Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Scarlett Johansson Cuts Ties With Oxfam Over Differences on BDS Movement

January 30, 2014 12:59 am 21 comments
Scarlett Johansson filming her first SodaStream commercial. Photo: SodaStream.

Scarlett Johansson filming her first SodaStream commercial. Photo: SodaStream.

Actress Scarlett Johansson ended her relationship with  Oxfam International citing “a fundamental difference of opinion” over the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Associated Press reported Wednesday evening, citing her spokesman.

“Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years,” her statement said. “She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam.”

Johansson’s rift with the relief group began earlier this month when she was unveiled as the new face of Israeli carbonated drinks maker, SodaStream. Following the announcement, anti-Israel groups attacked Johansson citing the company’s West Bank based factory, which they deem to be problematic.

“Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law,” the group said at the time, adding that, “We have made our concerns known to Ms. Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues.”

Johansson, who is Jewish, responded with a detailed statement highlighting the cooperation that takes place between Jews and Arabs at SodaStream’s factory. “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,” she said at the time.

“I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” she added.

Jewish human rights group, the Anti-Defamation League, praised Johansson’s “principled” stand.

“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.

“Johansson had served as a global ambassador for Oxfam since 2007, raising funds and promoting awareness about global poverty,” the Associated Press reported.

Oxfam has been involved in a number of controversies involving Israel, and has long been accused of bias against the Jewish State.

In its report on the organization, watchdog group NGO Monitor which tracks bias in non-governmental organizations, said, “Oxfam consistently paints a highly misleading picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict, departing from its humanitarian mission focused on poverty. Most Oxfam statements erase all complexity and blame Israel exclusively for the situation, and these distortions and their impacts contribute significantly to the conflict.”

“Oxfam also distorts economic analyses of the West Bank and Gaza, repeatedly arguing that that the sole impediment to Palestinian development is Israeli policy, ignoring intra-Palestinian limitations and factors,” NGO Monitor added.


  • Cooper Jackson

    Scarlett Johansson is not only one of the most beautiful women in the world but has shown to be one of the brightest. Miss Johansson has principals. This is more then I can say for the majority of Muslims in the middle east. Somehow Muslims have forgotten an important fact of history.
    In the past 150 years every significant scientific or medical breakthrough has been made by whites with either European or Israeli ancestry. Why, think about it.
    It’s not because whites are smarter, no it’s because whites believe in themselves. Can you imagine Dr. Oppenheimer saying I can’t make an atomic bomb or Werner Von Braun saying I will never design a rocket to take Americans to the moon. No, we know no bounds.

  • Robert C Thompson

    Kudos to Ms. Johansson!
    Oxfam has revealed itself as another racist, hatemongering bunch. They should move their HQ to Palestine.

  • Thats the way to go scarlet and be a brown nose your nose so up jews ass so you can become famous and get roles since they control hollywood your pathetic

  • ‘Kol ha Kavod, Scarlett Johansson.
    The repetitive mantras of hate continually spewed out against Israel, are reminiscent of the demonization of Jews in Nazi Propoganda – all the more disturbing coming from the so called Intelligentsia.
    Heartening to hear the voice of a gifted and renowned actress, not afraid to give a true assessment of Israel /Palestinian cooperation. Thank you for your courage

  • Jeremy Ratcliff

    Shame on you Oxfam . Faceless organisation. Supposedly christian. Do you not know what the bible says ? , ” I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse ; and all the peoples of the earth shall be blessed through you,” Genesis 12 : 3…. Thank goodness for Scarlett

  • Adrian Andrusier

    Now that Oxfam – the charity – has made clear its political position, it’s time to consider carefully which charities really should be supported both by public donations and Government subsidy.
    Of course those who hate Israel and the Jewish people will single out Oxfam as their favourite but perhaps those who love Israel (and indeed also care about their Palestinian neighbours ) should find a charity which has a non political and balanced approach caring directly for people regardless of their political or religious persuasion. I for one have now decided that I shall be avoiding Oxfam completely. I also plan to examine purchasing a Soda Stream product now that Oxfam has helped publicise the care this company has for its Palestinian and Israeli Arab workers.

  • I’m not Jewish but totally support what Israel is doing in creating a free and fair democratic society , bristling with innovative thinkers, turning the desert into a haven. jealous of Israel’ success and all members of And all the while surrounded by ignorant barbarians, members of a bloodthirsty cult which seeks Israel’s destruction.

    And a big , big tick to Scarlet Johannsen – who does what needs to be done – act with integrity.

  • I support the 23 State solution. 22 Arab states and 1 Jewish state (Including Judea and Samaria). The good news is that exists today, so OXFAM your work is done. Sound fair? I know the Jews are kinda getting ripped off since they only have one small country and the Arabs killed off or expelled all the Jews from their countries. BUT we Jews don’t want to continue war, and even though you have done us wrong we will live in our JEWISH homeland of ISRAEL with OUR CAPITAL Jerusalem.

