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Deconstructing Scarlett Johansson’s statement on SodaStream

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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“To be an active member of the community, to be a responsible citizen and to engage politically have always been part of my awareness and part of my life.”
Scarlett Johansson, before SodaStream became part of her life

“If you already have the spotlight shining on you, it’s great to direct that toward a cause you believe in and that you can stand behind. It’s nice to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice.”
Scarlett Johansson, before she got paid to be the voice of SodaStream

“I’m not here to be diplomatic … All causes worth fighting for are going to be controversial.”
Scarlett Johansson, speaking on causes she is not paid to fight for

Scarlett Johansson has finally issued a statement in response to criticisms over her new role as “global ambassador” for the Israeli settlement–produced SodaStream.

Yet her statement, at 259 words, does not directly address any of the criticisms against her. And though she expresses pride in being an Oxfam ambassador, she does not acknowledge the recent statement made by Oxfam concerning SodaStream, that

businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law … We have made our concerns known to Ms. Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues.

So how does Johansson respond? Let’s break it down:

While I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream, given the amount of noise surrounding that decision, I’d like to clear the air.

She begins by referring to criticism directed at her and SodaStream as mere “noise.” Presumably this “noise” includes the “dialogue” with Johansson that Oxfam says it has been engaged in.

I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine.

There’s a term for the kind of “economic cooperation and social interaction” that Johansson is thinking about. It’s called fair trade. Sweatshops are not fair trade. Maquiladoras are not fair trade. And as I shall explain below, SodaStream’s settlement factory is not fair trade.

SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine …

Here Johansson employs a slogan promoted by SodaStream public relations: “building bridges.”

Normally SodaStream markets itself through slogans such as “Set the bubbles free” or “Simple. Soda. Smart.” It also portrays itself as “guilt free”—being a supposedly healthier alternative to Coca-Cola and Pepsi (although water is healthier than all three) and more environmentally sound (it outrageously claims to have “saved the world from” 4 billion bottles.)

But in response to criticisms against its illegal settlement factory, SodaStream began employing the slogan “building bridges,” which is constantly evoked by its CEO David Birnbaum whenever the issue of boycott, exploitation, and Palestinian land theft is brought up.

So now not only is SodaStream saving the world from diabetes and environmental destruction, it is also bringing peace to the Middle East.

… supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma‘ale Adumim factory every working day.

Contrary to Johansson’s depiction of neighbors “working alongside each other,” the reality of Ma‘ale Adumim is much different. The nearly 37,000 Israeli citizens who live outside of Israel’s borders in Ma‘ale Adumim are almost entirely Jewish. Meanwhile, the Palestinian employees of the SodaStream factory are shipped in to Ma‘ale Adumim’s industrial zone and do not interact with the Israeli residents.

Originally lured by Israeli financial incentives, SodaStream (at the time, Soda Club) established its “principle manufacturing facility” outside of the Israel border in Area C, an area that constitutes approximately 61% of the West Bank.

Although 150,000 Palestinians live in Area C, more than 99% of the land is closed to Palestinian development, while 68% or more is reserved for illegal Israeli settlement use and expansion—a policy enforced by Israeli soldiers and militarized bulldozers.

According to numerous World Bank reports, the chief impediment to Palestinian economic growth is Israeli restrictions over Area C, which have “constrained growth, investment and consequently job creation.”

Because of these restrictions, Palestinians must resort to working in Israeli-owned “industrial parks”— located on Palestinian land, but ultimately serving Israeli industry. Although SodaStream boasts that its factory—located in the Mishor Adumim industrial park in the illegal settlement of Ma‘ale Adumim—provides Palestinian employment, its very existence as part of the Israeli settlement regime is what prevents Palestinian self-sufficiency and economic development—essentially preventing a viable Palestinian future, while guaranteeing a captive labor force.

SodaStream pretends to be the solution to a problem it has helped to create, and from which it profits by exploiting land and labor.

Mishor Adumim industrial park in the illegal settlement of Ma‘ale Adumim is Scarlett Johansson’s peace plan for the Middle East.

Mishor Adumim industrial park in the illegal settlement of Ma‘ale Adumim is Scarlett Johansson’s peace plan for the Middle East.

In a PR video to counter the boycott campaign, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum claims that he maintains the West Bank factory out of an “obligation” to the workers—as if it were a Goodwill store, existing merely to provide jobs. Birnbaum further claims that “the easiest thing for me to do would be to shut down this facility,” but instead his goal is to “build bridges.”

Yet in filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, SodaStream claims that leaving the West Bank would constitute a “risk factor” for the company, which “may divert the attention of management, require the expenditure of significant capital resources and … may limit certain tax benefits.”

From the very start, Mishor Adumim was not intended to benefit Palestinians. The mayor of Ma‘ale Adumim, Benny Kashriel, has stated that he wants his settlement “to be a legal part of the land of Israel, but to be economically independent of Jerusalem … That will be accomplished thanks to Mishor Adumim.”

Kashriel has also stated that “Ma‘aleh Adumim was established to break Palestinian contiguity …  [I]f we weren’t here, Palestinians could connect their villages and close off the roads. Ma‘aleh Adumim necessarily cuts the West Bank in two.”

Nevertheless, Johansson manages to use her praise of SodaStream as a segue into Oxfam:

As part of my efforts as an Ambassador for Oxfam, I have witnessed first-hand that progress is made when communities join together and work alongside one another and feel proud of the outcome of that work in the quality of their product and work environment, in the pay they bring home to their families and in the benefits they equally receive.

