaeed) January 27, 2014
— End the Occupation (@US_Campaign) January 27, 2014
— CODEPINK (@codepink) January 27, 2014
Oxfam are backing Scarlett Johansson's backing of the colonisation of Palestine. pic.twitter.com/sTW29g8mS2
— Palestine Lit Fest (@PalFest) January 26, 2014
Foodies, humanitarians, and Scarlett Johansson clash in search of immaculate seltzer. The politics of SodaStream: http://t.co/jgOcIoFEG2
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 27, 2014
Guilt-free seltzer … or blood bubbles? Johansson did her best to tamp down the criticism through a blog entry at the Huffington Post, which reads, in part:
While I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream, given the amount of noise surrounding that decision, I’d like to clear the air.
I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. 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.
Johansson will star in a SodaStream ad run during the Super Bowl next weekend.
Thanks for all the input. We've been in dialogue w Ms. Johansson & are considering the implications of her statement http://t.co/6iaqF23Uh5
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) January 27, 2014
(Hat tip: Patrick Poole)