“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse…” (Genesis 12:3)
Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson has been making waves in the news lately for not bowing to pressure to boycott Israel. Johansson, a spokesman for the Israeli based SodaStream company, has been criticized by anti-Israel advocates as supporting an apartheid state and the oppression of Palestinians in Israel.
More specifically, the humanitarian group Oxfam International, of which Johansson is affiliate with, has been pressuring Johansson to leave SodaStream since Oxfam opposes all trade from Israeli settlement. It was announced late this week that the 29 year old actress has decided to split with Oxfam citing a “fundamental difference of opinion.”
“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, divestments and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam.”
Oxfam released a statement upon Johansson’s departure from the organization, saying it was “grateful for her many contributions.”
“While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms. Johansson’s role promting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador,” the statement said. “Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.”
What is apparent from this whole controversy is that Scarlett Johansson is a friend of Israel. SodaStream announced on Thursday that it is planning on bringing its global ambassador to Israel this year.
SodaStream president Yonah Lloyd told The Jerusalem Post: “She [Johansson] has never been to Israel before. We look forward to hosting her later in the year.”
Johansson last week responded to critics saying she was a “supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine.” She added that SodaStream 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. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day.”