In other words, SodaStream is like Oxfam—only publicly traded. And the solution to the poverty that Johansson witnessed in her Oxfam-sponsored trips to South Asia and East Africa is the construction of illegal SodaStream factories in those communities—after placing their lands under military occupation, displacing their homes, and preventing them from controlling their own economic development.

Scarlett Johansson in Kenya: “This would make a great SodaStream factory.”

Scarlett Johansson in Kenya: “This would make a great SodaStream factory.”

To be clear, the role of Oxfam “global ambassadors” is not to advise on policy but rather to promote fundraising efforts. They are flown to impoverished countries for photo opportunities and to promote a feel-good vibe that brings in the dollars. Scarlett Johansson happens to have the highest profile of Oxfam’s “ambassadors.” In 2008, a single 20-minute date with Johansson, auctioned off, netted Oxfam £20,000. Oxfam has so far decided that Johansson is too financially valuable to drop, despite her embarrassments to the organization.

I believe in conscious consumerism and transparency and I trust that the consumer will make their own educated choice that is right for them.

It is nice that Johansson trusts the consumer to make the right decisions. However, that is not what SodaStream is paying her for with its “multi-year partnership.” Paid celebrity endorsements are not designed to empower or educate consumers.

Furthermore, the issue is not about consumers “mak[ing] their own educated choice that is right for them.” For SodaStream, Palestinians in the West Bank are the labor force, not the target market. What is “right” for the consumers is not what is right for the laborers who manufacture the product. Consumers may have a choice, but the Palestinians do not.

 “Say, do you know that SodaStream is hiring?”

“Say, do you know that SodaStream is hiring?”

And despite Johansson’s belief in “transparency,” we will not find the SodaStream “global ambassador” questioning her sponsor’s deceptive use of the “Made in Israel” label for items produced in the occupied West Bank.

I stand behind the SodaStream product and am proud of the work that I have accomplished at Oxfam as an Ambassador for over 8 years. Even though it is a side effect of representing SodaStream, I am happy that light is being shed on this issue in hopes that a greater number of voices will contribute to the conversation of a peaceful two state solution in the near future.

Recall that at the beginning of her statement, Johansson referred to criticism of her SodaStream endorsement as “noise.” By the end of her short statement, she condescendingly portrays the same criticism as a “conversation” for peace that she is proud to have contributed to with her poor decisions.

After she issued her statement, Oxfam appended its initial response to the controversy with the following:

We have been engaged in dialogue with Scarlett Johansson and she has now expressed her position in a statement, including stressing her pride in her past work with Oxfam. Oxfam is now considering the implications her new statement and what it means for Ms Johansson’s role as an Oxfam global ambassador.

Scarlett Johansson initially described her partnership with SodaStream as a “no-brainer,” which in a way is true. Taking money for endorsements may not require much thought, but taking a stand does.

The question now is whether Oxfam can stay true to its principles enough to compel Johansson to break her ties with SodaStream or else break its ties with Johansson.

Phan Nguyen
About Phan Nguyen

Phan Nguyen lives in New York and has a Twitter account: @Phan_N

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79 Responses

  1. Marco
    January 25, 2014, 3:58 pm

    Off topic, but more evidence that Mark Kleiman is a pretty despicable Zionist:

    “Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller – who has gotten his share of crap in the past from people who think that support for Israel requires hatred for Palestinians – reports on a speech at UCLA by Omar Barghouti, one of the big machers in the anti-Israel Boycott, Diversture, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. (Here’s another account of the same speech.) According to both accounts, Barghouti proclaimed that there is no such thing as a “Jewish people.” (Ironically, or perhaps deliberately, this echoes the line that used to be popular among the Greater Israel crowd – and still may be, for all I know – denying the peoplehood of Palestinian Arabs.)”

    Hear that? It may “still be, for all I know” the claim of Zionists that there are no Palestinian people?

    How can he support a supposed Jewish state without knowing the elementary fact that Israelis continuously deny Palestinian nationhood in word and deed and ridicule the notion that Palestinians are anything other than Arabs.

  2. Ellen
    January 25, 2014, 4:02 pm

    Oxfam has so far decided that Johansson is too financially valuable to drop, despite her embarrassments to the organization.

    So far Oxfam comes across as responsive and professional. But Scarlett’s public and most fluffy and disingenuous statement made clear she is Soda’s girl.

    So if they do not part ways, no one can take Oxfam’s work seriously. And they will be toast, as Scarlett brings them down with her. I cannot imagine they will allow that to happen.

    And if they do, there are other less profile, but deserving organizations and groups doing similar work. maybe as an example.

  3. Justpassingby
    January 25, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Didnt know scarlett was jewish, that could be why she got into sodastream and its propaganda, because this is propaganda that could have been written by netanyahu himself.

    If we want change, all people need to contact Oxfam, just go to, select Contact and email your views.

    • Citizen
      January 25, 2014, 6:10 pm

      Well she’s like Obama, half Jewish as he is half white, but each choses to self-identity, he with being black, she with being “a NY Jew.” In USA, it’s not PC to identity with the white and goy part of the US population, which is just, most of it demographically.

  4. Blownaway
    January 25, 2014, 4:13 pm

    Her PR people and Soda Streams PR people wrote her a hasbara statement. She’s so naive to think that the people who have taken offense are stupid and gullible to believe that nonsense. The people holding her accountable are not the sheeple. We know the story better than she ever will. There were people who tried to whitewash apartheid as good for the blacks of South Africa. I’m sure she would have been arguing that slaves had three hots and a cot as a big benefit

  5. judithbell
    January 25, 2014, 4:19 pm

    What are OXFAM’s principles. For the past 3 years they have had their ambassadors attend the Dubai Film Festival for an event to promote their charity.