  • How can we let Ms. Johansson know of our support and encouragement for standing tall and proud?

  • Thank God for Scarlett Johansson’s stand for what is true and right and against anti-Israel bias.

    When will people wake up to the truth of what is really happening in the heart of the Middle East – that the battle is actually between democracy, peace & freedom on the one hand and terrorism motivated by hatred of Israel and the Jewish people on the other.

    • BonniePrinceCharlie

      People won’t wake up to the truth until we start screaming the truth. We allow our enemies – those who would destroy us – to take the initiative and propagate messages which denigrate and demonize Israel. And our communal leaders – elected and self-appointed – have proved woefully inept at countering this and seizing the moral high ground. We should be telling the world about those that want to destroy us. We should be exposing their lies and deceits. We should be showing them up for the evil people they are.

      Israel won in 1967 because it recognised the impending threat to its existence and took the initiative by attacking first; and we won. Have we learned nothing from this? How long are we going to sit back and endure these attacks on us?

  • Look at their mirror and ask yourself who they really are!!

    They are silent and not boycotting countries or organizations that:

    1: Lebanon, where there is a law that bans Palestinians from working in over 50 professions.

    2:The press freedoms index :
    In 2002 Turkey was 99th out of 139 countries>
    By 2013 Turkey had fallen to 154th place out of 179 countries.

    3: Palestinians are using ambulances and international press symbol for terror activities.

    4:* “”The struggle will not stop until the Zionist entity is eliminated””.(From the PLO Congress 2009)
    *Hamas charter
    “”Peace and quiet for Christians and Jews is possible only under Islam wings””
    “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)””
    5: Saud Arabia:
    Deny: Women equality–human rights–religious freedom—democracy and fund infidel hate preaching and teaching worldwide
    6: Iran:
    Gays are executed- Teachers of Bahai religion are hanged up- A husband can kill his adulterous wife without punishment while a woman is punishable by death.
    Punishing by death the ones sailing land to Jew

    However boycott the defending Israel

  • deanna jacobs

    Always a fan of the beautiful Scarlett Johansson, even more now. A woman who truly understands what is really going on instead of the biased media hype that happens on a daily basis. Others in her position should hang their heads in shame. She is a true star in more ways than one. Deanna

  • She’s great to stand on her principles.

  • Well done Scarlett Johansson

  • Good for you, Ms. Johansson!

    It’s rare to see such a display of good sense and moral courage. May her example serve to encourage (read: en-courage) other celebrities who until now thought it better to “go along to get along” as the saying goes.

  • Well done! Now if she’ll only cut ties with Obama, she’ll be Woman of the Year.

  • Roz Rothstein

    Bravo Scarlett Johansson. This rift symbolizes the difference between those who understand the quest for peaceful coexistence, (Scarlett) and those who seek to cast blame on only Israel (Oxfam).

    • Israel is the only country in the world that actually helps her own declared enemies who announce all the time their wish to wipe her off the map.Education wise economically and medically.

      Israel always aimed to live in peace with all the Arabs
      countries around her but they chose to attack her since first day of her establishment as a state in 1948,(where before that the Arabs in what the British called Palestine use to attack and kill Jewish settlers out of pure hate and nothing else.

      According to the international laws when a country start a war on other country(in Israel case many Arabs countries 1948, 1967, 1973,)and losing its war then the country who managed to win got the right to hold all lands taken over until such time that there is a true peaceful treaty which secure her right to live in peace and safety. so in my view there is nothing illegal in regards to the lands taken in 1967.

      While many Arab countries have an education system and culture which indoctrinate hatred and violence and inciting terrorism, towards Jews no one can guarantee a True Peace for Israel.

      All my respect to this lady who stood up to the culture of bullying Israel.

      G-d Bless her and protect her. Amen

      • esther noodelman

        Can you name one other country that has been attacked and succeeded to overcome the enemy and now we have to give these lands to the loser and initiator of our possible destruction and call this a PEACE PROCESS and be called interlopers etc…Is this for real?

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Opinion Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Late Friday night, on November 13, I was headed for bed when an ominous news bulletin flashed across my computer screen – something about a shooting in Paris. It wasn’t long before the “small number” of shootings and casualties began to double and triple and quadruple. The locations of attacks seemed crazily disorganized, and the tweets and videos became more and more horrifying. It was a long night for many stunned observers. We tried to understand what was happening, and […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Theater BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    In an interview with the Israeli site nrg on Wednesday, Belgian-Jewish stage actress Noemi Schlosser recounted immigrating to Israel after her career in Europe was destroyed by BDS. Schlosser said she had enjoyed success in Belgium and international acclaim until she was targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for her pro-Israel stance during Operation Protective Edge — last summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza. She described watching the theaters where she performed go from packed to nearly empty over a short period of […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →