Actress Scarlett Johansson is the new heroine of Israel supporters. Ever since she appeared in a Super Bowl ad for a seltzer-maker that operates in the occupied Palestinian territories and quit the human-rights organization Oxfam to do so, she’s been embraced by rightwing supporters of Israel.
This morning at its policy conference, the Israel lobby group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) used images of Johansson to show off Israeli technology, and the crowd responded with applause.
On the main stage of the conference, an executive for the Israeli brain imaging company ElMindA draped the head of a subject– AIPAC’s campus outreach leader Winton Steward – with a high-tech carapace that looked like a hair net studded with white marbles and then flashed an image of Scarlett Johansson to register Steward’s recognition of the celebrity. There was a brief reference to the Super Bowl ad, and then the ElMindA exec flashed a series of countless images of different human faces before Steward and the audience.
Watch for Scarlett Johansson.
How many of you have seen Scarlett only once, raise your hand?
Ten times her image appeared, he explained.
The company was one of three or four spotlighted in the high-tech segment. Another imaging company, Camero, displayed radar technology it has developed with the Israeli military to visualize human beings through walls so as to get to “bad guys.” A Georgia law enforcement official appeared on stage to promote the device. Another company gives some blind people the ability to see.
Israel is involved in an “intractable conflict,” the panel’s moderator said, and the high-tech story is not getting out to the world. “There’s an Israel beyond the conflict. Israel has helped to heal and help the rest of the world.”
And Scarlett Johansson is helping.