    Who were the labourers that staffed this event? What type of society is the UAE from a human rights perspective Here is just some of the 2012 State Department Report:

    “The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven semiautonomous
    emirates with a resident population of approximately 8.5 million, of whom an
    estimated 11.5 percent are citizens. ”

    “The three most significant human rights problems were arbitrary arrests,
    incommunicado detentions, and lengthy pretrial detentions; limitations on citizens’
    civil liberties (including the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association);
    and citizens’ inability to change their government.
    Other human rights problems included reports of police and prison guard
    brutality. ”

    “Women and noncitizens faced legal and societal discrimination.
    Trafficking in persons continued, as did discrimination against persons with disabilities. Legal and societal discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS
    and based on sexual orientation and sexual identity remained a problem. The
    government restricted worker rights, including the rights of foreign workers.
    Forced labor was a problem, although the government took steps to combat it.
    Mistreatment of foreign domestic servants and other migrant workers,
    including sexual abuse, remained a problem.””

    And that’s only up to page 2 of a 40 page report which ends describing that due to their conditions, there have been a number of suicides of foreign workers.”

    Here is the link -

    What are the principles of OXFAM? We are upset because we have a position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but we have no trouble partying and promoting our charity where it is possible the server who gave us our dinner had her passport confiscated and in a few hours will be forced to perform sexual services on the maitre d’?

    • Cliff
      January 25, 2014, 7:30 pm

      I agree JudyB – Scarlett is a pro-apartheid/pro-Jewish nationalist as well as doubly a hypocrite for being a Zionist and a member of Oxfam!

    • mcohen
      January 25, 2014, 9:31 pm

      judithbell says:
      January 25, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      good point,whats more charites are used as a cover for intelligence services

      here are a few

      3. Oxfam, like several other charities, has been accused of being a front for the UK security service MI6.

      “In the early 1970s, the Tamil Tigers began establishing training camps and secret arms caches under the cover of a chain of Refugee and Rehabilitation Farms of the Gandhian Society.

      “Funds for the farms came from Oxfam, one of the most powerful and secretive British intelligence organizations acting under non-governmental organization cover…

      “John Glover, a British feature writer, wrote to the Western Mail in Wales about the ongoing and future training programs for Tamil youth by British mercenaries.

      “A band of mercenary soldiers recruited in South Wales is training a Tamil army to fight for a separate state in Sri Lanka.

      “About 20 mercenaries were signed up after a meeting in Cardiff and have spent the last two months in southern India preparing a secret army to fight the majority Sinhalas, in the cause of a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka,” he said…

      more info about save the children

      2. On 25 September 2012, Save the Children produced what appears to be a piece of propaganda for the CIA.

      The charity has released Untold Atrocities, a collection of alleged ‘first-hand accounts’ from children and parents allegedly receiving help from Save the Children after fleeing Syria.

      “The six-year-old son of an anti-government activist is abducted, then starved and beaten to death. The new report by the UK charity Save the Children documents these and other alleged atrocities.”

      Save the Children has been refused permission to enter Syria.

      Save the Children is on the ground on Syria’s borders.

      Justin Forsyth (left) with Andrew Mitchell (Andrew Mitchell ‘plebs’ comment)

      Justin Forsyth became chief executive of Save the Children in July 2012.

      Forsyth is a former adviser to Tony Blair.

      He is also a former communications director to Gordon Brown.

      The former boss of Save the Children was Jasmine Whitbread, who previously worked for Oxfam.

      anyway guys keep up the good work keep on drawing attention to these causes

      • stephenjones
        January 26, 2014, 10:14 am

        I would avoid racist/antisemite Lyndon LaRouche as a source of information.

      • lysias
        January 26, 2014, 5:52 pm

        Disreputable sources are sometimes the only sources that dare to report accusations that later turn out to be true. All that mcohen said is that Oxfam has been accused of being a front for MI6. Whether or not it is in fact a front (I have no idea), the citation of LaRouche shows that in any case the accusation has been made.

        I am really tired of people on Daily Kos complaining whenever somebody cites a right-wing source, without any consideration of whether what that source says is true or not.l

  6. just
    January 25, 2014, 4:20 pm

    Great article, Phan.

    I hope that she and Oxfam read this. I trust that this supporter of apartheid CAN read.

    “Taking money for endorsements may not require much thought, but taking a stand does.


    (love the last 2 pictures and their captions!)

  7. flyod
    January 25, 2014, 4:31 pm

    great report. don’t know if the numbers are there to take her down though. my guess is she will weather the storm. scarlett has a nice look about her and a cool name. you would want her celebrity on your side

  8. ToivoS
    January 25, 2014, 5:25 pm

    Scarlet, her of limited intelligence, should choose her words more carefully: The partnership between me and SodaStream is a no brainer.

    Easy for her to say.

    • Denis
      January 25, 2014, 8:43 pm

      That is so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes: grammatically mangling a sentence about having no brains. People who make their living being directed on what to say and how to say it are masters at extemporaneously demonstrating their single-digit IQs.

      Me and SODA, we’re a real team alright.

      • eljay
        January 25, 2014, 9:48 pm

        >> ScarJo: The partnership between me and SodaStream is a no brainer.
        >> Denis: That is so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes: grammatically mangling a sentence about having no brains.

        I’m missing something here. How is that sentence of hers grammatically mangled?

        (If you’re referring to the bit about “me and SodaStream”, it is grammatically correct.)

      • lysias
        January 26, 2014, 5:54 pm

        Even if she had said “between SodaStream and I”, which is technically grammatically incorrrect, it is such a common mistake that complaining about it would amount to nitpicking.

