Scarlett Johansson defends deal with Israel’s SodaStream

Scarlett Johansson as the pitchwoman for SodaStream. Credit: SodaStream Facebook page.

( Jewish-American actress Scarlett Johansson has come under fire from human rights groups for serving as spokesperson for Israeli carbonated beverage company SodaStream.

SodaStream has long been the target of pro-Palestinian groups for operating a factory in Ma’ale Adumim, which is across the Green Line east of Jerusalem. Oxfam International, a human rights group that Johansson is involved with, took issue with her SodaStream deal, saying it is “opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements” and claiming that the settlements “are illegal under international law.”

But at its facility in Ma’ale Adumim, SodaStream employs many Palestinian workers and has an on-site mosque. Also, Ma’ale Adumim is expected to be incorporated into Israel in any peace deal with the Palestinians.

“I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” Johansson said in a statement. “SodaStream 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.”

Johansson is set to appear in SodaStream’s upcoming $4 million Super Bowl ad. 

“We commend Scarlett Johansson for seeing through the deception and bigotry of the anti-Israel boycott movement that seeks to blame and punish only Israel for the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs, told “It should be clear to everyone paying attention that harming SodaStream with a boycott is not helpful to Palestinians who will loose their livelihood if the plant closes or moves. SodaStream should be supported and saluted, not harmed in any way. Scarlett is correct in recognizing that peaceful coexistence comes from working together.”

Posted on January 26, 2014 .