Scarlett Johansson: Don’t Be the Face of Occupation

January 21, 2014

scarlett1

The US Campaign to End the Occupation, and other anti-occupation groups including Code Pink, have launched a campaign to encourage Scarlett Johansson to reconsider her new position as occupation profiteer SodaStream’s new “global brand ambassador.”

On January 10, 2014, SodaStream announced that Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson had become their first-ever Global Brand Ambassador. Her first act in her role will be starring in SodaStream’s Super Bowl ad, which will be aired during the game’s fourth quarter on February 2.

Scarlett happens to be an Oxfam Global Ambassador, a role that includes a responsibility to “push forward the fight against poverty and injustice.” Since this announcement, BDS activists have been urging Scarlett to consider this responsibility and end her relationship with SodaStream.

SodaStream manufactures and distributes home carbonating devices and flavorings for soft drinks. The company’s main production site is in an illegal West Bank settlement, where the company conceals the fact that its products are manufactured in a settlement by using “Made in Israel” labels. As an Israeli settlement manufacturer, it exploits Palestinian land, resources and labor and actively supports Israel’s military occupation.

In October 2012, Oxfam Italy cut its ties with Paola Maugeri over her role as a SodaStream PR Ambassador. In 2009, Oxfam International cut ties with Sex and the City star Kristin Davis over her role as spokesperson for cosmetics company Ahava, another Israeli settlement manufacturer.

Take Action

Sign Petition: Don’t Be the Face of Occupation!
Urge Scarlett to end her relationship with SodaStream.

Send an email to Scarlett Johannson
Send a message that occupation isn’t green or guilt free to Johannson through her representatives.

Oxfam Ambassador Supporting Occupation?
Contact Oxfam America to urge them to take action and press Scarlett to end her deal with SodaStream or to end its relationship with the actress to send the message that supporting companies that profit from occupation and human rights abuses is unacceptable.

Take Action on Twitter!
Sample tweets about Scarlett, Oxfam, and SodaStream’s Super Bowl ad.

Graphics to Share!
Post these images to your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social networks.

Media Coverage

SodaStream accused of using conflict bubbles
January 21st, 2014
Article in The Verge.

SodaStream: Guilt-Free Seltzer or Blood Bubbles?
January 20th, 2014
Article in New York magazine.

The Politics of Celebrity Ambassadors
January 16th, 2014
Article in The New Yorker.

Scarlett Johansson: ‘No Guilt’ About SodaStream
January 14th, 2014
Elisheva Goldberg in The Jewish Daily Forward writes that the actress should realize that “normalizing” the Israeli occupation is a bad use of her celebrity.

Criticism as Scarlett Johansson becomes new face of SodaStream
January 13th, 2014
Coverage from Al Jazeera America.

Behind the Scenes: SodaStream Unveils Scarlett Johansson as its First-Ever Global Brand Ambassador
January 11th, 2014
Video released by SodaStream.

Letters

US Campaign Letter to Scarlett Johansson
January 14th, 2014
Letter sent to the Hollywood star urging her to end her deal with SodaStream.

US Campaign Letter to Oxfam
January 14th, 2014
Letter sent to Oxfam America urging them to press Johansson to end her deal with SodaStream or to cut ties with the actress.


United Church Launches Unsettling Goods Campaign

December 2, 2013

unsettlinggoods

The United Church of Canada has launched the national Unsettling Goods campaign to work towards peace and justice in Palestine/Israel. The campaign “encourages United Church members and others to become involved in the search for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis by contributing to the end of the occupation of Palestinian Territories.”

In a November, 2013 letter to all United Church congregations announcing the campaign, United Church of Canada Moderator The Right Rev. Gary Paterson wrote

The 41st General Council in August 2012 called on United Church members to take concrete actions to support the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. You and your congregation are now invited to Pray, Choose, Speak for Peace in Palestine and Israel.” Join in worship, prayer, and study; economic action focused on settlement goods; and support for trust-building programs between Palestinians and Israelis. Become involved in conversations with Canadian Jews and Canadian Palestinians. Take positive actions for peace with justice.

A core element of the Unsettling Goods campaign is support for the boycott of three settlement products: Ahava, Keter Plastics, and SodaStream, and engagement with four key Canadian retailers that sell these products: Canadian Tire, The Bay, Home Depot and Walmart Canada. Fact sheets, sample letters, and tips for engaging with retail store managers can be found on the UCC’s Economic Action Resources page.


Where Does Elizabeth May Stand on Palestine?

November 29, 2013

Elizabeth May

Serious questions have arisen about the position regarding Palestine of Green Party of Canada leader (and only sitting MP) Elizabeth May following the release of the transcript of an interview in which she expresses opposition to “any forms of boycotts of Israel,” reiterates “the Green Party’s strong support for the State of Israel” and praises the Jewish National Fund for “the great work that’s done in making the desert bloom.” Read the rest of this entry »


Boycott SodaStream Campaign Launched by CAIA

November 18, 2013

postcard-front

On Saturday, November 16, 2013, the Toronto-based Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) launched a campaign to get SodaStream out of Bed Bath & Beyond stores in Canada.