      • eljay
        January 26, 2014, 6:38 pm

        >> Even if she had said “between SodaStream and I”, which is technically grammatically incorrrect, it is such a common mistake …

        Sometimes, I think it’s worse than a mistake – I think it’s grammatical laziness and sloppiness. And it bugs me (along with, for example, “may I help who’s next?” and “the thing is is that…”).

        >> … that complaining about it would amount to nitpicking.

        I may not have picked that particular nit, but I suspect Grammar Master RoHa might have. ;-)

      • lysias
        January 27, 2014, 2:45 pm

        @eljay. But that isn’t what she said. She didn’t make that mistake.

      • ziusudra
        January 26, 2014, 4:35 am

        Greetings Denis,
        Please be informed that we in the US use the object pronoun more than the subject like in other Euro languages. Both are correct.

      • eljay
        January 27, 2014, 2:53 pm

        >> @eljay. But that isn’t what she said. She didn’t make that mistake.

        I know. :-) My reply was directed at your hypothetical (“Even if she had said … it is such a common mistake that complaining about it would amount to nitpicking.”)

  9. MahaneYehude1
    January 25, 2014, 5:27 pm

    After we had the “Sharon Festival” we have now the “Scarlett Festival” but not even one post about Shulamit Aloni, former chairman of Meretz party, former minister and Knesset member and a human rights activist who died at age 86. I believe Aloni doesn’t deserve post in MW since it is hard to write about Israeli politician which her CV doesn’t contain any event that can be used to attack Israel.

    • Cliff
      January 25, 2014, 7:31 pm

      Yea, Kahane – because it’s just not possible that MW is run by human beings who have lives other than to make 100% sure they fit your rigorous regimen of intellectual consistency (which you no doubt apply to IsraHell as well).

    • jon s
      jon s
      January 26, 2014, 1:00 am

      I support a boycott of settlement products, and would like to see Sodastream move out of the West Bank ( like Barkan wines, which moved out of the Barkan industrial zone in the WB and relocated to Hulda).
      Nevertheless, I don’t ignore the fact that if that happens many Palestinian families will lose their livelihood. It’s an issue which should be addressed.

      MahaneYehude1: I’ll take you up and pay tribute to Shulamit Aloni, a huge figure in the struggle for human rights and civil rights and peace. She really made a difference.
      May she rest in peace.

      • Shmuel
        January 26, 2014, 3:20 am


        Barkan did move its operations out of the Barkan industrial zone, but still owns vineyards in the Golan Heights (Avnei Eitan, Eliad and Sha’al) and the West Bank (Dolev). Source: Who Profits.

        It is good that you are concerned with the direct impact closure of the Mishor Adumim plant would have on Palestinian families (so am I), but since you support a boycott of all settlement products, I presume you have already taken this factor into account and come to the conclusion that the occupation itself has a far greater negative impact (including economic) on Palestinian families.

        Regarding Shulamit Aloni, I don’t need any “challenges” to pay tribute to her, and have done so in a number of my comments in the past. She was a great woman who had a huge influence on me personally.

    • The Hasbara Buster
      The Hasbara Buster
      January 26, 2014, 8:25 am


      I believe Aloni doesn’t deserve post in MW since it is hard to write about Israeli politician which her CV doesn’t contain any event that can be used to attack Israel.

      I assume you’re aware that Aloni was among the first to compare Israel’s behavior in the West Bank to Apartheid. I’m glad to see that you’re comfortable enough with that analogy to demand that homage be paid to her in MW.

      • MahaneYehude1
        January 26, 2014, 9:59 am

        Hi Hasbara Buster,

        Thanks for the information. Since you start to read about Aloni’s CV, I appreciate if you take the opportunity and write more about her and pay her homage.

      • seafoid
        January 26, 2014, 10:49 am

        Dear Mahanes

        What is happening to Israel now between the business elite going to Davos to plead with the moron leadership about peace and Scarlett Clueless in danger of drawing such much needed light onto the Augean Stables of YESHA reminds me of this classic 1978 Gaelic football clip

        Paddy Cullen , the Dublin goalie, was off his line, the defender handed the ball to his opponent, the opponent saw the opportunity and he took it . Bang. Game over

        Journalist Con Houlihan nailed it . “Paddy dashed back to his goal like a woman who smells a cake burning … ‘”

        May you enjoy the consequences of 47 years of continually doing the wrong thing.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      January 26, 2014, 7:19 pm

      Mahaneyehude1- I agree. The fact that MW did not comment on Aloni’s death is telling. It tells us that Phil never heard of Shulamit Aloni until after her career was over and probably heard of her son who has written for this website, before he ever heard of his more famous mother. Phil had zero attachment to Israel before the Iraq war of 2003 and therefore there was no reason for him to hear about Aloni and therefore no attachment was formed and the history that includes Aloni is not his history nor does he know it and further he shrugs about those who care about that history disappearing.

      My own feelings towards Aloni are mixed, even though I have drifted to her position over the years. I recall that when Begin was elected in 77 he mocked Aloni’s party’s poor showing and the absence (due to lost seats in the election) of one of her buddies from the party known as Ratz. At the time I got a kick out of Begin’s sarcasm and mockery, but in fact now I feel that Aloni was right and Begin was wrong and the settlement movement that received such a boost from Begin was a severe mistake.

      • just
        January 26, 2014, 7:57 pm

        MY and YF– I have been aware of Aloni for a long time. I read the piece by Gideon Levy and enjoyed it– here’s part of it:

        “Shulamit Aloni was the first lady of Israel, the first lady of the remains of its liberalism and openness. She took part in shaping the state, but was one of the few figures in its history to do so other than by means of rivers of blood. Not a celebrated general with a chestful of medals, not the “exterminator of terror,” neither conqueror nor settler, yet still an Israeli hero – a civilian hero, for a change.

