Latest update: January 25th, 2014
Scarlett Johansson’s agreement to promote Israel-based SodaStream in a Super Bowl ad next month has driven the BDS movement up the wall and attracted attention to the economic opportunities that the company has given to Palestinian Authority Arabs working at its factory in a “settlement” east of Jerusalem.
Johansson is far from a raging nationalist. She is, in fact, an Oxfam ambassador, which makes the BDS folks’ blood boil over.
SodaStream has 20 factories all over the world. One of them is located in Mishor Adumim, an industrial area east of the city of Ma’aleh Adumim that is home to nearly 50,000 “settlers” whom the lefties want to expel on behalf of people who call it home even though they never have lived there.
SodaStream’s American-born CEO Daniel Birnbaum takes pride that the Mishor Adumim factory employs hundreds of Palestinian Authority Arabs who work and eat alongside Jews, with the same pay, benefits and privileges.
Last year, when Birnbaum attended a government event joined by one of his Arab staff, he demanded that security personnel put him through the same thorough check to which the Arab was subjected.
Pro-Arab websites such as Electronic Intifada have gone on emergency alert to control the damage that Johansson has inadvertently caused the BDS campaign.
It accused SodaStream of distributing a pack of “lies” in a video posted in December 2012, in which he refers to Palestinian Authority Arabs and states, “We give them an opportunity to not only have a job and health insurance, but also social benefits and a very high pay scale which they could never achieve in the West Bank.” The video points out their pay is “often four or five times what they’d earn elsewhere.”
Electronic Intifada charged that the video is “clearly part of SodaStream’s public relations campaign” to fight the Boycott SodaStream movement.
It quoted one worker, identified only by an initial, as saying that “we Palestinian workers in this factory always feel like we are enslaved.”
Enter Johansson. She has a SodaStream machine in her home. She likes the stuff, so she agreed to sign a multi-million dollar contract to be the company’s ambassador for five years.
The Hollywood bombshell has steadfastly remained silent since she signed up and the leftists screamed “foul.” The whole issue is so ridiculous that silence is the right answer, but the anti-Israel crowd won’t shut up. The more they cry and scream, the more damage the better off for Israel because they look ridiculous.
The Dubai-based Al Arabiya posted an article Thursday that led off with the common sense fact that “the boycott of SodaStream, which has cost the firm losses in the past year, has raised questions over whether Palestinians employed at the Israel-based factory are feeling the pinch.”
“We reject any suggestion that the reality that Palestinians are sometimes left with no choice but to work in illegal Israeli settlements is a reason not to take action to end international complicity in human rights violations,” a BDS spokesperson told Al Arabiya.
What really ticks off BDS is that Johansson had the nerve to sign up for a product she likes without checking in with the Boycott Israel movement for permission.
“It was very surprising that Scarlett Johansson has decided to become the new face of Israeli apartheid, especially given that she is also an Oxfam ambassador,” said the BDS spokesperson. “We’re sure she’ll soon realize that there’s nothing green about Israeli apartheid.”
The bubble over Johansson and SodaStream just get worse for the BDS crowd. They are letting everyone know they don’t have a leg to stand on.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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