Trending Topics:

Oxfam expresses ‘concerns’ over Scarlett Johansson’s support for settlement product

on 75 Comments
Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Things are heating up very fast for Scarlett Johansson. Since the news broke of her stepping into her new role as global ambassador for the occupation-profiteering seltzer corporation SodaStream, activists have been pressuring Oxfam to urge Johansson to end her deal with SodaStream– and if she doesn’t, Oxfam should end its relationship with her.

Oxfam Logo

Oxfam Logo

Johansson is a global ambassador for Oxfam. Her picture is featured on the NGO’s site. Last night an Oxfam executive sent out an email saying Oxfam Great Britain was engaged in dialogue with Johansson.

Later Oxfam updated its website page on Johansson to include that news under the heading “Association with Israeli company, SodaStream”:

We are proud of our relationship with Scarlett Johansson who has worked with Oxfam since 2005 to support Oxfam’s mission to end poverty and injustice. As an Oxfam Global Ambassador, she has travelled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the impact of traumatic disasters and chronic poverty, and she has helped to raise critical funds for life-saving and poverty-fighting work around the world. We deeply value her support.

Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors. However Oxfam believes 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.

Oxfam ambassador Scarlett Johansson visits Dadaab, Kenya, the largest refugee camp in the world (photo: Oxfam)

Oxfam ambassador Scarlett Johansson visits Dadaab, Kenya, the largest refugee camp in the world (photo: Oxfam)

Johansson’s ambassadorship with Oxfam, an international confederation of 17 organizations working in more than 90 countries, committed to human rights, and dedicated to “chang[ing] that world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty,” is in direct contradiction to her role as global ambassador for a company that profits from apartheid in the occupied West Bank: SodaStream.

Last week we asked how soon before Johansson’s ties to SodaStream would bring her relationship with Oxfam into question.  In 10 days time, on Feb 2, a much touted SodaStream commercial featuring Johansson will be broadcast at the Superbowl. Between now and then something’s gotta break. The chance she can glide through the next 10 days unscathed and remain an ambassador for both seems low.

Oxfam– and a movie star– have been through this before:

You may remember that [Kristin] Davis’s role as an “Oxfam Ambassador” was threatened by her association with Ahava cosmetics, also based in the occupied territories. In the end Davis stayed with Oxfam after severing ties with Ahava.

And in 2012 Oxfam Italy cuts ties with author and well-known radio personality Paola Maugeri over her ambassadorship for SodaStream Italy.

What choice will Johansson make?

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is a mom, a human rights activist, and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area and likes to garden. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

Other posts by .

Posted In:

75 Responses

  1. Krauss on January 23, 2014, 1:19 pm

    It’s pretty clear she has no conscience. She was hardly sleepwalking into this issue. She basically supports Apartheid and she can no longer hide behind the veil of ignorance.
    (“I didn’t KNOW where Sodastream’s factories were!!!”)

    The question should now be turned to Oxfam and I’m pleased that it is.
    The BDS movement in 2014 is far stronger than it was in 2005 so it’s hard to imagine that Oxfam will be able to stay silent. However, them just “staying in touch” with Johansen just isn’t enough. They must take a stand as she has taken hers.

    Failure to do so means that they are passively endorsing Apartheid if that’s the price to pay to keep a celebrity name like Johansen and if that’s what Oxfam thinks is necessary then the fundamental democratic values of Oxfam itself comes into question.

    • American on January 23, 2014, 1:37 pm

      Thats what Oxfam (and others) get for picking pretty faces with vacant heads.
      No wonder so many celebrities cant stay married.

    • BillM on January 23, 2014, 1:38 pm

      Honestly, how much did she know about this before she signed up? Is there any way to know?

      • annie on January 23, 2014, 1:57 pm

        that’s what i wonder billm. i’m still assuming she had no idea what she was getting herself into. her agent, her publicist, or whomever she relies on to advise her over these matters, obviously underestimated the ethical, moral and branding issues she’d be faced dealing with.

        this is a pr nightmare for her and she should fire her manager or whomever is responsible for not hanging up the phone when the SS called. what clueless-ness! or else they’re so immersed in the apartheid state they’d throw her under a bus to advance the interests of zionism. i have no idea, but i hope she comes to her senses, and fast.

      • on January 23, 2014, 2:04 pm

        I have to think this was just a clusterfuck of huge (for that world) proportions. Johansson must be pulling her pretty hair out.

      • Kathleen on January 23, 2014, 2:28 pm

        I don’t buy this Annie. The situation you described is a slim possibility. My bet is she knew and thought she could get away with this clear support of occupation and with the money she is being paid too.

        Wonder if there is anyway to find out what she is being paid for this contract?

      • Sycamores on January 23, 2014, 5:47 pm

        i agree, SJ is a ambassodor of Oxfam. she has to be familar with what Oxfam stands for.

        Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territory & Israel

        Oxfam has been working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel since the 1950s with a country office first established in the 1980s. We work with some of the most vulnerable communities throughout the OPT and Israel, with a focus on helping improve the lives of poor Palestinians living in areas physically isolated by policies and practices of the occupation. These locations include Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Area C of the West Bank, where the government of Israel maintains full military and civil control, along with Palestinian villages that are enclosed by Israeli settlements, access restrictions, or the Wall.

        no SJ cannot feign ingorance in this case.

        however she can still redeem herself by pulling out of the sodastream contract.

      • annie on January 23, 2014, 6:19 pm

        Wonder if there is anyway to find out what she is being paid for this contract?

        with SS? of course she’s paid for it, they are not a charity. big bucks no doubt.

      • David Doppler on January 23, 2014, 2:50 pm

        Great acronym, Annie – SS. I wonder if that would be against the law in Israel?

      • Kathleen on January 24, 2014, 10:35 am

        I bet the SS acronym passed through many of our minds early on but I personally think it is over the top to use.

        And yes Annie my question was not if she is getting paid but wondering if there is a way to find out how much she is being paid?

      • MRW on January 23, 2014, 3:52 pm


        but i hope she comes to her senses, and fast.

        Nah. They’ll wait until the SuperBowl ad runs and assess the tweets.

      • Citizen on January 24, 2014, 10:58 am

        I think MRW is right; wait for the tweet firestorm or lack of it. Anybody who wants to pay for it can get the name of all her business contacts here:
        Just to register protest directly to the key, a good idea, but if you think any of them will tell you SJ’s pay for supporting SS, I have some swamp land at the edge of Louisiana to sell you.

    • seafoid on January 23, 2014, 1:44 pm

      She’s really stupid.
      All that eyebrow crap says it.
      Someone tells her she’s rilly beautiful and would be rilly
      good on this ad and she jumps in.

      She’s more Miley Cyrus than Nicki Minaj.

      • philweiss on January 23, 2014, 2:00 pm

        My wife shares your view; she is stupid

      • Kathleen on January 23, 2014, 2:29 pm

        A loud wake up call.

      • seafoid on January 23, 2014, 2:44 pm

        You can tell from 2 mins of interview I think

        Johannsen is stupid, Bibi is full of shit and Naftali Bennett is [email protected]’ nuts.

      • W.Jones on January 23, 2014, 3:16 pm

        hehe. I feel bad laughing at people.

        Seafoid has a sense of humor.

      • Krauss on January 23, 2014, 2:55 pm

        Re: “she’s stupid”.

        I wonder if this has to do with the fact that she’s A) a Hollywood starlet and B) blonde.
        Let’s be honest about point B) and the stereotypes associated with it(and only for women).

        I also think it’s stupid in of itself to assume Johansson is ignorant. She’s Jewish and people get more ethnocentric(typically) as they get older. Remember Natalie Portman’s recent interview, expressing fears of being Jewish? She’s now doing project in Israel. This is what happens when people go into their 30s, start thinking about children and typically become less idealistic and more realistic about race.
        (Realistic in the sense that it’s not going away and youthful dreams of a melting pot with no racism starts to fade as ethnocentrism is a fact in all cultures, in all places. People adjust to this reality).

        And Zionism has surely called on Johansson, she works in a place which hosts regular IDF fundraising dinners and she is enmeshed in a culture where as opposed to white gentiles, where ethnocentrism is a source of shame in contemporary culture, white Jews are typically shamed for not being ethnocentric enough.

        And we all know about the conflation of Judaism/Zionism in the modern American Jewish context.

        So sorry, I just highly doubt she’s “stupid” or ignorant. Racist, yes, but there have been plenty of well-informed racists(in other respects to race) who were highly clever and knew exacly what they were doing.

        Johanssen’s silence on this matter means she anticipated the backlash all along, she is showing no regrets at all. She has moved beyond the point of plausable deniability in a most definite manner.