        She was controversial – Golda Meir despised her at the start of her career, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef at the end – but no one disputed her honesty, determination or courage. Here was a woman, an Israeli leader, the controversy around whom revolved not wars, but rather around civil rights, the separation of state and religion, minority rights and social justice, all of them rare issues in Israel.

        Aloni was the founding mother of them all: She invented Israeli enlightenment. She was the first, inspiring others and pointing the way. She did not always succeed, knowing more than a few painful failures, and late in life she became more extreme, railing at many things that she herself had helped to create. I would needle her, “You built this all,” to which she would respond indignantly, “It didn’t turn out the way we planned.” ”

        I read only one comment this morning and it was less than graceful or grateful……..there is still caca being spewed about this deceased lady there by those who see her as an enemy of Israel. Perhaps you folks should go ‘speak’ to your fellow countrymen.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      January 26, 2014, 7:48 pm

      Nonsense, ingrate. Aloni is old news. She’s someone who hasn’t been relevant for 20 years or more. More importantly, whatever positive things that can be said for her, there is much to criticize, most notably the fact that she was one of the gun weilding terrorists who initiated the theft of Palestine from its rightful owners back in ’47-48 to create this evil, fascist state that exists now.

      But even if we put that aside, the fact is that to the extent that her personal opinions leaned towards the decent, she never commanded a majority or anywhere near it, of the Jews in Occupied Palestine. The zionists in the zionist entity rejected — wholesale — the humanity that was in her opinions and, instead, have enacted some of the most evil policies that any state has enacted in the modern age.

      • MahaneYehude1
        January 27, 2014, 10:30 am

        @Woody Tanaka;

        she was one of the gun weilding (wielding) terrorists

        As always, you only try to find the “positive” things about us. Aloni wasn’t terrorist but freedom fighter. She fought for the freedom of Israel and defended it from the aggressors who attacked us in order to annihilate the Jewish state.

        The Zionists in the Zionist entity rejected — wholesale — the humanity that was in her opinions and, instead, have enacted some of the most evil policies that any state has enacted in the modern age.

        Indeed, Aloni is not relevant in politics for 20 years but she was among the first people that changed the attitude of Israelis to variety of issues such as IP conflict, the future of the OPT, the attitude toward gays and lesbians, assistance for people with disabilities and many human right issues. Shimon Peres said yesterday “She left the world, but left us with her world (legacy).”

      • Sumud
        January 27, 2014, 11:23 am

        She fought for the freedom of Israel and defended it from the aggressors who attacked us in order to annihilate the Jewish state.

        Mahane – please specify which of the Arab armies invaded the Israeli partition under UN181 and when they did so in 1948 and 1949. Perhaps you can also point to the resulting UN SC resolution(s) condemning these aggressive acts you describe?

        There’s a big difference between what actually happened (several Arab state armies entered the Palestinian partition coming to the defence of Palestinians) and “aggressors who attacked us in order to annihilate the Jewish state”.

        Why are you lying?

      • MahaneYehude1
        January 27, 2014, 2:45 pm


        Why are you lying?

        Sumud, I read your comment to giladg and learned that you don’t feel comfortable with insulting language. The same do I. When you say to a person that he is lying, you have to bring proofs to debunk his arguments. Please, show me one formal document that states that the Arab armies intended to stay in the future Palestinian territories in order to protect the Palestinians. I can bring many documents and Arab leader statements that they intended to annihilate the Jewish states. They didn’t succeed to do it since they had poor armed armies and since we succeeded to defend our territories and remove the war to the future Palestinian territories. I recommend you to read several researches done by honest historians like Gelber (Gelber Yoav, Palestine 1948: War, Escape and the Emergence of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, Sussex Academic Press, Brighton & Portland 2001) and learn that the Arab states had plans to invade Israel and cut it in the middle. Objections to those plans by Arabs leaders were done only because they knew their real poor power, not because they recognize the Jewish state. Please, read more on 1948 war and learn that the Arab armies attacked many Jewish towns that were supposed to be part of the Jewish state. Your argument is one of the major distortions I know about Israel war of independence.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 27, 2014, 12:00 pm

        Amazing, potato-man, that you went from “I am not Nakba denial and don’t want others deny it.” to correcting typos in just a few short months. You need to put your lessons down on paper and you’ll earn millions by peddlying your secrets to gaining English fluency FAST!!! (Lesson one: be more than one person, all with varying levels of fluency in the language…)

        “Aloni wasn’t terrorist but freedom fighter.”

        She fought for the creation of a Judeo-supremacist state that was racist in its ideology and genocidal in its tactics. That’s not fighting for freedom, that’s fighting to put the hell-black cloak of zionism over the lives of all the Palestinians. That’s being a terrorist.

        “defended it from the aggressors who attacked us in order to annihilate the Jewish state.”

        HA! You people were the agressors. After the zionists had been ranging far and wide ethnically cleansing non-Jews so that you could make your ethno-religiously Apartheid state, the Arab states marched to stop a genocide. A little too little and a little too late to destroy the zio state and replace it with one for all of the people of the region, much to the misfortune of the world.

        “the first people that changed the attitude of Israelis”

        And you people are still Nakba-denying, ethnic-cleansing-loving fascists, so she was a complete failure. What needs more be said about her?

      • MahaneYehude1
        January 28, 2014, 11:06 am


        Amazing, potato-man, that you went from “I am not Nakba denial and don’t want others deny it.”

        Never in my life, I didn’t pay so much for a small mistake I ever did.

