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by CODEPINK category: Cause
Oxfam Global Ambassador and Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson recently became the Global Brand Ambassador for SodaStream, an Israeli settlement manufacturer.
Although SodaStream products are labeled as "Made in Israel," its main production facility is in the industrial zone of Mishor Edomin, an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank. As a result, SodaStream enjoys cheap land and water, confiscated from the indigenous Palestinian owners; a captive Palestinian labor force; tax benefits; and lax regulation of environmental and labor protection laws.
In response to criticism from human rights groups and the bad publicity generated by Johansson's relationship with SodaStream, Oxfam issued the following statement:
Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors. However Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.
We have made our concerns known to Ms. Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues.
Dialogue is not enough. If Scarlett Johansson is going to continue her contract with SodaStream as a "Brand Ambassador," Oxfam must suspend her from work as an Oxfam Global Ambassador. Oxfam must take action to show that supporting companies that profit from occupation and human rights abuses is unethical.
CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, and to redirect our nation's resources to life-affirming activities.