You probably know by now that actress Scarlett Johansson resigned her global ambassadorship with Oxfam International because Oxfam disapproved of her recent endorsement deal with SodaStream, an Israeli company which has a manufacturing facility in the West Bank.
Johansson has been one of Hollywood’s more prominent supporters of President Obama. However, in this instance, she didn’t to submit to left-wing orthodoxy nor will she be intimidated by the BDS movement. Johansson believes SodaStream is good for both Israelis and Palestinians. She has been active with Oxfam for nearly a decade and had no desire to discontinue her association with them, but Oxfam gave her an ultimatum. Johansson didn’t take kindly to this edict and parted ways with Oxfam. Good for her I say. While conservatives will probably continue to disagree with most of Johansson’s activism there is no doubt that she has gained a measure of respect among our ranks for refusing to delegitimize Israel.
As for Oxfam, I say shame. They claim their “vision is a just world without poverty.” But when it comes to Johansson’s association with SodaStream, Oxfam says it is “incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.” They went on to say that SodaStream and other Israeli businesses which operate in the West Bank “further the ongoing poverty and denial of right of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.” Well, tell that to the 500 Palestinians who are employed by SodaStream.
So it seems to me that Oxfam would rather see Palestinians live in poverty than being employed by Jews who will pay them a living wage and provide space for a mosque. Johansson is wise to disassociate herself from an organization which doesn’t believe in its own mission.