        For the rest of your comment: it seems to me that I won’t convince you and you won’t convince me. We are not arguing about facts but about points of views which are different.

  10. kma
    January 25, 2014, 5:54 pm

    “…supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma‘ale Adumim factory every working day.”

    um, not only is this false, but doesn’t she know that the occupiers can VOTE, and the occupied CAN’T? someone commented that she is Jewish – if that’s true, she KNOWS this because she can also choose to vote in Israel. I thought she was just naive, but she KNOWS this. all her comments are flimsy avoidances, and it’s because she KNOWS.
    I think she cleared the air, all right.

    when I hear the “bridges” sound bites, all I can think of settler bypass roads.
    Oxfam can’t seriously want whatever money she raises badly enough to put up with an “ambassador” who publicly presents apartheid as “working together”.

    p.s. what does she do for 20 minutes for that much money?

  11. Sumud
    January 25, 2014, 6:49 pm

    My emphasis:

    … supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma‘ale Adumim factory every working day.


    Illegal Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank live under 2 separate legal systems, ie. apartheid.

    I wonder, is Johansson aware of this or is she playing dumb?

    • ToivoS
      January 25, 2014, 6:52 pm

      There is a third option — she is just not playing but is really dumb.

      • seafoid
        January 26, 2014, 10:01 am

  12. Kathleen
    January 25, 2014, 9:21 pm

    Johannson calling the concerns of human rights activist “noise” said it all. A sharp slur from a multi millionaire now making who knows how much off of apartheid.

    Scarlett Jo “I am happy that light is being shed on this issue in hopes that a greater number of voices will contribute to the conversation of a peaceful two state solution in the near future.”

    Supporting, advertising for Soda Stream is clearly interfering in a two state solution. Scarlett is clearly for a one state solution through her support for Soda Stream.

    Time will only tell whether Oxfam will stand by their publicly stated human rights stances and support for International laws in regard to illegal settlements. I am betting Scarlett will step down as an Oxfam ambassador soon after the Superbowl ads. Ambassador for occupation or Ambassador for Oxfam…a choice needs to be made..and Scarlett will go for being the Ambassador of the occupation and the money

  13. crypticvalentin
    January 25, 2014, 10:19 pm

    a big question is:how much is she getting from Sodastream?..often the simple reason people do things is simply, $$$..

  14. Citizen
    January 25, 2014, 11:38 pm

    I just watched Huckabee tell his adoring tv audience that Sodastream was a perfect example of people working together, with the same wage, for the common good, a model for peaceful co-existence. In the background was the Oxfam quote that it thought the settlements were illegal under international lawn and furthered poverty and oppression of the Palestinians, and so Oxfam was having a chat with Scarlett. Amazing how he read that quote, and then ignored it except to say Sodastream was a great place to work if you were a Palestinian as pay was better than elsewhere available and it was equal pay; he never mentioned the occupation or continued land grabbing, etc. The audience clapped and their faces lit up with adoring happiness, as if they were in the presence of a veritable Socrates. How dumb does one have to be to not notice this discrepancy? The failure by Huckabee to address the rest of the Oxfam quote Huckabee read? Maybe it’s just ignorance? If the latter, people like Huckabee are obviously not interested in enlightening their audience. I guess they count on the fact that half the population is below average IQ? Reminds me of that quote from Barnum & Baily circus honcho.

    • Sibiriak
      January 26, 2014, 1:12 am


      I just watched Huckabee tell his adoring tv audience that Sodastream was a perfect example of people working together, with the same wage, for the common good, a model for peaceful co-existence.

      The idea of “economic peace” is a key element in the thinking of Israeli political elites.

      “Netanyahu: Economics, not politics, is the key to peace” (Nov. 20, 2008 )

      Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu told the closing plenary of the United Jewish Communities General Assembly Wednesday that the peace process needs to focus on economic issues and not political disagreements.

      “Netanyahu’s opening gambit: A special body on ‘economic peace'” (2009)

      The formation of an administrative body that will be responsible for Israel’s economic peace policies was one of the recommendations put forth by Netanyahu’s “100 days” staff of senior advisers, which is headed by Likud MK Yuval Steinitz.


      The notion of “economic peace” was originally advocated by Moshe Dayan (foreign minister from 1977 to 1980), who sought to satisfy Palestinian economic needs so that they would forfeit their political rights.

      • piotr
        January 26, 2014, 7:56 am

        After all, an ante bellum cotton plantation was a perfect example too.

  15. annie
    January 25, 2014, 11:58 pm

    Johansson initially described her partnership with SodaStream as a “no-brainer,” which in a way is true.

    lol. phan, excellent as usual!

  16. seafoid
    January 26, 2014, 2:30 am

    I imagine Sodasettler wrote the statement. This has all the qualities of a great media controversy.

    Famous person + eyebrow + hypocrisy

    Step 1
    Peasants draw attention to the situation

    Step 2. PTB (powers that be ) dismiss attention as piffle

    Step 3 Peasants gain media traction. Third parties (eg Oxfam) roped in. PTB and Third party hope this will just go away

    Step 4 PTB issue an Obama style statement saying Godblessyou peasants we love apple pie and moms too and we are all on the same page.

    Step 5a That is the end of it
    Step 5b The story spirals out of control and the PTB are exposed as the slimeballs they really are.

    (YESHA really does not want to.go to step 5b)

  17. giladg
    January 26, 2014, 5:33 am

    Better Oxfam stays out of politics and concentrates on areas it is more effective in.

