New York, NY January 28, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the statement issued by Scarlett Johansson on her role as a spokesperson for the Israeli company SodaStream, and commended her “principled opposition” to the anti-Israel BDS movement.
As a reaction to the recent SodaStream announcement that Johansson will appear in their new Super Bowl commercial, supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and other anti-Israel groups and individuals launched a campaign to pressure the actress to disassociate herself from the Israeli company.
In response, Ms. Johansson issued a statement on the partnership, stating that her decision to affiliate with SodaStream stemmed from its commitment “to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights.”
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
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.
SodaStream has long been a target of activists seeking to undermine the Jewish State through a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. These advocates oppose constructive dialogue regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and, at their core, reject Israel’s Jewish existence and the two-state solution.
Johansson’s statement is an important rejection of this view. Unlike the BDS campaign, she has highlighted SodaStream as a positive example of how to move towards understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, one which will hopefully contribute to the conflict’s end and help facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state living at peace with a secure Israel.
BDS and anti-Israel activists have long engaged in a smear campaign against SodaStream, including lobbing false and biased accusations against the Israeli company and routinely petitioning stores across the world to stop carrying SodaStream products. According to ADL, the global BDS campaign is fundamentally biased and includes goals which call for the end of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
January 30, 2014
Scarlett Johansson should be widely praised for her principled, public stand against the BDS movement. Johansson roundly rejected efforts to demonize the Israeli company SodaStream, affirming that her relationship with SodaStream reflects her commitment to “economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine.” She unabashedly stood strong in the face of frenzied criticism from BDS activists, and turned the calls on OXFAM – an organization which supports the BDS movement – to remove her from her eight-year position as global ambassador on its head by herself resigning from OXFAM, based on “a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”
At a time when celebrities shirk from any hint of controversy, we applaud Ms. Johansson for stepping up as a voice of reason, in support of peace and reconciliation. OXFAM and the BDS advocates among it supporters have much to learn from the principled and dignified way Ms. Johansson dealt with the unfair pressure put on her.