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The Israel Project is milking Scarlett Johansson's support for settlement product

The Israel Project is milking Scarlett Johansson’s support for settlement product

We live in a celebrity-driven culture, right? And Scarlett Johansson has done more to educate people about the Israel/Palestine issue than anything since the Gaza war of ’08-’09. She got John Kerry to talk about boycotts and the Financial Times to explain why the settlements are illegal and wrong.

Well it’s Monday morning, and the story isn’t going away. Her image is begin milked relentlessly by the rightwing Israel Project. First they did a tasteless lascivious ad with Johansson canoodling with two old men. Now they’re giving her a peace tattoo, above. So Johansson has gone from being Oxfam’s poster girl to the Israel Project’s! The Israel Project is a rightwing Israel lobby group: It is trying to break Obama’s deal with Iran, it mourns Ariel Sharon as “the last lion of Judaea”, its board is all Democratic neocons like Marty Peretz.

Now to liberal Zionists. Twice now (here and here) I’ve said that Americans for Peace Now have been silent on the Scarlett Johansson settlement-uproar. I was wrong (particularly in the second instance, when the group was on the record). Peace Now’s Debra DeLee wrote a piece called “Love Israel. Oppose BDS. Reject SodaStream” for the Forward last week, in which she said people should boycott SodaStream:

Under normal circumstances, I would buy SodaStream and recommend it to my friends. But the circumstances under which the product is made are not normal. And because Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is such an anomaly, as much as I may like Scarlett (and seltzer), I will not buy SodaStream, not until it moves its headquarters away from a West Bank settlement.

Apologies to Peace Now.

Meanwhile, at HuffPo, Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy (who alerted me to my error), says the flap has highlighted the idea of a principled support for the two-state solution.

Johansson’s statements on the controversy have tried to obscure a crucial issue: what relationship should people who support the two-state solution have to Israeli settlements in the West Bank?..

Oxfam’s view is that someone who supports the two-state solution should not be promoting economic ties with Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Johansson’s view, apparently, is that it’s ok to claim that you support a two-state solution and then turn around and promote economic ties with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, thereby bolstering and normalizing the occupation.

Oxfam’s view is normative among sincere advocates of a two-state solution. Johansson’s apparent view is marginal among sincere advocates of a two-state solution…

By claiming to support a two-state solution while helping to bolster the occupation, Scarlett Johansson is acting as a Susan Collins for the occupation, pretending to be moderate, while acting to bolster extremists.

Oxfam did the right thing in taking a principled stand. You can thank Oxfam for their principled stand at MoveOn here and on Thunderclap here. The Thunderclap is set to go off on Sunday evening during the #SuperBowl.

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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10 Responses

  1. shachalnur
    shachalnur
    February 3, 2014, 11:03 am

    There’s many people claiming others to be on their side.

    The fact they claim Scarlett doesn’t neccessarily mean Scarlett agrees with them.

    • annie
      annie
      February 3, 2014, 11:57 am

      The fact they claim Scarlett doesn’t neccessarily mean Scarlett agrees with them.

      it doesn’t really matter unless she opens her mouth. she’s not their MVP because she supports them, she’s the MVP because she’s famous and excepted the global ambassadorship for SS.

      she’s sold her name, image, and reputation to the cause and unless she backs away, they will milk it for all it’s worth. but we can use her celebrity too as it exposes the truth of what’s going on over there.

      • shachalnur
        shachalnur
        February 3, 2014, 1:16 pm

        I adressed everything on the “grossout alert”,but my post is still in moderation(since 7.26 am),as you know.

        “Scarlett signed up for Sodastream,ergo she’s for the occupation” ,so the pigeons flap their wings and believe they will receive another reward,because they flapped so well..

        Fact; The Israeli settler sites like Israel National News,Israpundit are not treating this issue with the entousiasm you might expect.

        Fact; Only since yesterday(Globes and Haaretz) there is news of serious trouble between Sodastream and the Israeli Finance Ministry .

        Both sides claim that the Finance Ministry is refusing to hand over tens/hundreds of millions of shekels,although both sides spin it differently.

