Palestinians living near West Bank SodaStream factory urge Scarlett Johansson to end role with occupation profiteer

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 26 Comments

A network of Palestinians living near the SodaStream factory in the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in Occupied Palestine, as well as Israeli and international grassroots activists who work with them, have issued a press release today calling on Scarlett Johansson to step down as SodaStream spokesperson.

Press Release:

image002Bab al Shams Village Council (in coalition with The Jahalin Association) joins the growing chorus of human rights advocates, Palestinian civil society organizations such as the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO), the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) and other conscientious citizens of the world, calling on actress Scarlett Johansson to terminate her endorsement deal with SodaStream, whose factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim is on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

Ma’ale Adumim, like all other Israeli settlements built on occupied land, is illegal and constitutes a war crime under international law.  All companies operating in settlements directly support Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian land by paying taxes to municipal settlement governments, employing local settlers, and providing the economic infrastructure for Israel’s settlement expansion.  The settlements have always been labelled a problem for peace by successive U.S. administrations, the United Nations and peace negotiators. Recent European Union guidelines state that no settlements should benefit from European Union taxpayers’ money; President Obama has repeated that Ma’ale Adumim’s “E1 Development Plan” is a red line for his Administration.

While Johansson and company officials claim to be advancing the cause of peace and to support the two-state solution, they are in fact supporting a nearly half-century old Israeli military regime that brutally represses Palestinian rights, illegally exploits Palestinian resources, and denies millions of people the most fundamental of freedoms.  Palestinian families, in particular Bedouins, are being forcibly displaced so settlements like Ma’ale Adumim can grow. Currently, some 3,000 Bedouin face expulsion from Palestinian lands, so that the massive colony of Ma’ale Adumim can expand further.

For Palestinians to enjoy genuine and lasting economic prosperity, they require freedom from Israeli domination, and an end to occupation and colonization of their land as supported by SodaStream.  If Ms. Johansson truly wants to contribute to a more peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians, she should begin by ending her endorsement of a company that profits from Israeli human rights abuses.

“Israel has been saying it’s serious about peace for over 20 years. Those words have proved empty when you see how settlements have massively expanded in that time.  Or when you see how indigenous Palestinians have been displaced as a result of settlement expansionism,” said Bab al Shams village mayor, Jamil Barghouti. “How can you be talking peace when war crimes and colonialism are being committed under the guise of that talk? And how can someone like Scarlett Johansson be part of that deception?  She should now withdraw for the sake of her own integrity.”

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Bab al Shams Village Council (in coalition with The Jahalin Association) is a network of Palestinian popular committees, international and Israeli grassroots activists, working non-violently together to protect Palestinian rights to Jerusalem as a shared capital, with especial focus on preventing the eastern entry (the E1 area) to Jerusalem from being colonized by Ma’ale Adumim expansion.

26 Responses

  1. W.Jones
    January 30, 2014, 1:57 pm

    The village’s call to Johanssen is something for Marc Ellis to write about.

  2. just
    January 30, 2014, 6:23 pm

    Take that Birnbaum, Scarlett, and the hasbara brigade!

    The genie is out of the bottle… finally.

  3. Kathleen
    January 30, 2014, 6:24 pm

    Clearly she does not care. Personal profit and her lack of integrity trumped international law. Sure hope Oxfam speaks up again after ScarJo and SS publicly kicked them in the cajones again saying that their difference was about Oxfam’s (non existent) support for BDS. We all know this is not what the difference is about

  4. ivri
    January 30, 2014, 7:10 pm

    I don`t know. I still think that the Palestinians together with other likeminded Arabs are making a big mistake in pursuing the boycott of Israel. The point is that this sends a clear message to Israelis that the general hostile attitude from those quarters towards Israel has not changed a bit, which from an Israeli angle translates to an even stronger determination not to consider any gestures and continue as if it is an indefinite existential struggle. This later episode is another chapter in this saga.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 30, 2014, 8:38 pm

      which from an Israeli angle translates to an even stronger determination not to consider any gestures and continue as if it is an indefinite existential struggle.

      it doesn’t really matter. everyone is used to the excuses. they’ll always be some reason israel will keep doing what it’s always done. so, from that perspective, it makes perfect sense to try what’s never been done. personally, i think the carrot diet just isn’t working.

      seeing things thru the israeli angle, the options appear to be:

      1. not to consider any gestures and continue,
      2. determination not to consider any gestures and continue,
      3. strong determination not to consider any gestures and continue ,
      4. stronger determination not to consider any gestures and continue.

      anyway you look at it, they continue as if it is indefinite.. but i think maybe we should try moving forward without considering what israelis would consider wrt the boycott. i mean, after all, it’s not like israel stole palestine and got a state because they based their plans on what palestinians would considered, right? they just did it their way right? stole the land. i think one thing we can almost guarantee, nobody will treat israel the way israel treats palestinians.

      boycott. besides, isn’t it a custom in some jewish circles to shun people who step out of line? just think of it as a global shunning of israel. eventually, it’ll bring change if we stick to it. boycott.