        This is also a key test for BDS; because appealing to Johansson’s conscience will not help. She has none, as I indicated earlier. But Oxfam’s weak response(“we’re in contact with her”) just isn’t enough.

        They clearly don’t want to lose a famous celebrity, so they must be forced to choose. Apartheid or democracy. Because their celebrity ambassador is coming down squarely on behalf of Israeli Apartheid and just “staying in contact” and issuing vague denounceations without substance won’t help their cause.

        P.S. pretty stupid PR from Sodastream’s viewpoint to give us this long amount of time to ramp up our efforts. I guess they did it in panic to boost their stock price, but still, stupid. They probably underestimated the force of the BDS movement. We shouldn’t allow them to take the conclusions that they were right to do so if our pressure on Oxfam is weak.

      • seafoid on January 26, 2014, 11:47 am

        Can you show me a video where you can tell that she is smart and not just spouting PR mush ?

        Here’s Minaj – she knows what she’s doing

        Here’s Cyrus- who doesn’t have the smarts

      • hophmi on January 24, 2014, 10:31 am

        “My wife shares your view; she is stupid”

        It’s never enough just to campaign for your cause. You have to get personal. Got news for you Phil; it says more about you and the cause than it does about her.

      • Citizen on January 27, 2014, 12:23 am

        @ seafoid
        I disagree with your opinion, based on those two video clips. Cyrus is at least as smart as Minaj; just younger and somewhat less fake

      • DICKERSON3870 on January 23, 2014, 2:26 pm

        RE: “She’s [Scarlett Johansson is] really stupid. All that eyebrow crap says it.” ~ seafoid

        MY COMMENT: She’s no Tilda Swinton, that’s for certain!

  2. shachalnur on January 23, 2014, 1:29 pm

    Israel National News-Arutz Sheva ,the official mouthpiece of the settler movement is completely numb on the Sodastream-Bubble Bimbo issue.

    So are the pro-settlement sites.

    So is Miss Johansson.

    Could it be they don’t trust this whole story.

    I find it hard to believe that in the current political climate Sodastream (and Scarlett) really thought they could get away with this.

    I don’t want to take away anything from the wonderful people dedicating themselves to fighting the crimes of the Zionist regime,but this went too easy and there might be a hidden agenda to this move.

    • annie on January 23, 2014, 1:40 pm

      not numb, they published this last week which i linked to in one of my earlier articles. (i think)

      and times of israel published “Scarlett tempest in a soda cup” today and mentioned mondoweiss and EI by name. here’s their opening:

      Actress Johannson, the new face of Israeli company SodaStream, has not responded to BDS cries of apartheid

      Since Israeli company SodaStream named Scarlett Johansson the first-ever brand ambassador of its sleek, sassy seltzer makers earlier this month, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has been in a fizzy tizzy, demanding the actress step down from the post and plastering the Twittersphere with blood-soaked ads bestowing upon Scarlett an “A for Apartheid.”


      to be fair the graphic is not “blood-soaked“. (and i highly recommend people clicking on the image if you’ve not already done so)

      then it goes on to mention Oxfam and other stuff.

      • shachalnur on January 23, 2014, 3:14 pm

        Israelnationalnews’s article is 9 days old,it’s the announcement,and my point is ,that despite the controversy,there’s no follow -up there or on settler sites.

        Every paper in Israel represents a political or financial segment inside or outside Israel.

        The fact the settlermovement is quiet,while this should be a coup for them,is telling .

        Oxfam? Even they are getting in trouble because of this.

        With “Global Warming” failing,more and more serious questions about vaccines(two issues Oxfam is frantically pushing),and being sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates- and Rockefeller Foundations,Oxfam doesn’t want to get too much attention right now.

        Mainly because people are waking up,fast.

        People might find out about the Rockefeller Foundation documents on vaccines from 1968,and Bill Gates’ repeated claims vaccines will achieve “the much needed”population reduction on this planet.

        It’s an ugly world out there behind the scenes,but it will slowly become visible.

      • annie on January 23, 2014, 7:24 pm

        ok. i’m still not so sure about the ‘hidden agenda’ aspect. to be honest i’m not really up on Arutz Sheva’s publishing patterns. they were a day late and a dollar short on their ‘announcement’ story (the 14th), but does nypost count? have you read the article i liked to here:

        it was picked up by both right wing publications Free Beacon and Breitbart. anyway, i’ll concede israelnationalnews has not been covering the story.

