While many households use SodaStream every day, very few are aware of the origin of this machine that makes sparkling water. And every since Scarlett Johansson agreed to become the face of this Israeli brand, criticism has been levelled at her, including from Oxfam. Supporters of the Palestinian cause believe SodaStream violates the rights of local workers.
Oxfam said: “While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms. Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador. 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. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”
The controversy has quickly caught fire on Twitter with photo montages of Scarlett Johansson.
The actress, however, explained in an article published by the Huffington Post: “I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream.” 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 neighbours working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. This is what happens in the Ma’ale Adumim factory every day. “
On Wednesday, Johansson’s spokesman released a statement. It read: “Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years. 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.”
In our next issue (out February 11) you can read a comprehensive interview with Scarlett Johansson, in which she explains her interest in politics. “I mean, I am politically active and I think the idea of being a public advocate is attractive, but I’m only 28 years old. I think in 25 years time who knows where my interests will lie but I will always be interested in politics for sure and I will always be interested in any new development and social activism.”