  18. puppies
    January 26, 2014, 6:10 am

    But Oxfam is about politics. Especially when, as shown in the movie, people militarily occupied, spoliated and dispossessed and left without means are so forced to work for their enemy without full coverage of labor laws and at the mercy of the military, unable even to obtain their back pay and now forced to perform like so many trained monkeys for a propaganda movie that exploits even their religious practices.
    Watching that movie strengthens one in the resolution to boycott the bastards’ asses out.

    • giladg
      January 26, 2014, 8:34 am

      Looks like nothing is going to convince you of anything puppy. You would prefer they go hungry. How are things in your ivory tower? Had your daily espresso yet? Oxfam is about alleviating poverty and you may have noticed that the workers in the factory have been lifted out of poverty. But what do you care. Would you rather those same workers become terrorists because they cannot find jobs? Don’t answer this question, please, I know what your answer will be. By your account every person out of a job in the Middle East is because of Israeli policy.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 26, 2014, 10:40 am

        ” Would you rather those same workers become terrorists because they cannot find jobs?”

        No, there are more options than working for the devil in a sweatshop or becoming a terrorist. How about you pull all of the zios back behind the green line and let the Palestinians develop their own economy? Oh, but then you couldn’t torture and oppress them, and since that seems to be the #1 goal of the zio in life, that’ll never happen….

      • giladg
        January 27, 2014, 2:09 am

        Tell that to all those in Jordan who are looking for better jobs and cannot find them. Types like you Woody are heavy on criticism and light on real world solutions. Of course, Jordan’s economic woes are because of Israel.

      • Citizen
        January 27, 2014, 5:06 am

        @ giladg
        You still haven’t given us a good reason why the Israeli settlers and troops are in Palestine. How is the occupation and on-going settler expansion legal and just activity? Why can’t the Palestinians who fled what is now Israel out of sheer terror come home?

      • Sumud
        January 26, 2014, 11:41 am

        giladg your comment to (and about) me a few days ago is obviously in breach of the MW comments policy:

        Care to offer an explanation before I raise it with site admins?

      • seafoid
        January 26, 2014, 12:04 pm


        Go for it.
        He has nothing else to say

      • giladg
        January 26, 2014, 12:40 pm

        “goy” = someone who will do damage to a Jew for no other reason apart from that fact that the person is Jewish and identifies as being Jewish. In case you are wondering, by my definition, Jews can also be goys as confirmed by some of their comments on this website and action taken, like supporting the Turkish anti-Semitic, Muslim extremist lead flotilla to Gaza.

      • shachalnur
        January 26, 2014, 4:20 pm


        “Goyim were born only to serve us.Without that ,they have no place in the world-only to serve the People of Israel….Why are Goyim needed?They will work,they will plow ,they will reap.We will sit like an effendi and eat.That’s why Goyim were created.”

        That’s Ovadia Josef(z”l),by the way,an authority in certain religious and ideological circles.

        And that’s why calling someone “a goy who has been killing Jews for 2000 years”,is disgusting ,especially coming from your mouth.

      • just
        January 26, 2014, 4:29 pm

        “like supporting the Turkish anti-Semitic, Muslim extremist lead flotilla to Gaza.”

        that does it! By your racist and lying statement, it’s abundantly clear that you support “Israel Coast Commandos” terrorism and murders of aid workers, in INTERNATIONAL WATERS. You also manage to dishonor the dead.


      • shachalnur
        January 26, 2014, 3:10 pm

        Hmmm,that’s strange.

        I commented a few sentences on the obvious Hasbara rubbish of mr. giladg and it got moderated,not sure why,but the above disgusting statement to you by the same person was OK.

      • puppies
        January 26, 2014, 1:19 pm

        Gigglad – “You would prefer they go hungry.”
        No, I’d prefer to have them get back their land and tan the ass of sadists like you, personally, who not only enjoy their theft and murders but have the nerve to gloat.
        Yes, every person in Palestine is a victim of your theft of both land and sovereignty and it still is a hanging offence. And who are you calling “terrorist”, you murderer?

  19. Egbert
    January 26, 2014, 6:44 am

    “Yet her statement, at 259 words, does not directly address any of the criticisms against her.”

    Is anyone surprised? She is a bought-and-paid-for Hasbarist after all. Given that she is an actress, she will be experienced in learning scripts and acting the part.

  20. piotr
    January 26, 2014, 7:25 am

    “There’s a term for the kind of “economic cooperation and social interaction” that Johansson is thinking about. It’s called fair trade.”

    Hm. In my mother tongue there is another term, actually an expression, “negocjacje dupy z batem”, which sounds much snappier then word-for-word translation “negotiations of a whip with an arse”. A typical printed usage is in descriptions of soccer matches with lopsided result”, but in readers’ comments it is also used in references to “Middle East Peace Process”. Actually, instead of “negotiations” people also use “dialog”, “conversations” etc.

  21. NickJOCW
    January 26, 2014, 7:56 am

    This has really only just broken and an organisation like Oxfam will need time to respond. My guess is she won’t be doing any promotional appearances for them again. Sodastream is a hard-nosed, profit motivated outfit with an eye on every cent so I don’t see her staying long there either.

    Sodastream does not sell their CO2 canisters to consumers, but lends them and expressly limits how they can be used in their User License Certificate. These mechanisms effectively elevate the cost of refilling a tank to 10 to 20 times the going market rate.

    Let’s hope for her sake she learns it’s not enough to be feather-brained.

    • Walid
      January 26, 2014, 8:21 am

      Nick, Oxfam has already responded; see my post on the other Oxfam thread.

