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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Oxfam’

Roger Waters Rips Scarlett Johansson, Neil Young over Israel

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Roger Waters assailed actress Scarlett Johansson for working with SodaStream and musician Neil Young for his planned performance in Israel.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, the former Pink Floyd front man said he was making a public plea to Johansson and Young after writing to them privately in recent days.

Waters has publicly called for boycotts against Israel and made personal pleas to artists not to perform in Israel. Young is scheduled to perform in Israel in July.

Johansson last week ended her relationship with the human rights group Oxfam following a protracted debate over her role as spokeswoman for the Israeli company SodaStream, which has a factory in the West Bank. The factory employs Israeli and Palestinian workers.

In his public letter, Waters said Johansson’s “choice of Soda Stream over Oxfam” is  “an act of intellectual, political, and civil about face, that we, all those of us who care about the downtrodden, the oppressed, the occupied, the second class, will find it hard to rationalize.”

The letter cites alleged human rights abuses by Israel against the Bedouin living in southern Israel and poses several questions about how Palestinians live under Israeli rule in the West Bank.

He concludes his letter, which mostly is directed at Johansson, by saying, “Scarlett, you are undeniably cute, but if you think SodaStream is building bridges towards peace you are also undeniably not paying attention.”

Oxfam Accepts Johansson’s Resignation, Saying She’s ‘Incompatible’

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Oxfam accepted actress Scarlett Johansson’s resignation as a global ambassador, calling the role “incompatible” with her work for the Israeli company SodaStream.

“Oxfam has accepted Scarlett Johansson’s decision to step down after eight years as a Global Ambassador and we are grateful for her many contributions,” the global anti-poverty charity said in a statement issued Thursday. “While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms. Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.”

Johansson announced Wednesday that she was ending her relationship with Oxfam following criticism from the charity of her work as a spokeswoman for the producer of home soda-making machines, which operates a factory in Judea and Samaria.

Johansson in her statement said she and the humanitarian organization have “a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”

Oxfam has said it opposes any trade with Israeli settlements.

As a global ambassador for Oxfam, Johansson has traveled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the problem of global poverty.

“She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam,” said the statement released by Johansson’s spokesman and first reported by The Associated Press.

SodaStream signed Johansson to be its first global brand ambassador, and she is set to appear in a television ad for the company during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The company employs Israeli and Palestinian workers at its Judea and Samaria factory in the settlement of Maale Adumim.

Pro-Palestinian groups had called on Oxfam to sever its ties with the actress. On Tuesday, representatives of Jewish Voice for Peace, the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, American Jews for a Just Peace and the First Church in Cambridge Israel/Palestine Task Team met at Oxfam America’s Boston headquarters and urged the humanitarian organization to drop Johansson, who is Jewish, over her defense of SodaStream’s presence in Judea and Samaria.

Johansson had defended SodaStream and her involvement with the company in a statement released Jan. 24 on The Huffington Post.

In an interview with the Forward newspaper, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said his company’s Judea and Samaria factory was “a pain in the ass.” Birnbaum said he would have never established the plant, which was set up before his tenure at the company, but vowed he would not close the factory in response to pressure. He told the Forward that he “just can’t see how it would help the cause of the Palestinians if we fired them.”

Guardian Poll: Should Oxfam Sever Ties with Scarlett Johansson?

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Our good friends at the Guardian are besides themselves trying to cover Israel-related issues in a balanced and unbiased way. And if you like their neutral headline, which doesn’t ask “what should Oxfam do” but rather offers option one from column A as the given, you’ll love their depiction of the events so far:

“It seems [Oxfam's] celebrity ambassador, Scarlett Johansson, has signed an advertising deal with SodaStream International Ltd, an Isreali company operating in the West Bank… [and the] move has caused an ‘internal revolt’ at Oxfam.”

Now that you know all the facts from a neutral perspective, do the interactive:

While there is no doubt that celebrity endorsement yields financial dividends for NGOs and can raise the profile of a cause, it can also infuriate staff and create tensions with communities in which the organization works. So what should Oxfam do? Take our poll and tell us your experiences or thoughts on celebrities and NGOs in the comment threads below.

Do you think Oxfam should sever ties with Scarlett Johansson?

I went ahead and voted No. The “landing page” didn’t tell me how many have participated, but 85% have voted a resounding Yes. If you care to, there are 6 days left before they close the poll, so if you’re into influencing world opinion, go vote and send the link to all your loved ones.

Cheerio.

Johansson: SodaStream Gives Equal Pay, Benefits and Rights (Video)

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

In a statement released to The Huffington Post, Freedom Seltzer Queen Scarlett Johansson says she never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of her affiliation with SodaStream,” but since the anti-Zionist crowd on the left has been after her, she wants to “clear the air.”

“I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” Johansson said. “SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, 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.”

Johansson made direct reference to Oxfam, the international aid organization for which she has been a prolific fundraiser and supporter, and which supports the boycott of Israeli products made in Judea and Samaria.

“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,” Johansson said, adding:

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

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a SodaStream video about building bridges between Israelis and Palestinians. East your heart out, electronic intifada…


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/johansson-sodastream-gives-equal-pay-benefits-and-rights-video/2014/01/25/

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