Scarlett Johansson Applauded for Standing Up to BDS Movement, Invited to Visit Israel
by Joshua Levitt
Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson was lauded by Jewish groups for her support of SodaStream, an Israeli company that has come under fire from anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) groups that aim to harm Israeli companies.
“We salute Scarlett Johansson’s statement explaining clearly and directly the reasons for her association with SodaStream, and commend her principled opposition to those who have sought to use her relationship as a celebrity spokesperson for SodaStream to promote a divisive and highly politicized campaign designed to cause economic harm to the company and its hundreds of employees,” said Anti-Defamation League National Director, Abraham Foxman, in a statement.
Co-chairs of the ‘Legal Grounds’ organization, Jeff Daube, who also serves as the Israel Director of the Zionist Organization of America, and American-born Israeli journalist Arlene Kushner, said, in a statement, “We would like to recognize Scarlett Johansson for standing up to the anti-Israel BDS movement. At a time when there are those who seek to force their agenda through threats of boycotts and increased isolation, it is refreshing to see a public figure who does not just accept the false narrative of ‘illegal settlements’ and ‘occupation’ but understands the subtleties of the issues.”
“We encouraged our followers on Facebook to support Scarlett and we would like to invite her to come to Israel where she can see for herself the benefits that SodaStream and other Israeli companies based in Judea and Samaria provide to people of all religions and ethnicities. We also applaud SodaStream for serving as such a fine example of the practical application of our Legal Grounds in Judea and Samaria.”
‘Legal Grounds’ was recently formed by Daube and Kushner to advocate for the Jewish State’s legal rights to develop the disputed territory know to Israelis as Judea and Samaria, and to others as the “West Bank”.
When the actress accepted her current position as celebrity spokeswoman for SodaStream, Oxfam International, for which Johansson also serves as a global ambassador, said it was opposed to all trade with Israeli settlements, and asked her to choose between the two organizations.
Rather than buckle, Johansson, who is Jewish, issued her own statement saying that she supports “neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their (SodaStream’s) Ma’alah Adumim factory every working day.”
Johansson’s publicist confirmed he received the invite and said he would pass it along to the actress.