I’ve commented a couple times before about the controversy over Scarlett Johansson quitting her role as human rights ambassador for Oxfam to take a job as the new face of SodaStream, which has a factor in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
Now she has told The Guardian that she stands by that decision even though, as she confirms, she was aware of SodaStream’s factory there. This, she says, “doesn’t seem like a problem. Until someone has a solution to the closing of that factory to leaving all those people destitute, that doesn’t seem like the solution to the problem.”
How can Scarlett Johansson not be aware that the reason the Palestinians are “destitute” is because they are living under foreign military occupation with their land and their resources being stolen from them? She was an ambassador for Oxfam, after all. She must know this.
As if that willful ignorance wasn’t bad enough, she then opened her mouth to say that the illegality of the settlements is “very easily debatable.”
No, Ms. Johansson, it is not. It is completely uncontroversial that Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are a violation of international law. There isn’t a single country on the planet apart from Israel itself that regards this as “debatable”.
Good for the Guardian writer for responding to this by suggesting she is “hopelessly naive”, or at best “hopelessly advised”.
Then, when he points out that many people consider what she did as “a choice between charity – good – and lots of money – greed”, how does she respond? “Sure I think that’s the way you can look at it.” Well, at least she is honest about that.
She then proceeded to attack Oxfam by saying, “But I also think for a non-governmental organisation to be supporting something that’s supporting a political cause… there’s something that feels not right about that to me. There’s plenty of evidence that Oxfam does support and has funded a BDS [boycott, divest, sanctions] movement in the past. It’s something that can’t really be denied.” The author added, “When I contacted Oxfam, it denied this.”
Trying to accuse Oxfam of some kind of ethical misconduct while she sits there supporting illegally operating Israeli factories on land stolen from the Palestinians and defending this practice by absurdly describing it as “debatable”. Unbelievable.