      • shachalnur on January 24, 2014, 8:42 am

        You don’t need outrages conspiracy theories to follow the “hidden agenda”.

        It’s called “follow the money”.

        i would recommend an article ,

        This site is run by pro-Israel people,a bit obscure and mixes truth and Hasbara.

        If you know how to read and filter,this site carries very interesting info about what’s going on behind the curtain.

        Keeping these facts in mind make it a bit easier to see through the smoke and mirrors.

      • seafoid on January 23, 2014, 9:35 pm

        Global warming is going to bring Israel down, habibi. They do not come any bigger than climate stress. It is documented in Hatorah btw.

      • wondering jew on January 23, 2014, 10:27 pm

        seafoid- Where is it documented in the Torah? Btw- even though the Hebrew for “the Torah” is “haTorah”, no one ever (until now) would refer to the Torah as Hatorah in an English language conversation.

      • Walid on January 24, 2014, 3:21 am

        The Times of Israel article capitalized on al-Arabiya’s concern about what BDS could do to Soda Stream’s 900 Palestinian jobs. Al-Arabiya owned by Saudi royals is part of the giant MBC group that launched Mohammed Assaf. A Wikileaks cable said that religious conservatives in SA refer to al-Arabiya as “al-abraiya”.

      • Daniel Rich on January 24, 2014, 6:35 am

        @ Walid,

        Q: A Wikileaks cable said that religious conservatives in SA refer to al-Arabiya as “al-abraiya”.

        R: In downtown Teheran it’s jokingly referred to as ‘ill-bribeya.’

  3. Justpassingby on January 23, 2014, 1:35 pm

    “concern” right..

    Kick that lady out Oxfam!

    Besides why havent Scarlett made any work with palestinians during her time at Oxfam? Is there a bigger bias lying around here perhaps?

  4. Citizen on January 23, 2014, 1:48 pm

    Scarlett does not seem to care about Palestinians. Is that part of her value system as a self-described ” NY Jew”? Time will tell. As an aside, I wonder what her Scandavian dad thinks about her position in this matter. Anybody know? Doesn’t she owe something to him since her physical beauty has a lot to do with him?

  5. on January 23, 2014, 2:00 pm

    Sounds to me like the great walk-back.

  6. Kathleen on January 23, 2014, 2:04 pm

    They are giving her a chance to step out gracefully due to an overwhelming schedule or something like that. They can not keep her at this point. Too much attention on the obvious hypocrisy. She will choose the money but she will end up paying for her racist choice.

    “However Oxfam believes 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. “

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 23, 2014, 3:33 pm

      I hope you are right. I received an email – in response to an earlier email of my own complaining about Johansson – containing the official Oxfam statement. I wrote back to thank them for their action but to say that so long as they continued to associate themselves with Johansson, I would not be able to support their activities. I do hope that Oxfam are allowing for a face-saving solution with Johansson backing down due to ‘schedule conflicts’, and that they are not calculating that the animosity towards her will blow over and that her PR value to them outweighs any negativity. Let’s see.

  7. DICKERSON3870 on January 23, 2014, 2:18 pm

    RE: “Things are heating up very fast for Scarlett Johansson.” ~ Annie Robbins

    • From: Ramah Kudaimi, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
    • Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:00 PM
    • Subject: Scarlett Johansson: Don’t Be the Face of Occupation!

    Urge Oxfam Global Ambassador to End Support for SodaStream

    Dear John,

    On January 10, 2014, occupation profiteer SodaStream announced that Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson had become their first-ever Global Brand Ambassador. Her first act in her role will be starring in SodaStream’s Super Bowl ad, which will be aired during the game’s fourth quarter on February 2.

    Scarlett happens to be an Oxfam Global Ambassador, a role that includes a responsibility to “push forward the fight against poverty and injustice.”

    Sign our petition to Scarlett: Don’t Be the Face of Occupation!


  8. Kathleen on January 23, 2014, 3:16 pm

    How about a debate between Scarlett Johansson and Vanessa Redgrave on the illegal occupation?

    • American on January 23, 2014, 3:42 pm

      lol….well that would be a total slaughter of a ‘unarmed’ opponant.

  9. John Douglas on January 23, 2014, 3:39 pm

    Okay I’m naïve or, more likely, my brain is numbed by eye candy. But I’m not ready to say that SJ is stupid – she’s too good an actor for that, or uncaring – her work with Oxfam counters that. I’ll cut her a little slack while she decides what she should do and why she should do it. Then it’s “She really blundered but has fessed up” or “She’s a bimbo” or “She’s a self-centered monster” or “She’s something else, human maybe.”

