Entertainment News

  • 24 January 2014, 17:44

Scarlett Johansson Criticised Over SodaStream

Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson has been criticised over her tie-up with SodaStream, an Israeli company that operates a factory in the occupied West Bank.

Oxfam said it had made its "concerns" known to the star - who is an ambassador for the charity - after the deal with the homemade soft drinks firm was announced.

As part of the promotion, the 29-year-old will appear in a commercial during the Super Bowl on February 2.

SodaStream International employs hundreds of people at a large factory in an Israeli settlement.

Oxfam has joined a chorus of criticism from pro-Palestinian activists, saying it is opposed to all trade from "illegal" Israeli settlements.

A statement on the organisation's website said it "deeply values her support".

"We are proud of our relationship with Scarlett Johansson who has worked with Oxfam since 2005 to support Oxfam's mission to end poverty and injustice," the statement said.

"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."

Around 500,000 people are estimated to be living in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which the International Court of Justice has ruled to be "occupied territories" and Israel the "occupying power".

The settlements are considered to be illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

Representatives for Johansson could not be contacted for comment at the time of writing.

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