      • just
        January 30, 2014, 8:57 pm

        exactly correct, imho Annie.

        “The point is that this sends a clear message to Israelis that the general hostile attitude from those quarters towards Israel has not changed a bit.”

        ivri– this is non- violent. Israel keeps asking ‘where is the Palestinian Gandhi’? Israel refuses to recognize the very many that are. Here you have potentially millions of people speaking with one voice– BDS! And it’s not just from “those quarters”, either. Israel has made its foul bed and has created any and all “hostility” toward it with its Occupation, disrespect for international law, and its unconscionable cruelty and depravity.

      • Citizen
        January 31, 2014, 4:56 am

        Love that shunning analogy. Israel threatened Goldstone with shunning, so time for the world to shun Israel.

    • talknic
      January 31, 2014, 1:47 am

      ivri “The point is that this sends a clear message to Israelis that the general hostile attitude from those quarters towards Israel has not changed a bit”

      Why should it? What kind of message does NOT ending the occupation send? What kind of message does the continued illegal acquisition of non-Israeli territory send? What kind of message does the continued illegal settlement of non-Israeli territory send? What kind of message does the continued illegal dispossession of Palestinians send?

      It hasn’t changed a bit since Jewish forces were in non-Israeli territory at the time Israel’s independence was proclaimed effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948 ME Time link to trumanlibrary.org

      There have been Jewish forces in occupation of other folks territories for more than 65 years.

      • Mayhem
        January 31, 2014, 7:25 am

        @talknic, come on now, the antipathy of much of the native Arab population to the Zionists was evident from the turn of the last century. That is what ivri is getting at.
        From the moment that Haj Amin el-Husseini emerged as the leading figure in Palestinian politics at the beginning of the mandate period in 1919, small groups of suicide groups, fedayeen (“one who sacrifices himself”), were organized to terrorize Jews. The first large Arab riots took place in Jerusalem in the intermediary days of Passover, April 1920. The Jewish community was facing the brunt of a fundamental Arab unwillingness to accept them in Palestine.

      • talknic
        February 1, 2014, 9:52 am

        @ Mayhem “the antipathy of much of the native Arab population to the Zionists was evident from the turn of the last century”

        A) ivri was talking about Israel. Israel didn’t exist in the early 1900’s

        B) Native populations usually do have antipathy towards those intent on colonizing their land

        From the moment that Haj Amin el-Husseini ..”

        .. was appointed by the Jewish British High Commissioner for Palestine Sir Herbert Samuel after getting LESS votes than the other contenders..

        From the moment, precisely 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) link to trumanlibrary.org what happened prior to 00:01 May 15th 1948 is irrelevant to the Internationally recognized sovereign extent of the State of Israel and its continual illegal acquisition of non-Israeli territory.

        BTW Jabotinsky & his associates were arrested after the 1920’s riots, charged with illegal possession of weapons.

    • Talkback
      January 31, 2014, 8:34 am

      I still think that the Palestinians together with other likeminded Arabs are making a big mistake in pursuing the boycott of Israel. The point is that this sends a clear message to Israelis that the general hostile attitude from those quarters towards Israel has not changed a bit, which from an Israeli angle translates to an even stronger determination not to consider any gestures and continue as if it is an indefinite existential struggle. This later episode is another chapter in this saga.

      The typical reversal of perpetrator and victim we allready know from antisemites from times when Jews had to live under occupation.

  5. kma
    January 30, 2014, 8:05 pm

    we are beating a dead horse. Palestinians don’t want to be ethnically cleansed and exterminated. how many times does it need to be said??
    Johansson is knowingly and freely helping to ethnically cleanse and exterminate them. probably because she is eligible to take their land herself and so are her relatives and probably friends. Oxfam has some bizarre reverence for an American faction that wants this. they need to sever that, in my opinion.

    • Citizen
      January 31, 2014, 9:52 am

      @ kma

      Yes. She’s eligible to take Palestinian land too since her mother is Jewish; additionally, the natural brunette has characterized herself as “a NY Jew.” I guess the SodaStream CEO has already taken the plunge, and of course, retained his American citizenship:

      (From USAToday:)

      “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”

      That’s the line that Fox has demanded that SodaStream kill, says Birnbaum. “What are they afraid of?” asks Birnbaum. “Which advertiser in America doesn’t mention a competitor? This is the kind of stuff that happens in China. I’m disappointed as an American.”

  6. Mayhem
    January 30, 2014, 10:34 pm

    Nothing being said to the Palestinian workers who make a living working at the SodaStream factory? Do they support your BDS?

    • Sumud
      January 31, 2014, 12:40 am

      Do you think they might be for Israel’s ongoing campaign of military occupation, land and resource theft and ethnic cleansing in the OPTs…?

      • Mayhem
        January 31, 2014, 1:39 am

        @Sumud, your response (avoiding my questions) is like that of the lawyer who asks the defendant, “When did you stop beating your
        wife?”
        You are entitled to your political opinions as I am to mine, however remarks like yours (and campaigns like BDS) offer no room for discussion, no basis (other than classic left wing fantasies) for reconciliation.