    • Djinn on January 24, 2014, 4:36 am

      I don’t know what SJ’s motivations for working with Oxfam are but sadly many celebs partner with NGOs for the good publicity. Back in the olden days when I was young I worked for a company that would provide analysis on the $ value of free publicity that sponsorship and partnership would bring. They sought this before sponsoring or partnering. Sadly, for many it’s purely about the lucre.

  10. John Douglas on January 23, 2014, 3:42 pm

    I should add, though, that this is a major development for BDS and for a middle America awakening. Very important.

    • Philip Munger on January 23, 2014, 9:00 pm

      I agree that she is an impressive actress, and has played several roles that required a fairly high degree of intelligence and perception. And her work with Oxfam should be lauded. However, I have no sympathy for her having gotten herself into this situation. It is hard to believe she was totally unaware of Oxfam’s long-term work in Palestine, or of the NGO’s position on the illegality of settlement products.

      Her agent has certainly acted negligently if that person was supposed to spot any potential problems in an SS deal. It will probably be easier for her to pull away from volunteer work with Oxfam than from a lucrative product endorsement set to debut at the Super Bowl. However if Soda Stream’s agent in negotiating a contract with Johannson was aware she was being set up for a conflict with Oxfam by signing on the dotted line without informing or advising her of the upcoming shitstorm, her attorney might be able to back out of the contract and sue SS for damages.

      • Obsidian on January 24, 2014, 12:02 am

        @Philip Munger

        “the NGO’s position on the illegality of settlement products”.

        Uhh…How are ‘settlement products’ illegal?

    • hophmi on January 24, 2014, 10:37 am

      “I should add, though, that this is a major development for BDS and for a middle America awakening.”

      A. It’s not, but it’s amusing that you think so; and

      B. If it were, it would show Middle America how nasty and disagreeable BDSers are. Please, I beg you, keep calling her stupid, so we can increase our 8-1 sympathy lead in the world of American public opinion by showing how you’re attacking an attractive young woman who has been an Oxfam ambassador for years. Please keep overreaching. I’m daring you. You make it easy.

  11. mcohen on January 23, 2014, 4:58 pm

    March 25, 2009

    According to Dr. Samah Idriss, academic and key figure in the boycott campaign, Starbucks was put on the campaign’s blacklist after announcing plans in 2002 to spend $15 million opening 80 outlets in Israel. But in 2003 all the opened locales in Israel were shut. Starbucks cites “operational challenges” while Idriss believes it was the boycotts and protests in the Middle East. Regardless of the cause, the shut down has meant a revision for the boycott. “Starbucks is no longer in Tel Aviv, they do not invest in Israel, they do not have employees there so…we are now updating the information,” says Idriss.
    But this revision is not likely to remove Starbucks from the Lebanese activist limelight. The perception that Schultz is a Zionist means that the cafes’ familiar green logo is the most visible purportedly Israeli-affiliated symbol on the streets of Beirut. Is boycotting it the most effective way of targeting Zionism? Well, it gets the protestors’ picture in the media, and maybe that’s the idea. Is Starbucks the fairest target? Maybe not, but as long as anger seeks easy answers, the finer points of responsibility will pass protestors frustrated with Israel.

    • annie on January 23, 2014, 7:08 pm

      well, it’s been almost 5 years. any updates on demos in front of starbucks in beirut?

      • mcohen on January 23, 2014, 8:58 pm


        Few updates coming up.get the picture in the media

      • Walid on January 24, 2014, 4:33 am

        Annie, the site “NOW” from which the above is quoted by MCohen is a pro-US/Israel site and all that this entails. Reading through the article, it’s obvious from its opening lines to the last, that it’s a whitewash for Starbucks. The essence behind the boycott had nothing to do with Starbucks having opened outlets in Israel but with Schultz’ cash or services contributions to the IDF. Regrettably, the demos in front of Starbucks got nowhere fast as the group that’s into BDS is minute and the Lebanese in general aren’t on the BDS wave and unwilling to give up anything for the sake of Palestinians. Since the article was written, the number of Starbucks has gone from a couple of outlets to 18. Worse than Starbucks are Estee Lauder products sold locally with ads plastered all over the city despite R. Lauder being reportedly the most important contributor to the WB settlement enterprise. Another big local success is enjoyed by L’Oreal/Grenier as are others. Veolia ran 3 bus/taxi companies in Lebanon but may have dumped them last year in its worldwide drive to divest from the transportation sector.