        Do I have to remind you the Finance Ministry is controlled by Naftali Bennet,leader of Jewish Home ,the settler party?

        Who says Sodastream and the settlers have the same agenda?

        I wrote about the possibility of Sodastream being a weapon against the settlers,in case the settlers really,really have to go,the day the Scarlett/Sodastream story broke.

        Mondoweiss spammed this opinion.

        Eppur si muove,and I appreciate the fact I’m allowed to have write opinion now,kinda.

        Why is just pointing at contradictions such a problem ,and how many hours will it take untill this post gets through moderation ,if at all?

        Why don’t you adress Roger Waters claim that Scarlett said a year ago that she’s “anti-neocon” and is “disgusted by Blackwater”?

        I know the sick feeling it can give you when you find out you were manipulated and lied to by TPTB,ot whatever psy-op you’re up against,like after 9/11,but there’s no reason to make them do it over and over again.

        So,please ,keep censoring people like me.

  2. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    February 3, 2014, 11:04 am

    I don’t know who listens, who approves, of the statements you quote. Better they happen than otherwise. Water torture (drip, drip, drip) for Israel? Like to hear John Kerry say something like that, or let it past the UNSC.

  3. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail
    February 3, 2014, 11:23 am

    Well Scarlett, you reap what you sow. Now you are going to be used for political propaganda by a bunch of swivel-eyed fanatical fundamentalists who will not hesitate to implicate you in their land-grabbing, segregationist agenda. That cute Hollywood image is about to be mired in some desperate slimeball campaigning, sexist and racist to boot. I don’t think your publicist is going to be too impressed, or come to that, future employers. What a shame.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      February 3, 2014, 12:33 pm

      “Now you are going to be used for political propaganda by a bunch of swivel-eyed fanatical fundamentalists”

      Irony alert.

      “That cute Hollywood image is about to be mired in some desperate slimeball campaigning, sexist and racist to boot. ”

      I believe it was Roger Waters who referred to her as “undeniably cute.” He’d be the sexist one there.

  4. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    February 3, 2014, 12:29 pm

    reading the transcript from Ratner Report: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Facilitating Israeli War Crimes http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=11412#.Uu-6Nd6R9QQ.twitter
    as well as talking about Blasio and the letter from 58 Jewish New Yorkers (i believe Mr Weiss was one of the signitures) stating AIPAC does not speak for us they also talk about ASA, Hillel and miss apartheid

    RATNER: And the third thing that’s happened, of course, is the controversy over Scarlett Johansson and her endorsement (which we’ll see at the Super Bowl) of SodaStream, SodaStream, the company that makes that fizzy water machine that’s made in the occupied territories, made in the West Bank, made actually, just outside one of the biggest settlement blocks in the West Bank. She was–at the time she did this endorsement, she was working as the goodwill ambassador for Oxfam. Oxfam actually said this is incompatible with your job as working for Oxfam. And rather than quit her, I think, very lucrative job with SodaStream, she quit her job with Oxfam. Huge stink about it. She comes off as a real dummy in this thing.

    the Johanssons of this world should stick with saving endanger frogs such as the interior robber frog from eastern Puerto Rico rather then supporting illegal settler land theft in Palestine if they don’t want to look like a real dummy.

  5. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    February 3, 2014, 12:48 pm

    RE: “By claiming to support a two-state solution while helping to bolster the occupation, Scarlett Johansson is acting as a Susan Collins for the occupation, pretending to be moderate, while acting to bolster extremists.” ~ Robert Naiman

    IN OTHER WORDS, SCARLETT JOHANSSON IS A “TWO-STATE FAKER”:
    “Flotilla 3.0: Redeeming Obama’s Palestine Speech with Gaza’s Ark”, By Robert Naiman, truth-out.org, 3/25/13

