Fighting BDS – Scarlett Johansson Slams Oxfam for Political Agenda


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Daniel-Birnbaum-CEO-SodaStream-Forward-BDS-quote-01Today’s Top BDS Stories:

1 Two recent articles on Scarlett Johansson include sections about her involvement in SodaStream. In The Guardian’s Sunday edition, The Observer, Johansson beats back an aggressive reporter, forthrightly defends SodaStream, and takes a shot at Oxfam’s support for BDS.

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.” When I contacted Oxfam, it denied this.

The same issue is treated with far less gravity in the New Yorker, which features a lengthy profile of Johansson in its latest issue (quote below from page 2).

Given the impasse, Johansson resigned from the charity, leaving seltzer drinkers everywhere in an agony of ethical indecision. She issued a statement, lauding working conditions in the SodaStream factory and the company’s role in “building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine,” but this attempt at clarification made things messier still. Step back a little, and the whole farrago acquires a comic flavor, and Johansson sounds plausibly dumbfounded by her time at the heart of the storm: “I think I was put into a position that was way larger than anything I could possibly—I mean, this is an issue that is much bigger than something I could just be dropped into the middle of.”

2. Not exactly a shock: the World Economic Forum ranked Israel the best place in the Middle East for women.

3. Taking a cue from Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at AIPAC, Dan Illouz, of the Global Action for Israel campaign, calls on Israel to take the initiative in the fight against BDS.

The stronger weapons available are the millions of supporters all around the world that are ready to enlist in order to help Israel. Israeli supporters around the world are incredibly diverse. They are of different origins, of different ages, of different religions and of different political orientations. What is important, though, is that together they are an incredibly powerful purchasing power. Some are well placed in the most influential roles of the international economy. Other are simple middle-class people who buy groceries at the supermarket. However, if, together, all of the supporters around the world gave a very clear message and said, as Netanyahu asked, “We will boycott the boycotters,” no corporation would dare rise against Israel.

4. Israel Apartheid Week hits Canada this week, and Canadian writer Nora Gold puts the events into perspective:

IAW is part of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, whose leaders would have us Canadians believe that their sole agenda is to seek justice for the Palestinians. If this were accurate, I’d support BDS and IAW wholeheartedly, since as a progressive Jewish Canadian I believe that both the Jewish and Palestinian peoples need, and deserve, a homeland. The real agenda of BDS, however, is not simply justice for the Palestinians; it is the destruction of the state of Israel.

5. Attorneys in the Jake Lynch discrimination case accused Shurat HaDin for pursuing the case for political purposes. They claimed that Israeli professor Dan Avnon, whose application was rejected by Lynch on the basis of his Israeli nationality, had not suffered from the rejection and had not been approached to join the suit against Lynch.

Meanwhile, Avnon found a different sponsor and recently took up his position. He spoke to the Australian Jewish News about his saga with Lynch.

Seeyesterday’s Fighting BDS Roundup.

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