The Jewish Hollywood Star sparked controversial uproar after revealing her endorsement for the Israeli made selzter-maker.
American starlet Scarlett Johansson has responded to the wave of criticism leveled at her for agreeing to endorse the Israeli company SodaStream, who own a factory in the West Bank.
In a statement made to the Huffington Post, Johansson described her role as the first-ever brand ambassador for SodaStream as “building to peace.” She also made clear that despite the pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), she would not renege on her commitment to SodaStream, which will include a TV spot to be aired during the Super Bowl.
“While I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as a part of my affiliation with SodaStream, given the amount of noise surrounding that decision, I’d like to clear the air,” Johansson said in her statement to the Huffington Post.
SodaStream, a company known for making homebound seltzer machines, has its primary factory in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.
The BDS movement seized on the move by Johansson, launching a social media campaign giving the starlet a scarlet “A for Apartheid.” The BDS movement lambasted Johansson even further for her role as an Oxfam ambassador, calling the two endorsements incompatible, and coining the phrase “blood bubbles.”
The SodaStream factory in Ma’ale Adumim employs 900 Palestinian workers, and reportedly pays them Israeli wages, despite not being legally mandated to do so.
Addressing the concerns of her detractors in her statement, Johansson defended her decision, denying her actions cause any harm. “I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” said Johansson. “Soda Stream 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. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day.”
She continued: “I believe in conscious consumerism and transparency and I trust that the consumer will make their own educated choice that is right for them.”
However, Oxfam may feel differently about the actions of its ambassador. In online bio of Johansson on its website, Oxfam added a line about the starlet’s new endorsement: “Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors. However Oxfam believes that businesses 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. ”
Johansson also addressed Oxfam’s remarks in her statement. “As part of my efforts as an Ambassador for Oxfam, I have witnessed first-hand that progress is made when communities join together and work alongside one another and feel proud of the outcome of that work in the quality of their product and work environment, in the pay they bring home to their families and in the benefits they equally receive.”
Johansson concluded by saying, “I stand behind the SodaStream product and am proud of the work that I have accomplished at Oxfam.”
Up until her recent statement, the Jewish actress had remained quiet over the controversy as the internet howled. The controversy is likely to continue, with Anti-Zionists proliferating more images and memes of the actress endorsing “blood bubbles”.
View original i24News publication at: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/politics/140125-johansson-responds-to-critics-of-sodastream-endorsement