      • NickJOCW
        January 26, 2014, 9:39 am

        Walid, Sorry, missed that. However, she is unlikely to be making any ambassadorial journeys for Oxfam and she will probably be dropped by Sodastream and become less appealing elsewhere, not for anything she has done or said but simply because of the baggage she now carries. You can just hear the vox pop: Isn’t she the one who was promoting the occupation of Gaza or something?

      • seafoid
        January 26, 2014, 9:58 am

        she is a Grade A moron

        the big worry for the Zionists is that this blows out of control and that the goys start to look a little deeper into YESHA.

      • NickJOCW
        January 26, 2014, 10:52 am

        seafoid, Not perhaps a moron, just feather-brained. She can’t have had the faintest idea what she was getting herself into. But you are right, it’s excellent for the cause because it wakes people up and when they wake they see. For now many ‘goys’ believe what they have been told but their belief is like a T-shirt, just as treasured and just as readily replaced.

      • seafoid
        January 26, 2014, 11:16 am

        I think one thing that Wexler should tell the leadership is that it is suicidal to become complacent about the support of ordinary decent people.
        They may not read as much as people here do but they never like to be taken for a ride.

      • NickJOCW
        January 26, 2014, 1:37 pm

        Seafold, Also they sense evil.

  22. Mondowise
    January 26, 2014, 7:57 am

    golly gosh ScarJo, does your anencephaly also make you thoroughly blind to the Palestinians’ viewpoint regarding your nimrod statement “… supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma‘ale Adumim factory every working day.”???

    think i’ll tweet this MW article and the above link to the airhead and email both to Oxfam warning that if Oxfam trades in their ethics for the money this dimwit brings them, well, the harm it will do to Palestinians and to peace and human rights worlwide contradicts their very existence…and they’ll have zero credibility.

  23. Citizen
    January 26, 2014, 8:06 am

    Well, maybe for now, simply because she is so pretty, Scarlett takes the cake, but, now for your further consideration, the 2014 Hasbara Awards are about to happen–and the contenders are:

    • Sumud
      January 26, 2014, 11:17 am

      Hahaha the “Hasby Awards 2014”

      That should be “Hasbeen Awards 2014”. I nominate Israel.

      One of the nominated blogs is “Huff Post Monitor” which has approximately zero commentators and has had that many for some years now. Our very own ‘NormanF’ use to leave comments there but even he got bored and came to MW.

  24. just
    January 26, 2014, 8:51 am

    From Oxfam’s website:

    “After six years of Israeli blockade, 1.7 million Palestinians continue to be trapped in the Gaza Strip, largely cut off from the outside world. One year since the ceasefire between the Government of Israel and Hamas, the promised economic improvements for people in Gaza have failed to materialize.

    Although the last 12 months have been the quietest in 10 years in terms of safety, violations continue. At the same time, the commitment to facilitate the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza remains unfulfilled.
    What Oxfam is doing

    We have been working in Gaza for over 15 years. Our work in Gaza together with our partners includes:

    Building sustainable livelihoods for families through income generating projects;
    Supporting economic empowerment and participation of women;
    Improving water quality and public health in vulnerable neighborhoods;
    Helping farmers to increase productivity through land reclamation.

    Besides supporting Palestinians in Gaza to cope with the poverty they currently experience, we are committed to helping find ways to end the blockade and occupation so that people can live with dignity with their rights upheld.

    To this end, we continue to raise concerns with decision-makers and the wider public about the need for a lasting peace settlement, starting with an end to violence by all parties.

    In response to the flooding caused by the December 2013 winter storms, we distributed blankets, mattresses and hygiene kits to some of the worst affected families — see the photos.”

    more here:

    mebbe SJ can get someone to read this to her.

  25. just
    January 26, 2014, 9:06 am

    Here’s something else from Oxfam:

    “How Palestinian communities are coping in the Jordan Valley – photos

    Settlement expansion, enabled by discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, is destroying the viability of a future Palestinian state.

    The Jordan Valley, in the occupied West Bank, has the potential to be the Palestinian bread basket, yet restrictions on Palestinians use of land, water, and on building in the valley are keeping them poor while helping nearby Israeli settlements thrive.”

    • seafoid
      January 26, 2014, 3:20 pm

      The bots are turning into a beaten docket. First 259 pr words then Huckabee. They are no world beaters. Just losers. They have no answers. Scarlett was an incredibly stupid choice. Oxfam FFS. They have lost their mojo.

  26. Baldur
    January 26, 2014, 11:14 am

    There should be contact information to Oxfam in the article so that you can mail them about your concerns regarding Scarlett…

  27. eGuard
    January 26, 2014, 11:15 am

    HuffPo has published her no-brains piece twice.

    First, there is Clearing the Air by SJ.
    (01/24/2014 5:18 pm) under “Small businesses”. The 259 words.
    Tags: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Conscious Consumerism, Oxfam, Sodastream, Two-State Solution, Small Business News. Note: not tagged “Scarlett Johansson” who is author and subject.

    Then, there is Scarlett Johansson Releases Statement On SodaStream Criticism
    (01/24/2014 5:33 pm EST, updated 5:59). Under “Entertainment”, with a longer introduction by K. Makarechi.
    Tags: Scarlett Johansson (c/w Palestine, Israel, Controversy, Sodastream, …). Note: not tagged with: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Conscious Consumerism, Two-State Solution as the first one is.

  28. seafoid
    January 26, 2014, 6:14 pm

    Somewhere above you say Shulamit Aloni made a difference. Israel’s tragedy is that she didn’t. Rabbi Levinger made a difference. Sharon, Begin and Zambish made a difference. They killed your guys. They ran the show. They put Israel on the road to now. The people run Likud memes, not Mensch memes. It is very sad about that Dutch.pension fund but real life is a bitch. Likud still don’t get it.

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