Oxfam criticizes Scarlett Johansson’s SodaStream ad

Actress, who is also a supporter of UK charity, is to appear in TV spot for West Bank-based firm during Super Bowl Feb. 2

Scarlett Johansson with Sodastream's Daniel Birnbaum (photo credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream/via JTA)
Scarlett Johansson with Sodastream's Daniel Birnbaum (photo credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream/via JTA)

The Oxfam aid organization criticized Scarlett Johansson for appearing in an ad for an Israeli business operating in the West Bank.

SodaStream International, which produces a popular line of home seltzer machines, signed the American Jewish actress to be its first global global brand ambassador. Johansson, who is also a supporter of Oxfam, is set to appear in a television ad for SodaStream during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.

“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,” the organization said in a statement posted on its website Thursday.

“Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law,” it said.

SodaStream’s main plant is in Mishor Adumim, an Israeli industrial zone next to the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim in the West Bank.

Headquartered in England, Oxfam works in dozens of countries to relieve poverty. The group said it had communicated its concerns directly to Johansson, whose work on behalf of the organization it also praised.

“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 group said. “As an Oxfam Global Ambassador, she has travelled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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