She isn’t a pol, strictly speaking, but maybe she should be if the acting thing doesn’t pan out. Actress Scarlett Johansson has been a promoter/ad gal for SodaStream, the Israeli company that operates in the West Bank. SodaStream is under fire from the anti-Israel crowd, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which wants to boycott Israeli goods, academics and more. Like most of what the BDS movement does, its actions against SodaStream would hurt the Palestinians.
SodaStream hires about 500 Palestinians at wages far higher than other employers. Like a number of factories in the West Bank, Palestinians and Jews work together. This plainly cannot go on! Johansson would have none of this. Not only did she stick by SodaStream but she broke off ties with the aid group Oxfam, a leader in the BDS movement and backer of projects by other phony NGOs that seek to delegitimize the Jewish state. Johansson declared, “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.”
SodaStream’s CEO David Birnbaum responded to the flap: “I’m getting encouragement from her that we should stay the course, and keep on doing the right thing and helping people. She is not only a superhero in her movies, she is a superhero in real life.”
For standing up for the actual interests of Palestinians and Jews, resisting the BDS bullies and for risking the ire of the anti-Israel left, Johansson deserves praise and support. SodaStream deserves praise as well, and a bump in sales.