(JNS.org) SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum, whose company aired a Super Bowl commercial featuring Jewish-American actress Scarlett Johansson on Sunday, said he is “very proud” of his company’s presence in Israel.
“We are very proud of our factory in Mishor Adumim,” Birnbaum said. “It is important to understand that this is an operation that employs both Israelis and Palestinians. All the workers in our company have equal rights. We call it an ‘island of peace.’”
Leading up to the Super Bowl, pro-Palestinian activists and the anti-hunger group Oxfam International criticized Johansson for serving as SodaStream’s pitch woman, prompting Johansson to end her role as a global ambassador for Oxfam. In a Facebook post on Saturday, anti-Israel activist and former Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters slammed Johansson for choosing SodaStream over Oxfam. The post by Waters, a frequent promoter of a cultural boycott of Israel, also targeted musician Neil Young, who plans to perform in Tel Aviv in July.
“Scarlett, you are undeniably cute, but if you think SodaStream is building bridges towards peace you are also undeniably not paying attention,” Waters said.
SodaStream’s Birnbaum said, “We are being attacked with an Arab boycott on our factory in the Mishor Adumim industrial park. It is an extensive boycott, at the height of which actress Scarlet Johansson made a very clear decision, choosing us over the Oxfam organization. Despite all the attempts to boycott us, we have received a whirlwind of support and sympathy.”