      • just
        January 31, 2014, 8:13 am

        Mayhem– CSM has done an article on this issue. They interviewed a couple of folks in Gaza who work at SS– they are “gratefully” employed. What are you expecting them to say when they have no alternative? Survival is priority number one — for them, life is tenuous, unpredictable, incredibly difficult, lean in every way, and dangerous under odious Occupation. SS is giving them a job, but at what terrible cost? Don’t you really think that the workers would prefer to work for a company that did not steal their land and profit from that theft and their hard work?

        link to csmonitor.com

        What does “reconciliation” look like to you? When have the zionists ever been interested in it?

      • amigo
        January 31, 2014, 9:36 am

        “You are entitled to your political opinions as I am to mine, however remarks like yours (and campaigns like BDS) offer no room for discussion,”mayhem

        You mean like this!!

        link to electronicintifada.net

        Or this !!

        “0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians,
        and over 27,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished
        by Israel since 1967″

        link to ifamericansknew.org.

        Basis for discussion???.Get lost zio maniac.

      • Sumud
        February 1, 2014, 8:28 am

        Mayhem you’re being disingenuous.

        The “lawyer” question I posed is no more or less “lawyer” than yours, which is why I posed it (duh); implicit in your question is “well if Palestinians at Sodastream want to keep their jobs then perhaps we can just ignore these _alleged_ accusations of war crimes” etc.

        Discussion: I have no doubt that there are Palestinians who work at Sodastream who want to keep their jobs and it is obvious why – Israel has been strangling the economy of the West Bank for many years now and have created desperation all round.

        I believe Sodastream pay a comparatively good wage. I read the CSM article. I just don’t believe Netanyahu’s “economic peace” + an interim agreement is an appropriate or sustainable solution. Possibly you do. Palestinians deserve the full spectrum of human rights, just like everyone else.

        And over to you: I answered your question – now let’s further “discuss” mine.

      • Sumud
        February 1, 2014, 10:08 am

        While we’re on the topic Mayhem, are you disputing that Israel is undertaking “military occupation, land and resource theft and ethnic cleansing in the OPTs…?”

        A lawyer can accuse a defendant of beating their wife – it may or may not be true.

        Israel’s behaviour (as I described it) is a matter of public record. So I don’t agree when you say what my question “is like”.

      • talknic
        February 1, 2014, 10:36 am

        @ Mayhem ” your response (avoiding my questions) is like that of the lawyer who asks the defendant, “When did you stop beating your
        wife?”

        FAIL! Chapt VI UNSC resolutions link to wp.me tell us Israel is in breach of the binding laws UN Charter and conventions emphasized & reaffirmed in those resolutions. Israel HAS illegally acquired territory by war. HAS illegally settled its citizens in non-Israeli territory. HAS illegally annexed non-Israeli territory

        Hundreds of UNSC resolutions have given Israel the opportunity to abide by the law. Israel has failed to take any of those opportunities. Preferring instead to dig itself deeper into its illegal facts on the ground hole.

        Israel possesses non-Israeli territory and as the often mis-understood adage goes, “possession is 9/10ths of the law” Criminals are convicted on possession. Their punishment is then up to the discretion of the magistrate.

        Although punishment under a Chapt VII resolution has been prevented by the US UNSC veto vote, Israel is still in breach of the law.

        “remarks like yours (and campaigns like BDS) offer no room for discussion, no basis (other than classic left wing fantasies) for reconciliation”

        What’s to discuss. Get the f*(k out of all non-Israeli territory. Take the vile illegal settlers, the goon squad and your pathetic nonsense justifications. P*ss off to Israel, live there, leave other folk alone for once. It has never been tried by the rogue state.

        Instead of adhering to the law or attempting to plea bargain by way of a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, Israel is using it to blackmail the Palestinians into relinquishing even more of the the rights they have generously offered to forgo for peace.

    • Ecru
      January 31, 2014, 3:28 am

      So the millions of Palestinians dispossessed by Jewish Israelis (I don’t say Israeli Jews since so many are from elsewhere – Russia and the USA mainly) should just accept it for the sake of a lucky few who haven’t been dispossessed by Jewish Israelis yet? That’s your point is it?

      And don’t you think the Palestinians working at SS would prefer to work in a state in which they have a say?

    • Citizen
      January 31, 2014, 5:02 am

      @ Mayhem

      Who talked to the Kapos? The ghetto dwellers? Did they support rising up? Who talked to the blacks in old S Africa? Did they support BDS? Who talked to the house colored in the antebellum South? The colored field hands? Did they support abolitionists?

  7. Citizen
    January 31, 2014, 4:48 am

    Her commercial just discussed and played on Fox’s The Five. All agreed it was a great commercial and pushed environmental cause. Dana Perino was the only one of the five regulars who (briefly) acknowledged the root underlying controversy was due to Sodastream being in a settlement.

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