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SodaStream is wrong target for Oxfam’s Israel boycott

Boycott threats against Israel's SodaSteam company will achieve the opposite of advancing peace, by destroying an example of Israeli-Palestinian commercial cooperation and depriving hundreds of Palestinian families of their livelihoods.
Carbonator bottles are seen at the SodaStream factory in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim January 28, 2014. Appliance maker SodaStream International Ltd scored big in nabbing A-list actress Scarlett Johansson as its global brand ambassador in time for this year's Super Bowl advertising bonanza. But the limelight can be harsh. While the multi-million dollar deal may have increased brand awareness, it also strengthened calls for a boycott of the Israel-based company, whose main factory lies in
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More than any other Israeli company operating across the Green Line, SodaStream has been drawing the ire of those leading the boycott against Israel. The Israeli brand, which is successful in 45 countries, finished 2013 with revenues of $562 million, but instead of celebrating its impressive achievements, its managers and staff are forced to respond to a bevy of attacks against it. It also had to fight back against the intention of imposing a boycott on the company because its main factory is located in the area of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement.

Calls to boycott SodaStream were given an unexpected boost after it turned out that actress Scarlett Johansson was chosen as the company’s brand ambassador. For example, Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab wrote in Al-Monitor that the fact that the American actress was being forced to forgo her position as ambassador for the charitable organization Oxfam was a long-term victory for the Palestinians and their supporters everywhere.

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