Israel continues to be pleasantly surprised by Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson's principled and determined stand against the anti-Israel bigotry of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The BDS is upset that Johansson has agreed to be a spokesperson for Israeli soda maker SodaStream because the company's main factory is situated in the so-called "West Bank." Among those making up the BDS movement is Oxfam International, a confederation of organizations working to end poverty and related injustice around the world.
Scarlett was one of Oxfam's most recognizable ambassadors. But then the organization joined the public criticism of the actress for representing a product produced by "Jewish settlers."
On Wednesday, a statement released by Johansson's people announced that she "has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years. She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement."
In a recent statement to the Huffington Post regarding the matter, Johansson argued against the position of the BDS movement and, by extension, Oxfam, by pointing out that they had wrongly characterized SodaStream and its involvement with the Palestinians.
"While I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream, given the amount of noise surrounding that decision, I‚Äôd like to clear the air," read the statement. "I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. 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‚Äôale Adumim factory every working day."
The entire episode is very telling regarding the true intentions of the BDS movement. It mattered not to Oxfam and other BDS activist outfits that what Johansson said is true - that SodaStream, and other Israeli businesses in the "settlements," are providing a crucial economic lifeline to local Palestinians, the bulk of whom are grateful for the jobs and would suffer tremendously if the proposed boycott were to actually be successful.
At the end of the day, this movement's primary goal is to harm Israel, not to better the lives of Palestinian Arabs, and that is an approach that can never lead to peaceful coexistence. It is refreshing to see a member of the West's social elite recognize such hypocrisy and distance herself from it.
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