    • Kathleen on January 24, 2014, 2:36 pm

      I thought the owner (s) of Starbucks in some related way donates to illegal settlement growth somehow?

  12. Sycamores on January 23, 2014, 9:44 pm

    sodastream justifies breaking international law and supporting apartheid by employing nearly 550 Palestinians.

    SodaStream says its West Bank factory is one of about 25 production facilities worldwide and employs nearly 550 Palestinians and gives them equal benefits as Israeli workers.

    the high unemployment in the West Bank due to israeli occupation has force many Palestinians to work with the occupiers, including a sizable number of Palestinians working in israel without permits and if caught could see them doing prison time.

    seeing sodastream following the zionist hasbara is really despicable.

    Social Accountability and SodaStream
    SodaStream International Ltd. and SodaStream USA, Inc. are committed to the highest standards of ethical and responsible business conduct.

    what is the highest standards of ethical and responsible business conduct?
    could sodastream be sue for breaking these standards?

    also on sodastream website under media in the news section the last update was back in july 2013, i wonder why?

  13. Obsidian on January 23, 2014, 11:58 pm

    “well, it’s been almost 5 years. any updates on demos in front of starbucks in beirut?”

    You may not have noticed, but Beirut has greater problems right now than where to get a good latte.

    BTW. Doesn’t SodaStream employ hundreds of Palestinian plant workers?

  14. NormanF on January 24, 2014, 1:34 am

    SodaStream is one of Israel’s most progressive companies. The facts speak for themselves:

    Scarlett Johansson should be proud to be associated with them!

  15. just on January 24, 2014, 5:23 am

    Check out the Bibi in desperate denial wrt BDS in Davos:

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on companies and investors to use Israel as a global research and development center, pointing to the country’s prowess in science and technology.

    “We can be your science and technology incubator,” he told the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday. “I think for countries and companies alike the ability to partake in this Israeli incubator in your specific field is something that will enhance your competitive advantage.

    Israel is leader not in science and technology but in entrepreneurship, calling the country the “epicenter of world innovation right now,” he said.

    “Israel is often called the Startup Nation; I call it the innovation nation. The future belongs to those who innovate. Those who don’t innovate, whether in companies or countries, will fall behind,” Netanyahu said, in an address that also touched on the Palestinian issue and Iran.

    “I think this will not only be good for you and for us but for peace,” he said. “The investment in the growth of Israeli economy is not only good for our society but is also good for our neighbors whether they realize it or not.”

    The prime minister’s remarks, however, came as Bloomberg ranked Israel 30th most innovative among 50 countries in a survey released on Thursday behind Portugal.

    Although the country was ranked first for research and development intensity, it was ranked 60 for manufacturing and 25th for productivity. ”

    NormanF– you ‘funny’. Your definition of “progressive” is just more ziolunacy.

    • Walid on January 24, 2014, 6:25 am

      “Israel 30th most innovative among 50 countries in a survey released on Thursday behind Portugal. Although the country was ranked first for research and development intensity, it was ranked 60 for manufacturing and 25th for productivity”

      I would have thought it would be first in innovation and productivity. Maybe Netanyahu is being fed the wrong information.

      • American on January 24, 2014, 7:31 am

        @ Walid

        Nope, Israel is at the bottom of the productivy measurments. Productivy being measured by profit generated per employee.
        If Israel was a company for instance and had that low a productivy rating, it would start slashing jobs and restructuring .
        In simple terms the Isr workforce is not producing enough for what they cost in wages.
        I posted the OCED report on world economies and ratings on here some while ago.

        There was interesting report buried in JP recently that said Israel like some other countries–and like they accuse Arab countries of—was using ‘security’ and putting everything toward being a military state and staying in a state of ’emergency’ all the time to cover their social and economic problems. ..while keeping a few people rich.

  16. MRW on January 24, 2014, 7:34 am

    All this tells me is that her involvement with OXFAM was suspect. She didn’t know what she was doing. What? She smiled at some black guys in Africa? That was advocacy?

