Johansson: No Regrets on Promoting SodaStream

March 16, 2014  

Film star Scarlett Johansson told the Observer that she has no regrets over her decision to promote SodaStream, a company headquartered in Israel, with a factory in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.

The actress stepped down from her role as Oxfam ambassador a month ago, when the international relief organization wrote to her criticizing her decision to sign a contract with the maker of carbonated drink machines.

Talking to the Observer ahead of the release of a new film, Johansson denied that her SodaStream deal was a mistake. “No, I stand behind that decision,” she said. “I was aware of that particular factory before I signed. And it still doesn’t seem like a problem – at least not until someone comes up with a solution to the closing of that factory and leaving all those people destitute.”

Johansson said she thinks the case against the factory was “something that’s very easily debatable…In that case, I was literally plunged into a conversation that’s way grander and larger than this one particular issue. And there’s no right side or wrong side leaning on this issue.”

Johansson apparently did not know that British opinion on the status of Judea and Samaria is so anti-Israel – or “generally more clearcut than she had found elsewhere,” as the Observer put it. “That’s one thing I’ve realized,” she said. “I’m coming into this as someone who sees that factory as a model for some sort of movement forward in a seemingly impossible situation.”

She opined that “for a non-governmental organization to be supporting something that’s supporting a political cause…something feels not right about that to me. There’s plenty of evidence that Oxfam does support and has funded a BDS [boycott, divest, sanctions] movement in the past. It’s something that can’t really be denied.” Speaking to the Observer, Oxfam denied this allegation.

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