Scarlett Johansson stands by decision to quit as Oxfam ambassador

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 9:21pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 9:21pm


Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson has defended her decision to quit as an Oxfam ambassador after she faced criticism for working for a firm operating in an Israeli settlement.

In an interview published on Sunday in Britain's Observer newspaper, Johansson said she stood by her decision to appear in an advertisement for Israeli company SodaStream, which manufactures a device for making carbonated drinks at home and has a factory in the occupied West Bank.

Johansson's departure from Oxfam in January was welcomed by many Palestinian activists although some criticised the charity for not severing ties with the Hollywood star, branded by critics as the "new poster girl for Israeli occupation".

"I was aware of that particular factory before I signed," she told the Observer. "And it still doesn't seem like a problem - at least not until someone comes up with a solution to the closing of that factory and leaving all those people destitute," Johansson said.

The firm, based near Tel Aviv, has 25 factories around the world, including one in an industrial park near Maaleh Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem. It employs about 800 Palestinians alongside 500 Israelis, a company spokesman said.

The incident put a spotlight on the creeping success of a campaign to boycott trade linked to Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land seized during the Six-Day War of 1967.