When the American actress Scarlett Johansson was asked to become a global brand ambassador for SodaStream, she had little reason to object. After all, she had learned that the Israeli company gives fair and equal wages to its Israeli and Palestinian workers. Little did Johansson suspect that her cooperation — with a firm whose main factory is located in the occupied Palestinian territories in contravention of international law — would explode in her face, forcing her to choose between money and ethics. After months of back and forth between Johansson and the charity that she supported, Johansson declared on Jan. 29 that she was resigning as an Oxfam ambassador.
Her decision was no doubt accelerated by the public position of Oxfam regarding the illegality of settlements and the need to boycott products produced in them. In a statement released Jan. 30, the charity announced, “Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.”