    [EXCERPTS] There’s a half-empty way and a half-full way of looking at President Barack Obama’s Jerusalem speech about the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
    The half-empty way of looking at it is: This was Obama’s white flag of surrender.
    To everyone around the world who for decades has been assuming that at the end of the day, the president of the United States would lead the way to resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, Obama was saying: Don’t look at me. Just because the United States is the principal military, diplomatic and economic protector of the Israeli government, doesn’t mean that I, as the president of the United States, will do anything about the military occupation of millions of Palestinian human beings. Bibi doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state; Bibi’s government doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state; AIPAC doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state; and Congress – which defers to AIPAC – doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state. Of course, many of them mouth the words – not Bibi’s government, they don’t even do that – but those who mouth the words oppose any practical measure that would help bring an independent Palestinian state into existence. They’re “two state fakers.” Settlement freeze? Impossible. UN membership for Palestine? Can’t be done. No, according to the two state fakers, the only option on the menu in the restaurant for the Palestinians is to return to negotiations without a settlement freeze, negotiations that for 20 years have brought more land confiscation, more settlements, more restrictions on Palestinian movement and commerce, more oppression. And so, Obama was saying, my hands are tied. Don’t look at me.
    The half-full way of looking at it is this: It was a great speech. If you “price in,” as the markets say, acceptance that the US government isn’t going to lead on this, it was a great motivational speech. President Obama made a very compelling case that someone else should do something. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15307-flotilla-30-redeeming-obamas-palestine-speech-with-gazas-ark

  6. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    February 3, 2014, 1:01 pm

    ”Oxfam did the right thing in taking a principled stand.”

    Except that they didn’t take a principled stand, or any other type of stand.

    Instead, they spent two weeks tip-toeing around the sensitivities of a pampered Hollywood ‘actress’ and meekly accepted her rejection and misrepresentation of them, as though Oxfam, not Sodastream, were the problem.

  7. kalithea
    kalithea
    February 3, 2014, 4:14 pm

    “Love Israel. Oppose BDS. Reject SodaStream”

    Apology? To Peace…Never?

    I’m going to use recent bombshell news headlines as analogies to explain two ways Jews (even liberal ones) help to support and perpetuate injustice against Palestinians.

    Let’s say Israel is a “friend” you love and your friend is addicted to a lethal drug and BDS is the only method that will help wean your friend off that drug? Are you really “loving” your friend when you demonize the cure or aiding and abetting his habit and potential destruction? I say, no matter how unpleasant or painful, embrace the only strategy guaranteed to prompt gradual withdrawal and finally cure your “friend” of this addiction that is hurting everyone around him and will eventually destroy your “friend”!

    Second analogy and please bear with me on this one.:

    Today, I was incensed by a blatant contradiction that occurred on The View, but it helps to understand the hypocrisy and complicity that suppresses the truth about Zionism. Barbara Walters got in a heated discussion with Sherri today defending her Zionist comrade Woody against the charge his stepdaughter Dylan made against him in the NYT. To back her point by establishing pattern, Sherri used the fact that at one time Woody hit on his other daughter when she was only 17 and he was already in his 50’s! The fact that they’re a couple today shouldn’t excuse that behavior. And yet, Barbara STILL continued to defend him when, ironically, later in the show she aired a clip of an interview she did with that teacher Letourneau who ended up marrying the student she was convicted of molesting and in so many words judged that relationship as being weird and improper when earlier she vehemently defended Woody. Is this not hypocritical? How’d she like it if a 50 year-old life partner of hers came on to her daughter when she was 17? I wonder if she’d defend him like she did Woody?

    So strangely, Woody gets a pass and doesn’t appear to creep her out, and she even goes out of her way to defend him against criticism and suspicion. So how does this relate to the injustice perpetuated against Palestinians?

    Imagine that Woody’s an illegal settler exploiting Palestinians, who are at a staggering economic and societal disadvantage, by furthering the injustice that settlements create and perpetuate? Should Jews give him a pass merely because he belongs to their tribe?

    I get tired of stressing what is really keeping Palestinians forever locked in a prison of injustice: Too often, Jews will go to any lengths to deny the truth in front of them and defend fellow Jews who are clearly in the wrong on behalf of tribal attachments going even so far as to whitewash a blatant crime! This tribal complicity and hypocrisy is what I was getting at with this 2nd analogy. Need I say more?!

    Woe are the Palestinians that their rights and freedoms are subject to the inflexible tribal ignorance of their masters!

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