  17. yrn on January 24, 2014, 9:54 am

    President Shimon Peres was honored at a special plenary session of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday. Peres received the Spirit of Davos award from WEF founder and Chairman Klaus Schwab in recognition of his contribution to the cause of peace, to economics and technology and to the spirit of Davos.
    Peres was lauded by Schwab for his “vision, soul, values, heart, and his compassion, which he has shown again and again.” Schwab added, “You are the oldest participant on paper but in your mind one of youngest participants.”

  18. Semiotic Observer on January 24, 2014, 10:41 am


  19. hophmi on January 24, 2014, 10:49 am

    Oxfam, one of the world’s most hypocritical charities, took $2.5m in donations from Coca-Cola between 2008 and 2010.

    Coca-cola, besides making and marketing an unhealthy product, and participating in Arab boycotts of Israel for many years, is responsible for unsafe and exploitative labor practices around the world.

  20. judithbell on January 24, 2014, 10:54 am

    Really hope she stands firm as did Alicia Keyes, Justin Timberlake (coming to Israel in May) and hopefully the Rolling Stones.

    The situation in the settlements is complicated and people should be allowed to express their own political views.

    It also strikes me as a bit bizarre that the organization of all of the heads of the Caribbean nations are calling on various European countries to pay compensation for the damage done by slavery and yet no one would be after her if she represented a Danish product – which is her other heritage – and Denmark is one of the countries that benefited from New World colonialism.

    Interesting how there is a best before date for “international law” that benefits the powerful that make that law. Oxfam is British. Nobody has killed and exploited the Muslims more than them. Well, except the US who drone kills people every day in the name of “freedom”.

  21. Kathleen on January 24, 2014, 2:43 pm

    Thunder Clap Oxfam about Johannson’s decision to support an illegal occupation and apartheid

    • Kathleen on January 24, 2014, 2:48 pm

      My bet is that the new ambassador for the occupation and apartheid Scarlett will step down from her Ambassador position with Oxfam soon after the superbowl commercial. She has to choose and my bet is that she will choose apartheid and money

  22. Henry Norr on January 24, 2014, 5:02 pm

    A modest but very sweet victory in the Bay Area: this morning KQED, the largest public radio and TV station in northern California (and one of the biggest in the country), began offering a SodaStream device as a premium for its fund drive. Word quickly spread among supporters of Palestinian rights, and a slew of us called to object to them promoting a product built on stolen land.

    The rep I talked to knew nothing about SodaStream and not a lot about Palestine, but she was reasonably open-minded, and by the end of our conversation she seemed to agree that the station had no business offering such a product. Other callers I know had a similar response. As of early afternoon, they have removed the SodaStream from their premium page and the reps are telling people they are no longer offering it as a gift!

    • just on January 24, 2014, 5:25 pm

      A truly sweet victory from the grassroots who care about international law and human rights.


      • Henry Norr on January 24, 2014, 5:48 pm

        Ali Abunimah has a good post on the KQED situation, including the following update:

        KQED’s publicist Evren Odcikin sent this statement to The Electronic Intifada on Friday afternoon:

        After careful consideration, KQED is pulling SodaStream from its pledge thank you gift offer. The decision to provide SodaStream to our members was based on the product’s positive impact on the environment, an issue near and dear to the hearts of our members and part of KQED’s commitment to sustainability. However, the controversy surrounding SodaStream would undermine the spirit of our impartiality and unbiased mission, therefore the product will no longer be offered as a thank you gift to our members.

      • just on January 24, 2014, 6:44 pm

        What will Geller say? She’ll run around like henny penny.

        I say bravo! More full- throated BDS to follow, I hope. KQED should tell folks why they should not drink the bloody bubbles.

        Thanks, Henry. :}

  23. JuliaNoel on January 24, 2014, 5:47 pm

    Just what the heck does an “Ambassador” do? I cannot remember hearing about Johannson giving any of her money to people in need; nor has she written books which highlight the huge injustices in our world; nor has she ever been involved in film making ( her profession) that shows huge injustices. I suppose given her lack of anything remotely concrete and worthwhile, we will certainly never see her, like the also famous, but also brave and principled, Henning Mankell and Alice Walker, and other worthwhile people, who have spoken out against Israel’s crimes and even gone on hazardous flotillas to help the persecuted people of Gaza.

  24. a blah chick on January 24, 2014, 8:09 pm

    “The investment in the growth of Israeli economy is not only good for our society but is also good for our neighbors whether they realize it or not.”

    Because after we have destroyed the local Palestinian economy the little Arabs have to be able to spend their money somewhere!

Leave a Reply