During the recent controversy over Scarlett Johansson’s appearance in a SuperBowl ad for the seltzer-maker SodaStream, which builds its fizzers in the occupied territories, Americans for Peace Now took a strong line against purchasing SodaStream products. Its ceo, Debra DeLee, wrote, “Reject SodaStream” because Peace Now regards the West Bank as so vital to the two-state solution:
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.
Today I received a fundraising email from Peace Now, titled, “Don’t make me use my SodaStream” (link) on the occasion of the Jewish festival of Purim. Author Sara Ehrman is 95, and a Peace Now board member (and a longtime friend of Hillary Clinton’s). Ehrman’s running gag is that she was around in biblical times.
And with all the talk of piling more sanctions on Iran before negotiations play themselves out, we forget that this isn’t the first time that Iran was sanctioned for threatening the Jews. I had proposed economic sanctions on Haman, but I was overruled. The rightwing hawks in the Jewish community insisted that he be hanged along with his 10 sons.
As a result of that disagreement, I do Purim a little differently than some of my fellow Jews. I don’t carry a grogger. At the Megillah reading, at every mention of Haman’s name, I shpritz my Sodastream (I swear I didn’t buy it – it was a gift).
Even at this crazy time of year, the cause that’s most dear to my heart remains Americans for Peace Now. Through APN we can trumpet the message, at least with regard to Israel, that we will not give way to excess – the rational moderation that exemplifies APN is the way to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
I just don’t get it. Does APN “reject SodaStream” or does it think the occupied territories are just a joke?