The campaign is part of an international campaign to Boycott SodaStream. CAIA has started an online petition asking Bed Bath & Beyond Canada to respect principles of ethics and social justice by removing SodaStream products from its shelves. Please sign this petition and share it widely with your friends and family.

By signing this petition you will be adding your voice to the call to stop “business as usual” with companies that are complicit in the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land.

Why Boycott SodaStream?

SodaStream supplies products to make carbonated drinks at home, and has its main production facility on an illegal Israeli settlement, Ma’ale Adumim, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Located on appropriated Palestinian land, Israeli settlements are recognized throughout the world as being in violation of international law and human rights norms and are seen as a major barrier to justice and peace in the region. Read the rest of this entry »


Stop the Prawer Plan

November 14, 2013

prawerThe Prawer Plan is the latest iteration of Israeli government policy of dispossession and displacement of the indigenous Palestinian Arab Bedouin citizens living in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of Israel.

The plan was first approved in September 2011, with minor revisions suggested by Minister Benny Begin approved in January 2013.  On May 6, the Prawer-Begin Bill, which is the implementing legislation of the plan, was adopted by the government and is currently pending before the Knesset.

If enacted into law and implemented, the Prawer-Begin Bill would result in the destruction of 35 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Naqab and the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel from their land and homes. Read the rest of this entry »


Six Things You Buy That Support the Occupation of Palestine

November 8, 2013

boycott_sodastreamAlex Kane, assistant editor with Mondoweiss and Alternet‘s world editor, offers the following list of “six consumer products and companies that help keep the Israeli occupation rolling along. All of them have been targeted by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, a Palestinian-led international campaign to isolate Israel for its violations of international law. BDS groups have called on consumers to boycott these products as a way of sending an economic signal to Israel.”

6 Things You Buy That Help Support Israeli Brutality
AlterNet [1] / By Alex Kane [2]

When tax time rolls around each year, every American citizen gives $21.59 in military aid to Israel, according to the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation [3]. But that’s not the only way American citizens contribute to the Israeli military, which has occupied Palestinian land for 46 years, and the West Bank settlement project that accompanies the occupation.

Consumers may not know it, but buying products like Sabra hummus and Sodastream helps fuel Israel’s military control over Palestinians. Some companies have factories located in one of the 125 officially recognized settlements in occupied Palestine, which are illegal under international law. Other companies contribute to the maintenance of an occupation through cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose main goal is to protect illegal settlements and exercise dominion over the lives of millions of Palestinians. Buying these products gives profits to companies who exploit Palestinian land and resources. Read the rest of this entry »


United Church to Start Settlement Campaign in June

May 30, 2013

BDSOn May 23, 2013, the United Church of Canada announced its Executive of the General Council had approved the activation of the Palestine Israel Education and Economic Action Campaign. The campaign follows last August’s decision by the United Church of Canada to approve a comprehensive policy on Israel/Palestine, including the boycott of goods produced in Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.

The Palestine Israel Education and Economic Action Campaign will begin in spring of 2013 in three phases:

  •     from June 2013: engagement with select companies and retail stores, and selection of target items;
  •     from September 2013: consumer economic action, highlighting spiritual reflection and action for Advent, Christmas and Lenten seasons;
  •     July–December 2014: Evaluation, follow-up actions, and preparation of report for March 2015 Executive Meeting.

The campaign has been named Unsettling Goods: Choose Peace in Palestine and Israel, which focuses on the illegal Israeli settlements and the obstacles they pose for peace. The campaign will encourage economic action against several settlement products. The General Council Office staff has been researching companies that have production in one or more Israeli settlements. Three companies have been selected for engagement:

  •     Keter Plastic, a company that manufactures a range of home and garden products such as storage containers, planters, toolboxes, toys, and patio furniture. Keter has a factory in the Barkan Industrial Zone near the Israeli settlement of Ariel, as does its wholly owned subsidiary, Lipski Plastic Ltd.
  •     SodaStream, a company that manufactures home sodamaker devices and ingredients. SodaStream’s main production facility is in the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, near Jerusalem in the West Bank.
  •     Ahava, a cosmetics company that sells skin care, bath, and other personal cosmetic products. Ahava operates its factory in the Mitzpe Shalem settlement on the shore of the Dead Sea in the West Bank.

Over the next several months, the United Church will engage in dialogue with these companies regarding their involvement in the settlements and request that they cease all production in the settlements. They will be informed that failure to do so will result in economic action against their products.

The products of Ahava, SodaStream, and Keter can be found across Canada in major retail stores such as Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Rona, Future Shop, The Bay, Walmart, Sears, and Costco. The United Church will also begin engagement with select Canadian retailers to inform them about the origin of the settlement products of Ahava, SodaStream, and Keter and request that these items no longer be sold in their stores.

Depending on the responses of the three companies operating in the settlements and of the retailers selling their products, United Church people will be invited to initiate economic actions to avoid identified products and to continue engagement with the companies and retailers. These actions will begin in the fall of 2013 and continue until the companies and retailers disengage from their association with the settlements, or until directed otherwise by the Executive of the General Council or the General Council.

Campaign resources will be developed for use by United Church people for the fall and winter of 2013/14. These will include worship materials, advocacy tools, and other resources to help congregations, community ministries, small groups, and individuals to engage in education and economic action initiatives focused on the Israeli settlements.


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