January 31, 2014 – New York – AJC applauds Scarlett
Johansson for her resignation as Oxfam International ambassador. The
humanitarian aid group criticized the award-winning actress for teaming up with
an Israeli company, SodaStream, as its spokesperson. A SodaStream TV ad featuring Johansson is
slated to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday, but already has gone viral on
“Bravo to Ms. Johansson for her principled stance against
critics of Israel and support of those who not only seek peace, but right now
are working to better relations between Israelis and Palestinians,” said AJC Executive
Director David Harris. SodaStream employs hundreds of Palestinians in its main
factory in the Maale Adumim Industrial Zone outside Jerusalem, and has been
lauded for fostering an atmosphere of workplace respect and dignity.
Johansson, who represented Oxfam for eight years, said she is
“a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a
democratic Israel and Palestine.” She also called SodaStream "a bridge to
peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each
other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights."
SodaStream has attracted criticism from leaders and supporters
of the so-called Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that, at its
core, represents a challenge to Israel’s very legitimacy as a sovereign nation.